Heath Ledger

Birth Day April 4th, 1979
Birth Place Perth, Western Australia
Age 45 Years Old
Zodiac Sign Aries

About Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger, a renowned Australian actor, and music video director, made a significant impact on the film industry. After gaining experience in Australian television and films during the 1990s, Ledger decided to pursue his career in the United States in 1998. Throughout his remarkable journey, he appeared in twenty films, showcasing his talent and versatility in works such as "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999), "The Patriot" (2000), "A Knight's Tale" (2001), "Monster's Ball" (2001), "Casanova" (2005), "Lords of Dogtown" (2005), "Brokeback Mountain" (2005), "Candy" (2006), "I'm Not There" (2007), "The Dark Knight" (2008), and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" (2009), the latter two being released posthumously. Beyond his acting prowess, Ledger also ventured into music video production and expressed aspirations to become a film director. Ledger's exceptional performance as Ennis Del Mar in Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" earned him critical acclaim and numerous award nominations, including the BAFTA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, making him one of the youngest nominees in that category at the time. In 2007, he portrayed a fictional actor named Robbie Clark in Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There," receiving the Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award along with the ensemble cast. Tragically, Ledger passed away in January 2008 due to an accidental overdose of medications. Prior to his untimely death, he had completed filming his iconic role as the Joker in "The Dark Knight," which garnered widespread acclaim and popularity. Ledger's mesmerizing performance posthumously earned him numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, and BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. His final film, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," was released in 2009, showcasing his incredible talent one last time.

Heath Ledger Early Life & Family

Heath Ledger, born as Heath Andrew Ledger in Perth, Western Australia, Australia, was the son of Sally Ledger, a French teacher, and Kim Ledger, a racing car driver and mining engineer associated with the Ledger Engineering Foundry. He had an older sister named Kate Ledger, who played a significant role in inspiring his acting pursuits on stage. Ledger's parents separated when he was ten years old and divorced when he was eleven. Ledger shared a close bond with Kate and drew inspiration from her, as well as his admiration for Gene Kelly, which led to his successful choreography and Guildford Grammar's "first all-boy victory" at the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge with their 60-member team. Ledger had two half-sisters, Ashleigh Bell (born 1990) from his mother's second marriage to Roger Bell, and Olivia Ledger (born 1996) from his father's second marriage to Emma Brown. Heath Ledger held Australian nationality and came from a mixed ethnic background of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and Jewish (Ashkenazi and Sephardi). He followed the Christian faith and was born under the zodiac sign of Aries. Ledger celebrated his last birthday in 2007 when he turned 28.

During his educational years, Ledger enrolled at Mary's Mount Primary School located in Gooseberry Hill. He later continued his studies at Guildford Grammar School, where he embarked on his initial ventures into acting. At the age of ten, he showcased his talent by taking on the role of Peter Pan in a school production, marking his early foray into the world of performance.

Heath Ledger portrays the role of Joker in 'The Dark Knight'

Heath Ledger Career

Acting Career

  • At the age of 16, Heath Ledger took early graduation exams and left school to pursue an acting career. 
  • He embarked on a journey across Australia with his lifelong friend Trevor DiCarlo, driving from Perth to Sydney. 
  • Ledger then returned to Perth to take on a small role in the television series "Clowning Around" (1992) and worked on the TV show "Sweat" (1996), portraying a cyclist. 
  • During this time, he also appeared in the Perth series "Ship to Shore" (1993), the fantasy drama "Roar" (1997), and the successful Australian TV show "Home and Away" (1997). 
  • Ledger made his feature film debut in the Australian movie "Blackrock" (1997). 
  • In 1999, he achieved further recognition for his roles in the teen comedy "10 Things I Hate About You" and the acclaimed crime film "Two Hands," directed by Gregor Jordan.
  • He took on supporting roles in notable movies such as "The Patriot" (2000) and "Monster's Ball" (2001), and also starred in leading roles in "A Knight's Tale" (2001), "The Four Feathers" (2002), "The Order" (2003), "Ned Kelly" (2003), "Casanova" (2005), "The Brothers Grimm" (2005), and "Lords of Dogtown" (2005). 
  • In 2001, he was recognized as the "Male Star of Tomorrow" with a ShoWest Award. 
  • However, Ledger's breakthrough performance came in 2005 with "Brokeback Mountain", where he portrayed Ennis Del Mar, a Wyoming ranch hand engaged in a forbidden love affair. His remarkable portrayal earned him several awards and nominations, including the New York Film Critics Circle Award and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. 
  • He continued to impress audiences with his roles in "Candy" (2006), "I'm Not There" (2007), and his iconic portrayal of the Joker in "The Dark Knight" (2008). 
  • Despite his untimely death, Ledger's extraordinary talent was acknowledged posthumously, earning him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his chilling performance as the Joker.
  • His final film, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus", was completed with the help of other actors who paid tribute to Ledger's character.

