Millions of us didn't know him, but it felt like you did in a way. Heath Ledger never came across onscreen or off as someone you wouldn't like, or want to be around. He seemed like a decent human being, a great, promising actor and someone with a very hopeful future ahead of him.
I wasn't a huge Heath Ledger movie fan, but I appreciated his choices, and I feel like we've lost an incredible, singular talent. Look back at his performances. In Monster's Ball, Brokeback Mountain, and I'm Not There, you see someone who, leading man looks aside, was as human as the rest of us, full of our strengths and flaws, and reflecting back universal moments of pain and compassion.
In both his studio movies and indie films, there's a genuine sincerity and soulfulness. Playing Mel Gibson's son in The Patriot, or a humbled soldier in The Four Feathers, or an aloof, amiable teen idol in 10 Things I Hate About About You, he was someone you wanted to root for, someone who was striving to be truthful.
So many people were excited to see how he would interpret the role of the Joker in the upcoming The Dark Knight. Now, it will just be another part of his legacy, one that was tragically interrupted. I hope a couple of things...that his family and friends will be given the respect and privacy they deserve, and that people will look back and be grateful for what this young artist shared with all of us in his short time here on earth.
To remember Heath Ledger, we’ve assembled the video playlist at the link below. It’s a collection of trailers from memorable Heath Ledger films, plus one of his last interviews, where he tells Fandango about his early memories at the cinema and his expectations for The Dark Knight.
Video Tribute: Playlist for Heath Ledger