Author Topic: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...  (Read 126527 times)

Offline Kelda

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Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« on: January 23, 2008, 04:28:22 pm »
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Offline Kelda

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2008, 04:28:37 pm »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/22/AR2008012202890.html?hpid=topnews

 

A Rough-Edged Actor Who Carved An Indelible Image

 

By Hank Stuever

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 23, 2008; Page C01

A young movie star dies and the mind automatically cues up the clip reel and FFs through the footage, even before it occurs to you to simply turn on the television and just watch the actual, endless loop:

Here is Heath Ledger -- fresh and hunky and unknown -- singing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and dancing on the school stadium bleachers in a teen flick adaptation of Shakespeare ("10 Things I Hate About You," a reworking of "The Taming of the Shrew"). Here is Heath Ledger caressing that empty, soiled cowboy shirt kept by his dead lover in "Brokeback Mountain." And Heath Ledger as one of the Bob Dylans in "I'm Not There," in sunglasses and a dour expression, one of the Bob Dylans who were impossible to be around.

A sneak peek of Heath Ledger from this summer's upcoming Batman movie as the Joker, fully unhinged, erasing in a few seconds any ownership Jack Nicholson may have claimed to that role. Working backward now, here is Heath Ledger in period pieces, wooing women or fighting in the Revolution. Heath Ledger in a knighthood fantasy, with swords. Heath Ledger as the unhappy prison guard in "Monster's Ball" who shoots himself in front of his father . . .

Edit that, rewind, start again:

Video suddenly from someone's phone of the curious crowd that gathered in the early evening yesterday, the gawkers and stalkers in all of us, at the SoHo apartment where Ledger was found dead at 28 by the housekeeper and the massage therapist. He was naked in a bed, with prescription sleeping pills reportedly found nearby -- fame's tragic tableau mort. Next we carry him to the gauzy and reverential place we reserve for such men: James Dean in a roadster on the highway, River Phoenix at a nightclub.

There can only be so many articles about a young actor's understatement, about his steeliness and cool. These always go with pictures of him in $400 jeans. Here you had a man who got a decent chance at everything a young actor could hope for, starting from Australian TV and leading to an Academy Award nomination for "Brokeback Mountain" -- a part that, by conventional Hollywood wisdom, had just as much potential to kill a leading man's career.

Had he lived to old age, Ledger would have never stopped hearing "I wish I knew how to quit you" jokes, the line uttered by his co-star Jake Gyllenhaal in "Brokeback Mountain." MTV gave the two of them the "best kiss" prize at its movie awards show. What got lost in all that is how good the movie was, and how good Ledger was as Ennis Del Mar, the pent-up ranch hand with a broken heart. (Really it was a role about not talking, about the unsaid. Easier said than done.)

Some of Ledger's movies worked, and many of them did not, but all along, a viewer could sense that he went about the craft with almost too much seriousness, with pain. In almost every interview he downplayed celebrityhood, tried to deny its meaning and place in his life, shrugged the usual serious-actor shrugs -- often while lighting his cigarette, creating a mood of nonchalance. Just a couple of years ago he and his pretty girlfriend moved to the pretty part of Brooklyn and had a pretty baby girl. People (the magazine, and actual people) followed them everywhere. They broke up, and it seemed like a shame, though what sort of shame you can never quite say: Ours? Theirs?

Despite the initial huzzah and marketing by Ledger's publicists -- the Vanity Fair cover eight years ago and the expert chiseling that goes along with that -- the heartthrob thing never clicked for Ledger. He worked another angle, something that is sometimes called "smoldering" when writers are out of ways to describe it. It looked like it was a chore for him to be cute. "He's handsome, but not in a traditional sort of way," Shekhar Kapur, who directed Ledger in the 2002 drama "Four Feathers," said about the actor to The Washington Post. "He's a bit craggy, but he's very, very sexy."

Craggy sexy. That was it, and perhaps that was all of it. Craggy sexy is not a lot of smiles and fashion spreads. The result of craggy sexy is that a certain niche of fans winds up swooning, writing letters of adulatory praise to Entertainment Weekly, but not as many people who opt for the more mainstream definition of sexy. Those people like Brad Pitt.

In public, Ledger kept dirtying up, dressing down, adding tattoos, chain-smoking, letting his hair get long and greasy. (Message: I don't care about that kind of thing. Message: Only the art matters.)

But like all of them -- all of these craggy sexy serious actors in search of a good part -- he cleaned up good. The lasting photo is of him in a tuxedo, making his way down the red carpet in 2006 with his then-girlfriend, Michelle Williams. They'd met on the set of "Brokeback Mountain." They'd just had the baby a few months before, and named her Matilda. In the carpet moment, Williams is in curry yellow Vera Wang chiffon. The couple do their best to fulfill all the requirements of the carpet, talking optimistically and proudly about his nomination for Best Actor, and also talking about nothing, and looking great.

