And I Cried: Remembering Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger, the Australian-born actor whose surprising rendering of the fate of a gay cowboy in the 2005 movie Brokeback Mountain earned him a nomination for an Academy Award and comparisons to actors like Marlon Brando, was found dead Tuesday in his Manhattan apartment.

Even if he had lived to be a person of very advanced years, Ledger would probably never have stopped hearing people tell “I wish I knew how to quit you” jokes, the line expressed by his co-star Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain. What seems to have gotten lost in the midst of considerable public anxiety is how very good the film actually was, and how superb Ledger was as Ennis Del Mar, the emotionally stifled ranch hand with a broken heart. Really, it was a tragic portrayal about not talking, about repression, about the unsaid. And that is easier said than done.

As the body of Ledger’s works progressed, one could discern that he went about the search to evoke the spirit of his characters with almost too much seriousness, with pain.

Heath Ledger: 1979-2008

Remembering Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger: 1979-2008

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7 Responses to “And I Cried: Remembering Heath Ledger”

  1. fotokew Says:

    what a great loss!

  2. Disco Chic Says:

    It’s so unbelievably sad. He was so young and had so much more to do. He was amazing in Brokeback Mountain. He will be missed.

  3. Wanda Rizzuto Says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for this, I’m really glad I found your blog.

  4. philretrospector Says:

    I tried to say in music what I couldn’t put into words. Sadly missed. God Bless.

  5. Way to Blue « Et Cetera: Publick and Privat Curiosities Says:

    […] Heath Ledger (1979-2008) was preoccupied with Drake’s music. Shortly before his own unexpected death in January, Ledger made a video to accompany Drake’s song Black Eyed Dog, in which Ledger was apparently pictured drowning in his own bath. Ledger admitted to being preoccupied with Drake’s story and music, professing that he had great hopes to tell his story one day. While promoting I’m Not There at the Venice Film Festival in September, Ledger said that at one point in his life he had wished to pursue another rock bio-picture, the story of Nick Drake. Ledger told a news conference, “I was obsessed with his story and his music and I pursued it for a while and still have hopes to tell his story one day.” […]

  6. Heath Ledger Portrait Wins 2008 Archibald Prize in Australia « Et Cetera: Publick and Privat Curiosities Says:

    […] Thursday, this portrait of a brooding Heath Ledger, which was painted shortly before the Australian actor died in January, was voted the most popular […]

  7. The Dark Night’s Ghastly Joker: Heath Ledger Touted for an Oscar « Et Cetera: Publick and Privat Curiosities Says:

    […] You can read more about what I’ve written earlier about Heath Ledger here and here. […]

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