Director Career

  • Heath Ledger had a passion for filmmaking and had ambitions of becoming a director. He showcased his directing skills through music videos produced by his company, "The Masses", which received high praise from renowned director Todd Haynes. 
  • Ledger directed music videos for Australian hip hop artist N'fa's album Cause An Effect and the single "Seduction Is Evil (She's Hot)" in 2006. 
  • He also co-founded the record label The Masses Music with singer Ben Harper and directed a music video for Harper's song "Morning Yearning." 
  • Ledger expressed his desire to make a documentary about singer-songwriter Nick Drake, creating a music video for Drake's song "Black Eyed Dog" as a tribute. 
  • Although his directorial career was tragically cut short, Ledger's final directorial works, including music videos for Modest Mouse and Grace Woodroofe, premiered posthumously in 2009, showcasing his creative talents in this realm as well.

Heath Ledger Awards & Achievements

Academy Awards:

  • 2009: The Dark Knight - Best Supporting Actor (Won posthumously)

Australian Film Institute Awards:

  • 2006: Brokeback Mountain - Best International Actor (Won)
  • 2006: Reader's Choice Award for Best Actor (Won)
  • 2008: The Dark Knight - Best International Actor (Won posthumously)

Brisbane International Film Festival Awards:

  • 2008: Chauvel Award (Won posthumously)

British Academy Film Awards:

  • 2009: The Dark Knight - Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Won posthumously)

Golden Globe Awards:

  • 2009: The Dark Knight - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Won posthumously)

Independent Spirit Awards:

  • 2008: I'm Not There - Robert Altman Award (Won posthumously)

People's Choice Awards:

  • 2009: The Dark Knight - Best Ensemble Cast (Won posthumously)
  • 2009: The Dark Knight - Best Onscreen Match-up (Won posthumously)

Saturn Awards:

  • 2009: The Dark Knight - Best Supporting Actor (Won posthumously)

Scream Awards:

  • 2008: The Dark Knight - Best Fantasy Actor (Won posthumously)
  • 2008: The Dark Knight - Best Villain (Won posthumously)

Screen Actors Guild Awards:

  • 2009: The Dark Knight - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Won posthumously)

African-American Film Critics Association Awards:

  • 2008: The Dark Knight - Best Supporting Actor (Won posthumously)

Boston Society of Film Critics Awards:

  • 2008: The Dark Knight - Best Supporting Actor (Won posthumously)

Chicago Film Critics Association:

  • 2008: The Dark Knight - Best Supporting Actor (Won posthumously)

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards:

  • 2008: The Dark Knight - Best Supporting Actor (Won posthumously)

New York Film Critics Circle Awards:

  • 2005: Brokeback Mountain - Best Actor (Won)

San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards:

  • 2005: Brokeback Mountain - Best Actor (Won)
  • 2008: The Dark Knight - Best Supporting Actor (Won posthumously)

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Awards:

  • 2006: Brokeback Mountain - Outstanding Performance of the Year Award (Won)

