15th anniversary of Heath Ledger’s death: Through these roles he made himself immortal


15th anniversary of Heath Ledger’s death
Through these roles he made himself immortal

His outstanding performance as Joker in "The Dark Knight" is by no means Heath Ledger's only milestone.

His outstanding performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight” is by no means Heath Ledger’s only milestone.

© Warner Bros

Hollywood star Heath Ledger died 15 years ago. Through these films with the exceptional talent, he remains unforgotten to this day.

The Australian actor Heath Ledger died on January 22, 2008 at the age of 28. He died from an accidental drug overdose. His tragic death caused dismay around the world. Today, Sunday, it is 15 years since the tragedy. What remains are his roles. These strips are still a must for film lovers today.

“The Dark Knight”

The role as the comic villain Joker in Christopher Nolan’s (52) “The Dark Knight” (2008) changed his life forever. Heath Ledger prepared meticulously and is said to have been obsessed with the character. As a clown-like monster, he makes life hell for Batman (Christian Bale, 48). Ledger’s performance is the highlight of the film, it gets under your skin and oozes with intensity. With the role of the highly intelligent psychopath, he posthumously won almost every prize – including Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG Awards. Among the numerous Joker actors in film history, his interpretation is still considered the best, even if Joaquin Phoenix (48) also received an Oscar for “Joker” (2019).

“Brokeback Mountain”

His first Oscar nomination was for “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). In it, Heath Ledger plays the gay cowboy Ennis Del Mar. The film drama by director Ang Lee (68) is one of the best films of 2005. In the USA, the strip sparked a lively debate about whether a love affair between two cowboys was shown at all may be. To this day, the gay movement celebrates the film as a taboo breaker and milestone. For Ledger, it was the definitive breakthrough in Hollywood. The performances by him and co-star Jake Gyllenhaal (42) are particularly haunting and make the film very special.

“Knight out of passion”

An unusual combination was the medievalcomedy “A Knight’s Tale” (2001), in which Ledger embodied the squire William Thatcher. When his master, Sir Hector, is killed in a tournament, the roofer’s son spontaneously grabs his armor and wins the competition in his place. Only the nobility are allowed to take part in the competitions. Nevertheless, William forges a plan with his friends Roland (Mark Addy, 59) and Wat (Alan Tudyk, 51) how he could become a knight himself after Sir Hector’s death. The medieval fun around knight tournaments and the heart of a fair maiden never takes itself too seriously. Elements from modern times are often woven into it. At the beginning of the film, the entire tournament arena dances and claps to Queen’s “Will Will Rock You”.

“10 Things I Hate About You”

A film by Heath Ledger has achieved cult status among teen comedies: In “10 Things I Hate About You” (1999) he plays the outsider Patrick Verona. With long hair, cool clothes and cheeky sayings, he not only took the heart of Julia Stiles (41) by storm. A must for any Heath Ledger fan and fans of the classic teen genre. The comedy also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (41, “Inception”) and Allison Janney (63, “I, Tonya”).

“The Cabinet of Doctor Parnassus”

Heath Ledger died while filming The Cabinet of Doctor Parnassus. Director Terry Gilliam (82) initially broke it off. For a long time it seemed as if the film would not be completed. But those involved decided to adapt the script instead. His scenes as Tony outside the magic mirror were pretty much wrapped. The Tonys behind the magic mirror finally embodied Johnny Depp (59), Jude Law (50) and Colin Farrell (46). The result is a visually stunning spectacle that went down in film history as the last film by Heath Ledger.

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