Author Topic: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...  (Read 126187 times)

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #120 on: February 08, 2008, 03:22:59 am »
Lang reflects on Ledger
George Lang talks to Angi Bruss about his last interview with the late Heath Ledger.

Includes some audio of the interview.  Lang says that, even when he went back after Heath died and listened to the tape, he could find no clue that this tragedy was going to happen.

http://www.newsok.tv/?bctid=1409013936&bclid=932553089

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #121 on: February 08, 2008, 06:40:30 am »
Neighbors shocked by Ledger's death
BY ROBERT DOMINGUEZ
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, January 26th 2008, 3:09 AM
 
Ledger, who plays The Joker in The Dark Knight, became a bona fide New Yorker who shunned the spotlight and seemingly found peace in Brooklyn.
Heath Ledger became an actor in his native Australia, found fame in Hollywood and earned an Oscar nomination for playing a gay ranch hand from Wyoming.
But in the last years of his life, the 28-year-old co-star of "Brokeback Mountain" became a bona fide New Yorker who shunned the spotlight and seemingly found peace in Brooklyn.
Ledger, found dead Tuesday in a SoHo apartment, had been living a low-key life in Brooklyn's chic Boerum Hill neighborhood up until his split late last summer from Michelle Williams, his longtime girlfriend and "Brokeback" co-star.
Before settling down with Williams, Ledger had relationships with actresses Heather Graham and Naomi Watts.
Stunned neighbors remembered Ledger as a "down-to-Earth guy" who loved to hang out at the area's bookstores, eat fish dishes in trendy Smith St. restaurants and sip coffee in hip little shops like Cafe Nova on Court St.
He was often seen skateboarding or strolling along the area's quiet streets with Williams and their 2-year-old daughter, Matilda.
"It's just so shocking to hear," said Zack Zook, 23, whose family owns BookCourt, a bookstore on Court St., in Cobble Hill, where Ledger used to come in with his family.
"He was a wonderful gentleman. He was a really nice, down-to-Earth guy," said Zook, who last saw Ledger in late summer. "He was friendly, like a real person."
At Saul, a Smith St. restaurant a few blocks away from the couple's Hoyt St. townhouse, staffers said Ledger never put on celebrity airs.
"Just a nice guy, straightforward, very polite," said Robert Darch, 46, a waiter-bartender at the restaurant.
"He once turned me onto a nonalcoholic drink - lemon-lime bitters. He came in and ordered them and told me how to make them. He actually offered to give me a taste of his."
Ledger, who moved into Boerum Hill in 2005 after meeting Williams on the "Brokeback" set, actively opposed the proposed $3.5 billion Atlantic Yards development project that threatened to change the face of the neighborhood - one he'd come to cherish.
"I like everything," he said in an interview. "I adore it. I love my neighbors and the coffee shop down the road. We're left [alone] there to live. That's the thing in New York City: You're protected by numbers in a way, particularly Brooklyn."
Following his breakup last year with Williams, Ledger left the borough and was living in downtown Manhattan between working on such movies as "The Dark Knight," a Batman film in which he plays the Caped Crusader's archenemy, the Joker.
Ledger quickly became linked to a slew of starlets and models after the split, including Helena Christensen, Kate Hudson and Lindsay Lohan. His last flame was 20-year-old Aussie supermodel Gemma Ward, who is from Ledger's hometown of Perth.
Heathcliff Andrew Ledger was born in Perth, Western Australia. His mother, Sally, was a French teacher; his father, Kim, was a racecar driver and mining engineer.
Ledger quit school at 16 to become an actor and was soon cast as a gay cyclist in an Australian TV series, "Sweat."
He made his film debut in "Blackrock," a 1997 Aussie movie. Two years later, he co-starred in a U.S.-made teen comedy, "10 Things I Hate About You."
Hollywood took notice when he was cast as Mel Gibson's strong-willed son in the 2000 American Revolutionary War drama "The Patriot."
Ledger followed that with memorable roles in such films as "Monster's Ball," "The Order" and the adventure-romance "A Knight's Tale."
He became an A-lister in 2005, when Ledger played 1960s sheepherder Ennis Del Mar in "Brokeback Mountain." The controversial film - Ledger's stoic character falls in love with a cowboy played by Jake Gyllenhaal - garnered Ledger an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
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http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2008/01/23/2008-01-23_neighbors_shocked_by_ledgers_death.html

Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #122 on: February 08, 2008, 06:23:24 pm »
URL: http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/18355273/heath_ledger_1979_8211_2008

Rollingstone.com

Heath Ledger (1979 – 2008)
A tribute to the reluctant star, whose finest roles eerily mimicked his all-too-short life

David Lipsky

Posted Feb 08, 2008 9:00 AM


He arrived onscreen looking windy and fresh, as if he'd just blown in from someplace else. His face just missed being pretty; there was the tiny, precise mouth, but also the mulish neck and shoulders and then the rich tobacco roll of the voice. He became a locus of passionate admiration, the senior you hoped to be as a freshman. Two days after Heath Ledger's death, at the age of twenty-eight, Daniel Day-Lewis halted an appearance in the confessional of Oprah. "I'm sorry … it just seems somehow strange to be talking about anything else," the actor said. "I didn't know him. I have an impression, a strong impression, that I would have liked him very much, as a man, if I had."

We count on our performers for many things — as demonstrators of excellence, as figures of monstrous envy — but we rarely expect to feel luckier than they are, and never anticipate they will leave without a speech. Friends tell me they can't stop thinking about Ledger; none can explain why, some apologize for the absurdity, in a nation at war, to find this outpouring of sympathy and shock directed towards one man. But stars embody our dream lives. They're who we intend to be, once we get the job stuff settled, find the person we'll love, once the shooting is over and we're finally at home. Stars embody one quality; that's what makes them stars. And Ledger was a star in a very particular way. To stare at him — and in theaters and living rooms, we stare with an intensity we exercise nowhere else — was to receive a sense of capacity, power, and potential, a kind of perfectly vivid health and youth. That's why his death feels wrong, and why the response has felt primitive, tribal. It means youth and vitality aren't enough. It's like losing a season.

The story moved swiftly, with unpredictable reversals of field. A massage therapist discovered his body on a Tuesday afternoon, face down in his Manhattan bedroom. By evening, the named culprit was recreational drugs, an overdose; pills were reported strewn by his bedside. By Wednesday, these turned out to be prescription medications, neatly stowed in bottles and foil wrap and a rolled-up bill had been inspected and cleared of charges. The substances were Xanax, Valium and Ambien, which made Ledger's bedroom just like a thousand others in downtown Manhattan, home of the anxious, the ambitious, the sleepless. There was the sight of Michelle Williams — his ex-fiancée, mother of his daughter, Matilda — in a car bound for the airport, resembling a first lady in mourning. (Arriving in Brooklyn, what stuck was not the pale blue lightning of the digital cameras, but the sight of chauffeurs and bodyguards fishing into the passenger cab for her daughter's stuffed animals and toys.) There was his family expressing their regrets, in front of a sunny suburban house and lawn that looked shockingly ordinary. At Sundance, premieres were canceled, in Hollywood, studio statements were released. By the weekend, New York Police were speculating that the medications had accidentally bonded into a kind of cocktail that stopped Ledger's heart. Gossip columnists darkly hinted of hard partying, of stories to come that would "make our collective hair stand on end," and a People magazine obituary issue was like a tone poem on the single word "excess." ("He was trying to lead a healthy life," a friend told the magazine. "But sometimes he went to excess.") Outside the Screen Actors Guild Awards, fringe evangelicals picketed, because Ledger had once portrayed a homosexual cowboy. The last most people saw of him was in a zippered black bag, wheeling into an ambulance, with its sad little bumps for his feet and head.

Ledger grew up in Perth, Western Australia — "the most isolated city," he told me, "in the world." His father designed and drove race cars, mother taught French, and Ledger offered something of their mix, the rugged and the cultural. He wanted to act, could not cast himself in the role of student — "I had a problem with authority" — and at sixteen he drove to Sydney with less than an Australian dollar in his pocket. It was already a life of bold strokes, simple and large movements and changes of scenery; a life from a movie.