He didn't win. Hours later, at the Vanity Fair party at Morton's in Beverly Hills, he was drinking with friends. People stood near him and just watched him. It was Ledger, Williams and Jake Gyllenhaal. It was Gyllenhaal's talented sister, Maggie, and her fiance, the un-craggy, heavy-lidded Peter Sarsgaard.

We hovered around them and tried to overhear their conversation. Soon enough they all drew closer and shut everyone out with their body language. They formed an impenetrable circle of young Hollywood cool.

 
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Offline Kelda

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2008, 04:31:32 pm »
http://www.cinematical.com/2008/01/22/cinematical-remembers-heath-ledger

inematical's staff would like to take a moment to share our thoughts on Heath Ledger, who passed away today after an apparent overdose.


Although Heath Ledger's best known film to date is Brokeback Mountain, my favorite of his films was Candy, in which he starred opposite fellow Australian Abbie Cornish. His performance in Candy, as an artist and heroin addict in a mutually destructive relationship with Cornish's nice middle-class girl, was so riveting and raw, and it's one of those fest films that I've thought about often since I saw it. Like most everyone who's here working Sundance, I was deeply shocked by the news of his tragic death today. He touched us through his films, and we are saddened by the loss of his life, and the films he would have made in the future. His family, especially his young daughter Matilda, will be in our thoughts and prayers.

-Kim Voynar

My original feeling about Heath Ledger -- after films like The Patriot, A Knight's Tale, and 10 Things I Hate About You -- was that he was yet another handsome and likable matinee idol ... but not much more than that. But over the last several years, I was proven wrong ... several times. My favorite performance of his was the lead role in the underrated Casanova -- and I'll be giving that film a second spin as soon as I get home from Sundance. He was a very fine actor who clearly took a lot of pride in his work, and I believe that the movie world has just lost a good soul. My heart goes out to his friends, his family, his fans, and also to the departed Heath Ledger; (If his death is ruled a suicide) I'm deeply sorry that he was so unhappy. (Regardless of the reason for the actor's death, it's a stunning tragedy.)

-Scott Weinberg

Like most young actors, Heath Ledger starred in his share of mediocre movies, yet he always appeared to take his work seriously, giving solid, professional performances regardless of the project. He knew he had to pay his dues before he got the prestige projects -- and when prestige finally arrived in the form of Brokeback Mountain, he was prepared for it. I had occasion to re-watch the last 20 minutes of that film just last week, and I was struck again by how much he does with so little. There are no tantrums or obvious "Oscar-bait" scenes. The character is reserved and unemotional; somehow, Ledger managed to convey so much about him anyway. He was a talented actor, and his death is a blow to the film community.

-Eric D. Snider

Many people finally came to respect Heath Ledger after his Oscar-nominated performance in Brokeback Mountain. But I honestly became a fan after 10 Things I Hate About You, a Shakespeare-inspired teen comedy that deserves a lot more credit than it receives. Ledger was a great actor, because he could do just about any kind of movie well. After 10 Things, he could have simply been a heartthrob. After The Patriot, a movie I guiltily admit I enjoy a lot, he could have easily gone further into action territory. And in The Brothers Grimm, he showed
us that he had a decent knack for comedy, too. Even when everybody in the blogosphere was shocked to hear he'd be playing The Joker in The Dark Knight, he proved that he had the goods to pull it off. Now his performance in the Batman sequel is one of the most eagerly anticipated of the year. After watching the recently released trailer, I even felt like he could be nominated for a second Oscar for the role. It could still happen, I guess, but it won't be as exciting without Ledger himself to accept the honor.

-Christopher Campbell

When Monika sent me an Instant Message with the news, it hit me like a claw hammer to the forehead. I knew she wouldn't joke about something like that, but, on a day of supreme cinematic reflective self-love, as the indie world obsesses over a snowy resort town in Utah, as Hollywood celebrates nominees for an award that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, it's very sobering. Heath Ledger wasn't my favorite actor, but he was definitely one to watch, and the thought that his light has been extinguished at such a young age, leaving behind a young daughter ... it's so sad it makes me want to cry, and I never cry about celebrities.

-Peter Martin
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Offline Kelda

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2008, 04:33:12 pm »
In quotes: Heath Ledger tributes


Tributes have been paid to actor Heath Ledger, who was found dead in his New York apartment on Tuesday.

Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life but few had the pleasure of truly knowing him.

