Sad and surprising news about the star of Brokeback Mountain and the upcoming Batman film, The Dark Knight.
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The actor Heath Ledger was found dead this afternoon in an apartment building at 421 Broome Street in SoHo, according to the New York City police. Mr. Ledger was 28.
At 3:31 p.m., a masseuse arrived at Apartment 5A in the building for an appointment with Mr. Ledger, the police said. The masseuse was let in to the home by a housekeeper, who then knocked on the door of Mr. Ledger’s bedroom. When no one answered, the housekeeper and the masseuse opened the bedroom and found Mr. Ledger unconscious. They shook him, but he did not respond. They immediately called the authorities. The police said they did not suspect foul play and said they found pills near body.
Mr. Ledger, a native of Perth, Australia, won acclaim for his role as a co-star in “Brokeback Mountain”, a 2005 film. The film, based on a novel by Larry McMurtry about two cowboys who fall in love, won critical acclaim. Reviewing the film in The New York Times, the critic Stephen Holden wrote, “Mr. Ledger magically and mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a great screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn.”
Heath Ledger's shocking demise is not only a terrible loss for his daughter Matilda, his Perth-based family and his many fans, it also throws into disarray two movies.
Ledger was in production with the next instalment in the Batman series, The Dark Knight, in which he was starring opposite Christian Bale as a macabre joker.
Early photos from the set suggest Ledger was taking the series into a new darker chapter.
Also on Ledger's slate was the new Terry Gilliam film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, about a travelling theatre company. It was due to start filming in London shortly.
Ledger had a troubled relationship with the media in his home town of Sydney...Ledger later sold his Sydney dream house, claiming the paparazzi had driven him out, and moved to Brooklyn in New York where he lived with [his former partner, actress Michelle] Williams and [daughter] Matilda before the split.