Heath Ledger Net Worth

Heath Ledger was a highly accomplished actor, best known for his notable performances in films such as "The Dark Knight" and "A Knight's Tale," among others. At the time of his passing, Heath Ledger had accumulated a net worth estimated at $16 million, which, when adjusted for inflation, is equivalent to $20 million today. The primary source of his wealth stemmed from his successful career in the entertainment industry. Throughout his career, Ledger took on various roles that contributed to his financial success. In 1999, he starred in the romantic comedy film "10 Things I Hate About You," earning a substantial $100,000. His portrayal of William Thatcher in the adventure action film "A Knight's Tale" in 2001 granted him a paycheck of $3 million. The war adventure film "The Four Feathers" in 2002 brought Ledger a considerable sum of $2 million, while his role in the Western drama film "Ned Kelly" in 2003 earned him $50,000. However, Ledger's most iconic and career-defining role came in 2008 when he took on the character of the Joker in Christopher Nolan's action-adventure film "The Dark Knight," opposite Christian Bale. For this groundbreaking performance, Ledger received an upfront payment of $5 million, which increased to a total of $20 million after the film's tremendous success. Ledger's exceptional talent and success in the film industry allowed him to amass significant wealth. Additionally, his appearances in several television shows also contributed to his financial earnings. Collectively, his films grossed over $1,424,140,306 at the global box office, with "The Dark Knight" alone surpassing the $1 billion mark worldwide.

Renowned actor Heath Ledger was the proud owner of several impressive properties around the world. Among his real estate holdings were houses in Australia, his home country, and the United States. One notable property was his residence in Los Angeles, California, affectionately known as The Treehouse, which he owned until his untimely passing in 2008. Ledger reportedly acquired the house in August 2005 from comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres for $2.3 million. This charming abode, spanning 1,861 square feet and featuring two bedrooms and two bathrooms, was later sold in July 2008 for $2.5 million. Additionally, Ledger possessed a magnificent mansion in Bronte Beach, New South Wales, Australia, which he purchased in 2005 for $4.45 million. In 2006, he decided to part ways with the property and sold it for an impressive $7 million. Apart from his real estate ventures, he also had a passion for automobiles and possessed a collection of exquisite cars. He frequently cruised around in a sleek black Aston Martin V8, showcasing his love for luxury vehicles. Additionally, his collection included a Cadillac and a classic pick-up truck, demonstrating his diverse taste in automobiles.

Heath Ledger Girlfriend & Children

Heath Ledger, until his untimely death, had been romantically involved in various relationships throughout his life. In 1997, he dated his first girlfriend, Lisa Zane, and their relationship lasted until 1998. Lisa Zane is an actress and singer-songwriter. Following that, there were rumors of a romance between Heath and his American co-star Julia Stiles during the filming of "10 Things I Hate About You" in 1999, but they eventually broke up in 2000. During the same year, Heath started dating model Christina Cauchi, and their relationship continued for approximately two years. From October 2000 to June 2001, he was in a relationship with American actress Heather Graham. Then, in August 2002, he began dating British actress Naomi Watts, with whom he shared the screen in the film "Ned Kelly" in 2003. Naomi even played a pivotal role in encouraging Heath to take on the iconic role of Ennis Del Mar in "Brokeback Mountain" (2005). Unfortunately, their relationship ended in May 2004. 

Heath Ledger and his ex-girlfriend, Michelle Williams

In June 2004, Heath Ledger began a relationship with American actress Michelle Williams, whom he had met while filming "Brokeback Mountain" in 2005. Their love blossomed, and on October 28, 2005, they welcomed their daughter, Matilda Rose, into the world in New York City. However, as time went on, Heath's struggles with drug abuse began to strain their relationship, leading him to move out of their Brooklyn apartment in Boerum Hill in 2006. Despite their amicable separation, the confirmation of their split came in September 2007 through Michelle's father. During this time, there were rumors of romantic connections with other individuals. In 2007, it was speculated that Heath had a relationship with Danish model Helena Christensen, and he was also rumored to be involved with American actress Lindsay Lohan from November 2007 to January 2008. Lindsay reportedly had a breakdown in a Los Angeles restaurant upon learning about Heath's tragic passing. Additionally, there were reports of a romantic encounter with American actress Kate Hudson in November 2007, with whom Heath had previously worked on the film "The Four Feathers." Model Gemma Ward was also rumored to have been in a relationship with Heath during this time, and they reportedly spent Christmas together in Perth. Sadly, Heath's life was cut short, bringing an end to any future prospects for these relationships. In late 2007, there were claims of a casual dating situation with American actress Mary-Kate Olsen. When the masseuse discovered Heath unresponsive on his bed, she first called Mary-Kate before alerting the authorities.