When it happens, it happens fast. Ledger's Hollywood career began a year before George Bush's election, and did not outlast his presidency. In 1999, Ledger took the lead boyfriend role in the high school comedy 10 Things I Hate About You, where his appearance was gently disorienting, as if Sean Connery had been aged down and cast in a John Hughes picture. For a year, he refused other high school roles; one of his talents was for pausing at the right moment, sitting still, and waiting for situations to develop in his favor. He played Mel Gibson's son in The Patriot. Then he was cast to carry the medieval drama A Knight’s Tale. He was twenty-one. His body still had a kid's loose, unstringed movements, but it was clear he would become a star. There was the big frontal block of the smile, lines racing up from his chin to his ears; when he smiled, his face fanned brutal and turned warn; it was a great, manly smile, a smile that commanded.

The second part of Ledger's career was a reaction to that picture: he'd glimpsed the highway being paved ahead of him, the career he was being given; he stood up in the middle of a studio marketing meeting, locked himself in a bathroom. "It was a full-on anxiety attack," he said. "I was hitting my head, hitting the walls." From there, he steered his own course, towards darker movies, chillier commercial prospects. He meant to scrape away the star's glossy coating, replace it with the raw, flexible skin of an actor. "I wanted to take the blond out of my career," he said, "kill the direction it was going. I was like, 'How am I going to make this a career I would like to have?' "

Four years later, from the uplands of award nominations and Brokeback Mountain, having acted with directors Lasse Hallstrü m, Terry Gilliam, Ang Lee, he looked back at the moment with satisfaction. He'd stepped in, and piloted own life. "I just felt like I earned it, like I deserved it more, you know? And I sleep better that way."

"Well, that's very important," I said.

"Yeah, it is," he said. "Absolutely. You die young …"

Off-set, he clomped around in big boots and a hoodie, hands kangarooed in the pocket; interviewed, he kept on his sunglasses, to subtly maintain a private world, a kind of eye Kevlar. Celebrity was impractical, was what the clothes said. He hadn't accommodated himself to the deal, with its pluses and minuses: you sell the media slices of private life,in exchange for set time and the immense freedoms of the salary. Profiles began to circle around the same words: wary, restless. (A London Times writer, who interviewed him on six occasions, wrote simply that Ledger had "worried himself to death.") He couldn't seem to disengage; the inexactness bothered him. "For you or anyone sitting here to really know me," he explained to me, "you'd have to sit here for a year, it would take that much time for me to explain it."

He approached his own work with the same hardness; he did not, he said, class himself an artist, and never believed he'd been good. "I always want to pull myself apart and dissect it." Accepting a part, "I always go through the process of hating it, hating myself, thinking I've fooled them, I can’t actually do this." Leger had no formal training, and there's this to be said for acting school: it teaches you to approach a role as foreign, as a language you'll temporarily speak. Ledger didn't appear to have that. He needed to dig for (and inhabit) the part of himself that was the character. "Performance comes from absolutely believing what you're doing," he said. "You convince yourself, and believe in the story with all your heart." It didn't always shut off when a production did, and I think it ground him. Finishing Brokeback, he immediately flew to Venice, and Casanova. "I don't think I could have just gone home and not worked, to unwind from it," Ledger told me. "I would have just sat there and kind of slowly beat my head against the wall, until it went away."

On the Brokeback Mountain set, he'd began a relationship with Michelle Williams, his onscreen wife. They had a daughter — "we just fell very deeply into one another's arms, our bodies made those decisions for us"— bought a Brooklyn townhouse. A year later, Ledger told reporters he felt as content as he'd ever been. "When you're this happy," he said, "everything seems to fall into place."

The story his best movies tell is a unified story, in chapters, about connection and someone learning how to be. In the Australian drama Candy — playing a heroin addict, with all of a successful addicts sly, soft corruption — the story was about what happens when you transform other people into the means to a destination. Casanova was about how to shift from being a lover — which is abstract and general — and push ahead with the business of actually loving one person. Brokeback Mountain warned of the life where you refuse love, the costs everyone around you must pay. In I'm Not There, he played a man who had — like himself when the film was released — for reasons he could not explain but could not correct, lost his lover, family and home. As The Joker in next summer's The Dark Knight, he will appear as a man severed from all connection. A "psychopathic, mass-murdering clown with zero empathy," is how he described it to the New York Times. On set, Michael Caine said the performance sometimes turned so frightening he forgot his own lines.