He was a down to earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving, unselfish individual who was extremely inspirational to many.
Heath Ledger's father Kim

It is tragic that we have lost one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life. Heath Ledger's diverse and challenging roles will be remembered as some of the great performances by an Australian actor.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Working with Heath was one of the purest joys of my life. He brought to the role of Ennis more than any of us could have imagined - a thirst for life, for love, and for truth, and a vulnerability that made everyone who knew him love him. His death is heartbreaking.
Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee

I adored him. I don't know how to compare his talent to others but he's touched me deeply as a talent and it's a great loss - losing him at any age would be a loss but it was pretty rough news. I was really shocked by it.
John Travolta

I had such great hope for him. He was just taking off and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
Mel Gibson

What a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Heath's family.
Nicole Kidman

I am shocked and very saddened by the news. I deeply respected Heath's work and always admired his continuing development as an artist. My thoughts are with his family and close friends.
Cate Blanchett

I think Tennyson got it right in the poem when he described someone as having died at a young age but burning the candles at both ends, and oh what a beautiful flame he made, that was Heath, what a beautiful flame he made and a great talent.

My heart goes out to everyone in his family and my family. The saddest thing is his daughter whom he just loved
dearly.
Larry Williams - ex-partner Michelle Williams' father

That's terrible. Drugs today... when we stopped taking drugs, they started. It is just an epidemic. I am sorry to hear that. He was a great talent.
Dennis Hopper

It's really, really sad. I hope his family is okay. I wish them the best.
Charlize Theron

The studio is stunned and devastated by this tragic news. The entertainment community has lost an enormous talent. Heath was a brilliant actor and an exceptional person. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.
Warner Bros president Alan Horn and studio president Jeff Robinov

He made a decision about four years ago to stop being led by producers and managers and to forge his own way. He started working with the most interesting directors. He was so successful at breaking out of the teen idol image.
Neil Armfield, who directed Ledger in his last Australian film, Candy

I worked on the same film and I never met him - we were never on the same set. This is as much news to me as anybody and it affects me in the same way.
Morgan Freeman, co-star in Dark Knight

I went through a similar thing with River Phoenix in the fact that he was so young. It's a real tragedy when someone so talented dies because you don't know on the early part of their career what more they could offer us.
Director Rob Reiner


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/entertainment/7204267.stm

Published: 2008/01/23 18:26:18 GMT

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Offline Kelda

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2008, 04:34:04 pm »
 Obituary: Heath Ledger
By Ian Youngs
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Heath Ledger's life
Actor Heath Ledger, who has been found dead at the age of 28, was regarded as one of Hollywood's brightest young stars, with a string of acclaimed films behind him and a major career ahead.

The death of such an admired star at such a young age will cause huge shock among fans, the media and the movie industry.

He shot onto the A list less than three years ago with a lead role in the universally acclaimed Brokeback Mountain, which proved he could shine in emotionally challenging roles as well as comedies and action films.

He played the inarticulate and volatile ranch hand Ennis, who became romantically entangled with a rodeo cowboy, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, in 1960s Wyoming.

It earned him Oscar, Golden Globe and Bafta nominations.

E Annie Proulx, who wrote the story upon which the movie was based, said: "He was so visceral. How did this actor get inside my head so well? He understood more about the character than I did."

   
HEATH LEDGER'S TOP FILMS
Batman - The Dark Knight (2008)
I'm Not There (2007)
Brokeback Mountain (2005, above left)
The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Ned Kelly (2003)
Monster's Ball (2001)
A Knight's Tale (2001)
The Patriot (2000)
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Two Hands (1999)
After Brokeback Mountain, Ledger was beginning to win blockbuster roles, and had just finished playing The Joker in the new Batman film The Dark Knight.

A recent trailer showed him playing the character as a sinister villain who proves a match for the superhero, played by Christian Bale.

"When we came to shoot the movie it was a physically and mentally draining role but I thoroughly enjoyed it and this is the most fun I've had with any character," he said.

Ledger was also thought to be in the middle of filming The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, a new fantasy movie with former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam.

Set and shot in modern London, it is the tale of a travelling theatre that takes the audience into a parallel universe.

He has also just been seen in I'm Not There, which saw six actors play characters based on Bob Dylan at different stages of his career.

Ledger said his character Robbie Clark focused on "Dylan's struggle with love and his marriage and divorce and family and balancing being in the media spotlight".

Ledger's other roles have included a heroin addict in Candy in 2006, Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm in 2005 and the title part in 2003's Ned Kelly.

He appeared alongside Halle Berry in the Oscar-winning Monster's Ball in 2001, starred in popcorn movie A Knight's Tale the same year, and was seen alongside Mel Gibson in The Patriot in 2000.