Heath Ledger Death Cause

On January 22, 2008, Heath Ledger was found unconscious in his bed at his loft in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. His housekeeper and massage therapist discovered him and immediately sought help. The massage therapist, Diana Wolozin, called Ledger's friend Mary-Kate Olsen, who instructed her New York City private security guard to go to the scene. Wolozin made a 911 call stating that Ledger was not breathing and attempted CPR, but it was unsuccessful. Paramedics arrived shortly after but were unable to revive him. Ledger was pronounced dead at 28 years old. Following his death, an autopsy and toxicology report were conducted. The report revealed that Ledger died from acute intoxication due to the combined effects of several prescription medications, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine. The manner of death was determined to be accidental, resulting from the abuse of prescribed medications. Concerns were raised about prescription drug abuse and combined drug intoxication. In a later analysis, a forensic pathologist suggested that Ledger might have survived if certain drugs had been omitted from the combination he had taken. A federal investigation cleared two American physicians of any wrongdoing and stated that they had prescribed Ledger other medications, not the ones that caused his death. Mary-Kate Olsen, who was initially speculated to have supplied Ledger with the drugs, denied any involvement or knowledge of their source through her attorney. The investigation into Ledger's death was ultimately closed without filing charges, and the origin of the specific medications that led to his demise remains unknown.

Heath Ledger's death was voted the top entertainment story of 2008 by US newspaper and broadcast editors, according to a survey conducted by The Associated Press. The shocking and confusing circumstances surrounding his death, along with his acclaimed performance as the Joker in the blockbuster film "The Dark Knight," contributed to this recognition. After his passing, there was controversy surrounding Ledger's will and the financial legacy he left behind. Ledger's father, Kim Ledger, emphasized the importance of ensuring the financial well-being of Heath's daughter, Matilda Rose, and stated that her mother, Michelle Williams, was considered an integral part of their family. Some of Ledger's relatives questioned the legal status of his will, which did not include Matilda Rose or Williams, claiming the existence of a second, unsigned will that would leave the majority of his estate to his daughter. The issue of Ledger potentially fathering a secret love child also surfaced, further complicating matters related to his estate. Ultimately, it was reported that Matilda Rose would receive the main portion of Ledger's estate, estimated to be worth up to $20 million, with the family gifting everything to her. Ledger's annual earnings, including his posthumous share of "The Dark Knight" box office revenue, were estimated to be $20 million.

Heath Ledger Height & Weight

Heath Ledger, the charismatic actor, possessed striking physical attributes. With a tall stature standing at 6 feet 1 inch (185.5 cm) and an athletic build weighing 77 kg (169.5 lbs), he exuded a captivating presence. His distinctive features included a squared jawline that added to his rugged charm. Heath had a pair of mesmerizing hazel eyes and his blonde hair enhanced his appeal. Notably, he had a penchant for wearing small earrings, which added a touch of uniqueness to his overall style.

In a 2007 interview with The New York Times, Heath Ledger revealed that he often experienced insomnia while preparing for roles and playing the Joker in The Dark Knight was no exception. He struggled to sleep, averaging only two hours a night, as his mind remained active. Ledger mentioned taking Ambien pills to help him sleep, but even those left him in a restless state. Prior to returning to New York City in January 2008, Ledger complained to his co-star Christopher Plummer about ongoing sleep difficulties and resorted to taking pills. Plummer later revealed that Ledger had been dealing with respiratory issues, possibly walking pneumonia, and was self-medicating to cope with insomnia. Michelle Williams, Ledger's former partner, confirmed his chronic struggle with insomnia and described him as having an abundance of energy and an incessantly active mind. While reports of substance abuse and drug use surrounded Ledger, his publicist denied the accuracy of such claims after his tragic death in 2008.

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