15th Anniversary of Heath Ledger's Death: His Unforgettable Roles

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Writed by - Andy Gocker
  15th Anniversary of Heath Ledger's Death: Must-See Movies
His outstanding performance as the Joker in 'The Dark Knight' is by no means Heath Ledger's only milestone. © Warner Bros, SpotOn

The Australian actor Heath Ledger died on January 22, 2008 at the age of 28. He died from an accidental drug overdose . His tragic death caused dismay around the world. Today, Sunday, it is 15 years since the tragedy. What remains are his roles. These strips are still a must for film lovers today.

'The Dark Knight'

The role of the comic book villain Joker in Christopher Nolan (52) „ The Dark Knight ' (2008) changed his life forever. Heath Ledger prepared meticulously for it and is said to have been obsessed with the character. As a clown-like monster, he makes Batman ( Christian Bale , 48) life to hell. Ledger's performance is the highlight of the film, it gets under your skin and oozes with intensity. With the role of the highly intelligent psychopath, he posthumously won almost every award - including Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG Award. Among the numerous Joker actors in film history, his interpretation is still considered the best, even if joaquin phoenix (48) also received an Oscar for 'Joker' (2019).

'Brokeback Mountain'

  Jake Gyllenhaal (l) and Heath Ledger in a scene from the film"Brokeback Mountain" (undatiert). Der unkonventionelle Western hat am Dienstag (31.01.2006) in Los Angeles die meisten Oscar- Nominierungen erhalten. Der Film über eine Liebe zwischen zwei
The film 'Brokeback Mountain' received eight Oscar nominations. © picture-alliance/ dpa/dpaweb, dpa film Tobis

His first Oscar nomination earned him ' Brokeback Mountain (2005) in which Heath Ledger plays gay cowboy Ennis Del Mar. The director's drama film The Lee (68) is one of the best films of 2005. The film sparked a lively debate in the USA about whether a love affair between two cowboys should be shown at all. To this day, the gay movement celebrates the film as a taboo breaker and milestone. For Ledger, it was the final breakthrough in Hollywood. His and co-star's performances Jake Gyllenhaal (42) are particularly haunting and make the film very special.

'Knight out of passion'

  The victorious tournament rider William Thatcher (Heath Ledger) enjoys in the new movie"Ritter aus Leidenschaft" (Szenenfoto) die Zuneigung der hübschen Adligen Lady Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon). Der im 14. Jahrhundert aufgewachsene Sohn eines Dachdec
'A Knight's Tale' starring Heath Ledger © picture-alliance / dpa, dpa-Film Columbia

An unusual combination was the medieval comedy 'A Passion for Knights' (2001), in which Ledger embodied the squire William Thatcher. When his master Sir Hector dies in a tournament, the son of a roofer spontaneously grabs his armor and wins Competition in his stead, with only the nobility allowed to enter the competitions, however, William forges with his friends Roland (Mark Addy, 59) and Wat ( Alan Tudyk , 51) a plan how he could become a knight himself after Sir Hector's death. The medieval fun around knight tournaments and the heart of a fair maiden never takes itself too seriously. Elements from modern times are often woven into it. At the beginning of the film, for example, the entire tournament arena dances and claps to Queen's 'Will Will Rock You'.

'10 Things I Hate About You'

A Heath Ledger film has achieved cult status among teen comedies: In ' 10 things I hate about you ' (1999) he plays the outsider Patrick Verona. With long hair, cool clothes and cheeky sayings, he not only conquered the heart of Julia Stiles (41) in the storm. A must for any Heath Ledger fan and fans of the classic teen genre. In the comedy are among other things also Joseph Gordon-Levitt (41, 'Inception') and Allison Janney (63, 'I, Tonya').

That's how the Hollywood actor ticked

  I was Heath Ledger

'The Cabinet of Doctor Parnassus'

Heath Ledger died while filming The Cabinet of Doctor Parnassus . Director Terry Gilliam (82) initially broke it off. For a long time it seemed as if the film would not be completed. But those involved decided to adapt the script instead. His scenes as Tony outside the magic mirror were pretty much wrapped. The Tonys behind the magic mirror finally embodied Johnny Depp (59), Jude Law (50) and Colin Farrell (46). The result is a visually stunning spectacle that went down in film history as the last film by Heath Ledger. (spot on news)

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