Wednesday, 23 January 2008

R.I.P. Heath Ledger, Lord of Dogtown and Clown Prince of Gotham

Heath Ledger

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Heath Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Tuesday, possibly of a drug overdose, New York City police said.

This news came as a bit of a shock to me, especially since I'd been looking forward to seeing him in the Dark Knight this year. Anyway, even if he weren't playing the joker, I'd still be shocked, because I'd always thought Ledger was one of the better young actors in Hollywood right now.

I first came across Ledger in this movie called 10 Things I Hate About You, in which I thought he was pretty good (even though I did prefer looking at Julia Stiles more). He actually made that teen flick more watchable. After that, I saw him in The Patriot, A Knight's Tale but didn't really think much about those films.

Then came Lords of Dogtown. Ledger played this stoned surfboard maker who always had a ciggy in his hand, and he was COOL. I didn't watch Brokeback Mountain (I've never been able to sit down and get through it because of the slow pace), but I already knew Ledger was a damn good actor by then. He even plays Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, fer gawds sake!

Still, when he was cast as the Joker, we were shocked. How could that pretty boy cowboy become the most psychotic criminal in Gotham?

Happily, he looks AWESOME as The Joker. Evil, cruel and downright insane, Ledger's The Joker is probably THE character to look out for this year. Though I do wonder if the toll of playing that psychotic character eventually caught up on him...

Anyway, rest in peace, Heath Ledger, Lord of Dogtown, Clown Prince of Gotham, Love of Stiles, Knight of the Lance, Patriot of Lands, Brother of Grimm, and Rider of Brokeback Mountain.

May you always dance with the devil in the pale moonlight.

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