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Heath Ledger

Heath LedgerAKA Heath Andrew Ledger

Born: 4-Apr-1979
Birthplace: Perth, Australia
Died: 22-Jan-2008
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: Accident - Overdose [1]
Remains: Cremated, Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth, Australia

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: Australia
Executive summary: Brokeback Mountain

Heath Ledger always enjoyed acting in school plays, and was usually cast in the lead. At the age of 10 he volunteered with a local theater company, and at 16 he landed his first professional role in Blackrock, a dead-serious Australian movie about rape and its aftermath. At 17 he played a gay cyclist on Sweat, a down-under TV series about elite athletes. He said he wanted that role because there were so few gays on television, he figured he could get some attention if he did the role justice. And he did. On the strength of Sweat, he was offered Roar, an action-adventure series for America's Fox TV in 1997, with a pre-Felicity Keri Russell as the princess who loved him. True to the show's title, Ledger, playing a fifth-century Celtic prince seeking vengeance for his brother's murder, would roar before going into battle, but the show went out with a whimper in less than two months.

He was still virtually unknown in America when he played a young lad with a shady past in 10 Things I Hate About You, but established himself as a rising star swashbuckling in A Knight's Tale. In Monster's Ball he played Billy Bob Thornton's vomiting, suicidal son, and in Brokeback Mountain he played the manly ranch hand who herds sheep with Jake Gyllenhaal. He met Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain, and they lived together in Brooklyn for about two years, separating just months before Ledger's death. Gyllenhaal is their daughter's godfather.

[1] Ellen Borakove, spokesman for the New York City Medical Examiner's Office, released a statement on 6 February 2008: "Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine... We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications."

Father: Kim Ledger (mining engineer)
Mother: Sally Ramshaw (divorced Kim Ledger 1989)
Father: Roger Bell (stepfather, married to Ledger's mother)
Mother: Emma Brown (stepmother, married to Ledger's father)
Sister: Catherine Ledger ("Kate", stage actress)
Sister: Olivia Ledger (half-sister, b. circa 1997)
Sister: Ashleigh Bell (half-sister, b. circa 1989)
Lisa Zane (actress, dated 1997-98)
Girlfriend: Christina Cauchi (model, dated 2000, 2001)
Girlfriend: Heather Graham (actress, dated 2000 to 2001)
Girlfriend: Naomi Watts (actress, dated 2002 to 2004)
Girlfriend: Michelle Williams (actress, cohabited and engaged 2005-07, one daughter)
Daughter: Matilda Rose Ledger (b. 28-Oct-2005, with Williams)
Girlfriend: Gemma Ward (model-actress, dated 2007-08)
Girlfriend: Mary-Kate Olsen (actress, dated 2007-08)

    High School: Guildford Grammar School, East Guildford, Australia

    Oscar for Best Supporting Actor 2009 for The Dark Knight
    Risk Factors: Smoking, Marijuana

    Roar Conor (1997-2000)
    Home and Away Scott Irwin (1997)
    Sweat Snowy Bowles (1996)

    The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (22-May-2009) · Tony
    The Dark Knight (16-Jul-2008)
    I'm Not There (3-Sep-2007)
    Candy (15-Feb-2006)
    Casanova (3-Sep-2005)
    Brokeback Mountain (2-Sep-2005) · Ennis Del Mar
    The Brothers Grimm (29-Jul-2005)
    Lords of Dogtown (3-Jun-2005) · Skip
    The Order (5-Sep-2003) · Alex
    Ned Kelly (22-Mar-2003) · Ned Kelly
    The Four Feathers (8-Sep-2002)
    Monster's Ball (11-Nov-2001) · Sonny Grotowski
    A Knight's Tale (8-Mar-2001) · William
    The Patriot (27-Jun-2000) · Gabriel Martin
    Two Hands (29-Jul-1999) · Jimmy
    10 Things I Hate About You (31-Mar-1999) · Patrick Verona
    Paws (25-Sep-1997)
    Blackrock (1-May-1997)

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