The world of cinema is mourning the premature death of Heath Ledger, a gifted young actor who shot to fame as a gay cowboy in the film Brokeback Mountain. Australian-born Ledger, who was 28, was found dead in a New York appartment on Tuesday.
An autopsy is to be conducted. Police say they are investigating the possibility of an overdose. Sleeping pills were found near the young man’s body. His family has released a statement saying the death was a tragic accident.
Ledger was known as a grounded character, who didn’t buy into the game of fame: “From the little that I saw of him living just a few doors down, he just seemed like a really sweet neighbourhoody kind of guy, very down to earth. (They) sort of kept to themselves, sort of the antithesis of whatever stars are supposed to be like,” said one neighbour.
Ledger had a two-year old daughter with Michelle Williams, his on-screen wife in Brokeback. The couple had separated in September last year. He currently stars in the Bob Dylan movie “I’m not there” and is due to appear as the Joker in the latest Batman movie due out this summer. At just 26, Ledger had won an Oscar nomination as best lead actor for Brokeback Mountain.