When Ledger and Williams split last September, the explanation appeared to be drug use. Ledger took an apartment in SoHo and missed his daughter. Sleep became a problem. "I need to do something with this head because sometimes I just don't sleep, it just keeps ticking." He talked medications, telling the Times he was managing about two hours a night. On an evening when one Ambien didn’t do the job, he swallowed a second, passed out, came to an hour later, head still whirring. On his last film set, co-star Christopher Plummer reported that Ledger didn't seem to be sleeping at all. Among the saddest images of the past month is Ledger, forty-eight hours before his death, alone at a late-night bar, hoodie hiked up, drinking through the mouth-hole of a ski mask.

It’s been a time of tributes. Todd Haynes, his director on I'm Not There, paid Ledger the compliment he denied himself: "Heath was a true artist." He added, "This is an unimaginable tragedy." Ang Lee, who won the director's Academy Award for Brokeback, said "Working with Heath was one of the purest joys of my life … His death is heartbreaking." Dark Knight director Chris Nolan wrote about "charisma — as invisible and natural as gravity. That's what Heath had … I've never felt as old as I did watching Heath explore his talents." At press time, the New York Police Department has yet to settle on an official cause of death, but in a sense it's right there in front of us. Ledger made great demands on his heart — romantically, professionally, personally, physically. And in the end, his heart said "No."

From Issue No. 1046, February 21, 2008
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Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #123 on: February 08, 2008, 06:55:58 pm »

At press time, the New York Police Department has yet to settle on an official cause of death, but in a sense it's right there in front of us. Ledger made great demands on his heart — romantically, professionally, personally, physically. And in the end, his heart said "No."


 :'(
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


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and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

yb

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #124 on: February 08, 2008, 07:36:18 pm »
More from Daniel Day-Lewis:

Day-Lewis slams media 'circus' around Ledger death
[09 Feb 2008]

BERLIN (AFP)

British-born film star Daniel Day-Lewis blasted the media "circus" Friday surrounding the death of Heath Ledger after his moving dedication of a top award to the Australian actor last month.

Day-Lewis, 50, who was at the Berlin Film Festival, where his new picture "There Will Be Blood" is in competition, said the round-the-clock coverage was only compounding the grief of Ledger's family.

Asked about the tribute he made at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards in Los Angeles on January 27 when he picked up the best actor prize, Day-Lewis said he was wary of speaking out publicly about Ledger again.

"I'm reluctant to talk about it now. As much as I was glad to have a chance to say something in that moment, I now feel...there's plenty more I could say but I'm not just fuelling a fire that's already out of control," he said.

"His family, for instance, at this moment, are trying to suffer the unimaginable grief in the full scrutiny of a fucking circus and anything that I say is going probably to just contribute even more to that because it keeps the story running and running and running and running."

He said he hoped the focus would return to appreciation of Ledger's performances.

"There will come a time eventually when people just remember that he was a beautiful man who did some wonderful work and we have seen great things from him," he said.
A memorial to actor Heath Ledger is seen outside his apartment building

"And right now I can't say I'm too enthusiastic about adding more fodder to what's already just a horrendously, seamy, overblown machine that's gathered around his death. It's horrible."

The New York chief medical examiner's office released a toxicology report Wednesday showing that Ledger, 28, died of accidental intoxication caused by painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs.

In the SAG acceptance speech, Day-Lewis said the Australian's performances -- in particular his role in the 2005 gay cowboy drama "Brokeback Mountain"-- had deeply inspired him.


http://servihoo.com/Aujourdhui/kinews/afp_details.php?id=190816&CategoryID=74

Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #125 on: February 09, 2008, 06:22:40 am »
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d963b506-d5da-11dc-bbb2-0000779fd2ac.html

Heartbreak mountain
By Harry Eyres
Published: February 9 2008 00:20 | Last updated: February 9 2008 00:20



Sometimes a premature passing hits you hard. So it was for me, and I guess many thousands of others, with the sudden death of the actor Heath Ledger at 28. I did not know Ledger and my acquaintance with his work was limited to a single screen performance but his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain was so moving, so astonishingly mature, that it seemed the start of one of the truly great movie acting careers.

