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Heath Ledger Biography

Heath Ledger died on January 22, 2008.
Courtesy of Columbia

Birth: April 4, 1979
Birthplace: Perth, Western Australia
Death: January 22, 2008

He made girls drool since his Australian acting debut and it didn't take long for North America to catch the Heath Ledger bug either. Find out more about the fascinating life and tragic death of this young actor.

Down-Under Beginnings

Heath Ledger wasn't a one-track kinda guy. Sure, he was captain of the drama team in high school, but Heath also won several awards for hockey and he even coordinated a group of guys to compete in a dance competition, which he won. Luckily for movie-goers, this Aussie decided to take up acting as his main profession. After graduating high school a year early (at age 16) Heath Ledger and his best bud, Tony DiCarlo, drove 2600 miles from Perth, Australia to Sydney.

Big Break

Heath Ledger got his first break with the Australian teen flick, Blackrock, in 1997. The role gained him a lot of positive attention and Heath soon snagged the part of an Olympic hopeful on the Australian TV show Sweat. For the show, Heath Ledger had the option of playing either the straight swimmer or the gay cyclist and he chose the gay role because it would require more "acting" and probably give him more recognition. It was a smart move that led to Heath Ledger's fist US gig, as a Celtic Prince in the Fox drama Roar, which also starred Keri Russell as his wife.

Breakthrough Roles

Heath Ledger was still a relative unknown until he landed the lead in 10 Things I Hate About You, costarring Julia Stiles. More than a year later Heath Ledger landed the role of Gabriel, Mel Gibson's oldest son in The Patriot. Heath Ledger went on to star in movies like A Knight's Tale, Monster's Ball, and The Order. He also starred in Lords of Dogtown and Brokeback Mountain, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. In the summer of 2008, Heath can be seen in his final performance, playing the Joker in the latest Batman remake The Dark Knight.

Personal Life and Death

Heath dated King Kong actress Noami Watts for two years before hooking up with Dawson's Creek alumni and fellow Brokeback Mountain co-star Michelle Williams. In 2005 they had a daughter, named Matilda Rose. Michelle and Heath separated in 2007, blaming both of their busy schedules for straining the relationship. Sadly, on January 22, 2008 at the age of 28, Heath Ledger was found dead in a New York apartment building. Early reports say drugs may have played a role.

Did U Know?

  • Heath Ledger auditioned for the role of Max on Roswell.
  • Heath Ledger and his sister, Kate, were named after the leads in the Emily Bronte novel Wuthering Heights.
  • Heath Ledger is 6'1" tall.
  • Heath Ledger Says...

    "I only do this [act] because I'm having fun. The day I stop having fun, I'll just walk away."

    "I'm the worst auditioner - really, really bad. I mean, you're being judged and I'm just so aware of it that it consumes me. I can't relax, I'm tied in knots, so the voice is very taut and tense."

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    Comments

    Libbyh15

    Libbyh15 wrote:

    He is soooooooooooooo sexy to bad he passed RI.P Heath,my fave movie by him is 10 Thing...
    commented: Thu Sep 01, 2011

    there are 1 more comments

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