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Heath Ledger was an Academy Award-winning, Australian actor best known for his roles in Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight. He died of an accidental prescription drug overdose in 2008.
Heath Ledger - Early Life (2:57)
In one of his final roles, Heath Ledger wowed audiences with his Academy Award winning performance as the Joker in "The Dark Knight."
Heath Ledger's first big break was in the teen comedy "Ten Things I Hate About You."
After achieving fame with roles in "A Knight's Tale" and "Ten Things I Hate About You," Ledger took a starring role in "Lords of Dogtown."
Heath Ledger was born on April 4th, 1979 in Perth, Australia. It was here that his interest in acting would begin.
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"Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night," Ledger told the Times. "I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted and my mind was still going." It is believed that the young star's death was caused by an overdose of the sleep aid, combined with various other prescription drugs found in his system post-mortem. The coroner report ruled his death an accident.
Before his unfortunate passing, Heath Ledger completed filming The Dark Knight, and the blockbuster that was rumored to have been Heath Ledger's Oscar winning performance opened in U.S. theaters on July 18, 2008. The film grossed more than $400 million in 18 days.
At the time of his death, Ledger was filming Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009). Scenes that placed Ledger in a realistic world had been completed in London. After his passing, Ledger's role was recast to have new actors portray his "physically transformed versions" in a magical realm, including Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell. The film is set to premier in 2009.
Ledger was posthumously awarded a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight.
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