It has been fifteen years since the death of promising actor Heath Ledger shook the world of Hollywood. He died of an accidental overdose of medications, a fatal cocktail of painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs, and sleeping pills, as fans already knew he was suffering from mental anguish.
His career, cut short in 2008, proved how versatile and talented Ledger was as an actor. Some of his notable films include 10 Things I Hate About You, The Patriot, Lords of Dogtown, Monster’s Ball, Casanova, The Brothers Grimm, I’m Not There, and Candy. But, out of all the roles he took, the actor is best known for his portrayal of Joker in The Dark Knight.
Joker Actor Heath Ledger Wanted Fans To Remember Him For His Movies, Not Money
Heath Ledger once said that he wanted his works to speak for him. He wanted people to know him through his movies and not what Hollywood tried to portray him as.
“I never had money, and I was very happy without it. When I die, my money’s not gonna come with me. My movies will live on – for people to judge what I was as a person. I just want to stay curious.”
Indeed, his passing was greatly mourned by fans and friends, and it left a huge impact on everyone he has worked with. Shekhar Kapur, director of The Four Feathers, reminisced about the days he worked with Ledger. He told Variety that they were as close as brothers.
“Heath and I became very close. He used to write to me, and he called me ‘my brother from another mother’, we became that close.”
The director also shared how perceptive and open-minded Ledger was, and the actor tried to bring these brilliant ideas to life through movies:
“Heath, even for his young age, was a very spiritual person and our conversations meandered through the ideas of space and the ideas of consciousness and all of that, and he tried to bring all those ideas into the film.”
Upon learning of Ledger’s death, Kapur was shocked and devastated. He believed that the role of Joker affected the actor so much, and knowing Ledger’s method of acting, he must have taken it personally.
Heath Ledger Wanted To Be Happy, But His Own Anxiety Destroyed Him
The pressure Hollywood puts on celebrities, more often than not, destroys a promising career and, most importantly, the sanity of a person. Ledger has always been expressive of his wanting to be happy and not put too much importance on money or fame. He once revealed that playing the Joker affected his already troubled mind.
Ledger’s brief but brilliant career earned him several accolades, which included Oscar and BAFTA nominations for Best Actor (Brokeback Mountain, 2005), and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (The Dark Knight, 2008), among others.