If you ever ask people about their favourite villain. The majority would say its Joker. It was Heathcliff Andrew Ledger better known as the ‘Heath Ledger’ or ‘The Joker’ who gave life to the iconic villain’s character. It has been 10 years since we lost one of the finest method actors in the world as on January 22, 2008, the actor was found dead in his Manhattan apartment after overdosing on prescription drugs.
Let us walk down the memory lane that will let us reminisce the legend and know some lesser known facts about the actor.
Heath Ledger was an Australian actor and director born on April 4, 1979, in Perth, Western Australia. He was the son of Sally Ledger, a teacher, and Kim Ledger, a racer. Ledger left the school at the age of 17 to pursue an acting career. He did nineteen films, including 10 Things I Hate About You, The Patriot, A Knight’s Tale, Monster’s Ball, Brokeback Mountain, Lords of Dogtown, and The Dark Knight. He received the New York Films Critics Circle award for best actor and best international actor from the Australian Film Institute for his role in Brokeback Mountain. He was nominated for the BAFTA Awards for best actor in leading role and for the Academy Award for best actor.
Though he did great as an actor he was known for the iconic role of ‘The Joker’ in ‘The Dark Knight’. Ledger gave a whole new definition to Batman’s most iconic nemesis, ‘The Joker’. He was named the best Villain ever as he received several awards for his critically acclaimed performance in the film, including the Academy Award for the best-supporting-actor, the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best supporting actor-Motion Picture, and BAFTA award for Best supporting actor.
Ledger had several link-ups with actresses like Heather Graham, Lisa Zane, and Naomi Watts. In the year 2004, he dated actress Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain. Ledger has a daughter, Matilde Rose with Michelle Williams. He died on January 22, 2008. A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming as The Joker in The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight broke several box office records and received both popular and critical accolades, especially with regard to Ledger’s performance as the Joker.
Here are some interesting and less known facts about Ledger:
#1. Heath Ledger was the first actor to ever win an academy award for the portrayal of a character in a superhero movie.
#2. Heath Ledger was an accomplished chess player and won Western Australia’s junior chess championship, aged 10.
#3. Heath Ledger as the Joker scared Michael Caine (Alfred) so bad, he forgot his lines.
#4. After Heath Ledger decided he wanted to take his TV/stage acting career to Hollywood, he refused every TV role he was offered. When he was down to only his last $150, he was offered a role in “Ten Things I Hate About You.”
#5. Heath Ledger wanted Christian Bale to beat him as hard as he could during the interrogation scene in “The Dark Knight”, so he could get a better feel for the scene.
#6. The Joker’s white makeup was designed by Heath Ledger himself. He wanted to show the audience that The Joker did his own makeup.
#7. During the hospital scene, when The Joker is dressed as a nurse, his name tag reads Matilda, after Heath Ledger’s daughter Matilda Ledger.
#8. Heath Ledger kept a Joker Diary. In it, he wrote as the Joker and included a list of things he believed the Joker would find funny including blind babies, geniuses with brain damage, and sombreros.
We and all the fans around the world will always miss this outstanding performer!