This wasn’t at all like watching James Dean, who never had a chance to grow up, in Rebel Without a Cause. This was marvelling at a 25-year-old charting the course of a many-chaptered life, from prudish inexperience through passion, marriage, fatherhood and a strange kind of accepting calm. I’m not sure there has ever been anything quite like it. The comparison that comes to my mind is not James Dean but Franz Schubert. Ang Lee himself, in a most affecting tribute, said that Ledger’s Ennis was “not just remarkable but a kind of miracle”. Working with Ledger had been one of the purest joys of his life – his death was “heartbreaking”, said Lee.

The word was chosen with precision, not the usual looseness with which we speak of breaking hearts.

Heartbreaking was not just Ledger’s death but the life and the work. The point of Ennis Del Mar is that he breaks hearts; not just the heart of Jack Twist (in any other film Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance would have captured every honour) but that of his wife Alma (the superb Michelle Williams) and his girlfriend Cassie.

Cold, callous and cynical are adjectives often applied to those who break hearts; Shakespeare describes such chilly fish best, in sonnet 74: “They that have power to hurt and will do none/ That do not do the thing they most do show/ Who, moving others, are themselves as stone/ Unmoved, cold and to temptation slow.” But Ennis Del Mar is not one of those cold heartbreakers. What makes him both irresistible and devastating is the depth of baffled tenderness in him; the love that he can only fitfully express in his relationship with Jack Twist but that shines through at the end of the film in his relationship with his daughter Alma Jr (yet another magnificent performance, in this film with no dud notes, from Kate Mara).

Ennis is one of those people who, for all sorts of reasons, are opaque to themselves. This is what Heath Ledger so marvellously conveys, in his slow-burning, laconic performance: a man struggling over the course of a whole life to come to terms, not so much with his sexuality (I do not see this only as a gay film but more universally as a film about blocked love) as with his tremendous need for love and, ultimately, with his ability to give love.

“He brought to the role of Ennis”, said Ang Lee, “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.”

What is heartbreaking, then, about Ennis, is his ultimately futile resistance to all those things which Ledger knew and had to express beneath the surface of Ennis’s taciturnity. Ennis, unlike Jack, is afraid of heartbreak. In this he resembles another Shakespeare character, opaque to himself (“he ever but slenderly knew himself”) and fearful of emotional shattering (“this heart/ Shall break into a hundred thousands flaws/ Or ere I’ll weep”). But for all his resistance and fear, Lear too must suffer heartbreak, and breakdown, before he reaches the heartbreaking acknowledgement of his love for Cordelia, and for his “poor Fool”.

In tragedies such as King Lear, the acknowledgment of love comes too late. The full acknowledgement of the depth and power of Ennis’s love for Jack comes too late for Jack. But it does come, in the scene near the end of the movie in which Ennis goes to visit Jack’s parents to collect his ashes. It is a scene directed and acted with Ang Lee’s trademark combination of decorous restraint and overwhelming emotional power.

All is conveyed through the subtlest of gestures and changes of expression: the hand on the shoulder and the smile of kindness and comprehension on the face of Roberta Maxwell’s Mrs Twist; Ennis’s expression when he sees Jack’s blood-stained jacket.

Finally, you feel, Ennis’s heart is well and truly broken. And the broken-hearted Ennis will no longer be violent and uncomprehending in the face of love.

The message of King Lear, and of Brokeback Mountain, is that we must all have our hearts broken. In some strange way, these profound works do not merely convey but also enact that message; they perform a homeopathic heartbreak that leaves us miraculously breathing, more deeply and richly than before.

If only Heath Ledger had not had to break our hearts again, in a room in Manhattan, not a film-set or a stage.

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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #126 on: February 09, 2008, 06:42:12 am »
Thank you, Bruce.  Wonderful.

yb

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #127 on: February 09, 2008, 09:57:01 am »
Bruce, thanks so much for finding this article by Harry Eyres.  Heartbreaking, indeed.


Offline TOoP/Bruce

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #128 on: February 09, 2008, 10:06:57 am »
Samrim in the UK posted it on the IMDb BbM board (thanks, mate!). 

It's from the Financial Times. 

I thought it was one of the best tributes to Heath I've seen written yet.
Former IMDb Name: True Oracle of Phoenix / TOoP (I pronounce it "too - op") / " in fire forged,  from ash reborn" / Currently: GeorgeObliqueStrokeXR40

yb

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #129 on: February 09, 2008, 10:17:02 am »
This, and the one written by Christopher Nolan, are among the best tributes.