His Hollywood debut came in teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You and he starred in light-hearted Australian gangster flick Two Hands in 1999.

And like many Australian actors, he had cut his teeth in TV soaps, playing surfer Scott Irwin in Home and Away in 1997.

Ledger was not known as a hellraiser, but was said to have been uncomfortable with fame.

And the spotlight inevitably fell on him during the bad times as well as the good.

He was recently reported to have split from his fiancee Michelle Williams, whom he met when she played his wife in Brokeback Mountain.

They had a daughter, Matilda Rose, in October 2005, but were believed to have parted in late 2007.

Ledger was previously in a couple with another actress, Naomi Watts. Their relationship ended in 2004.

But he will be remembered for his film roles and after establishing himself as one of Hollywood's finest actors under 30, Ledger's life has ended just as his talent was beginning to be fulfilled.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/entertainment/7203904.stm

Published: 2008/01/23 01:56:16 GMT

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 04:37:54 pm »
This made me cry....  :'(

Ellen's tribute to Heath....

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20173248,00.html

Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 04:51:30 pm »
From People:

Ang Lee Calls Heath's Death 'Heartbreaking'

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 23, 2008 03:40 PM EST

Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee reflects fondly on working with Heath Ledger, calling the actor's untimely death "heartbreaking."

"Working with Heath was one of the purest joys of my life," the director says in a statement. "He brought to the role of Ennis [Del Mar] more than any of us could have imagined a thirst for life, for love, and for truth, and a vulnerability that made everyone who knew him love him. His death is heartbreaking."

Ledger was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for his role as Ennis Del Mar, a taciturn gay cowboy in the 2005 drama.

After completing the film in 2005, Lee spoke to PEOPLE about working on set with his leading man. "He understood the cowboy way, just in the way he posed, and his body language and how it developed over the course of the film," Lee said at the time.

The director also believed that Ledger understood and empathized with his character's darker elements. "He understood the shyness and vulnerability and isolation of the character," said Lee. "He really got that. And he did it while carrying the Western aura."

While praising Ledger's "great worth ethic," the director also opened up about the star's relationship with costar Michelle Williams, joking, "On the set I pushed him towards Jake [Gyllenhaal]. Maybe I pushed him too hard and he escaped out on the other side with Michelle."

"I think he will be a great father," Lee continued at the time, discussing the birth of Ledger's daughter Matilda, now 2-years-old. "It has overwhelmed him, much more than the movie has. He is enjoying every bit of it."

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20173296,00.html

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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2008, 04:54:26 pm »
also from People:

Dogtown Director: Heath Was Cast Leader


WEDNESDAY JANUARY 23, 2008 01:15 PM EST

By Brenda Rodriguez and Stephen M. Silverman

One director who worked with Heath Ledger remembers her young star as the leader of the pack.

"All the kids, the younger actors, loved him. He was kind of like the den father. He was like the scout leader," Catherine Hardwicke, director of 2005's Lords of Dogtown, about surfers and skateboarders in Venice, Calif., tells PEOPLE.

In the movie, Ledger played the character Skip, the owner of the board shop.

"We just had little tiny trailers on that movie and he set up, like, 'Camp Heath' out in front," remembers Hardwicke. "He had like umbrellas, tiki torches and lawn chairs so everybody could kind of hang out in between scenes and stuff. He was so cool. He would have the cast up to his house, have parties, he really made it into like a family and made everybody feel so good."

Warmly, Hardwicke adds: "You could feel his heart and his soul. He had so much heart. I think he was one of those rare people who could convey that on film. You could feel it from him. He was able to make you feel what he was feeling."

In a professional capacity, she said, "He was so creative. He would come every day and after he would get to hang out with Skip Englebom, who's the character he plays, the skateboard shop guy, he kind of got the feel of him. As soon as he got it, and got under his skin, then he would just be free and come in and do crazy, cool stuff we weren't even expecting."

In particular, she cites "a very dramatic scene, where he's losing the skateboard team that he built up. He said, 'Let me try something.' He walks out in the middle of the room in the middle of this party and just grabs this big surfboard and he just started swinging it around and all the actors were running out of the way. It's a really cool moment where he free flows, free styles."

Concludes the filmmaker, "On one level your heart is just broken for all the cool stuff we would have seen from Heath."

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20173234,00.html
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2008, 05:19:41 pm »
From People:

Ang Lee Calls Heath's Death 'Heartbreaking'


Thanks, Leslie. I've been wondering what Ang would have to say.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Kelda

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2008, 05:44:04 pm »
Anything from Jake?

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