Heath Ledger News

The superintendent at Heath Ledger's building also told that he was shocked by the star's tragic death.
"He was a great man," Tamba Mossa, 32, said. "You couldn't tell he was a celebrity."

Mossa said that Heath moved to the apartment block in downtown Manhattan after he broke up with his girlfriend Michelle Williams.

"He's been living here four or five months," he said. "He would bring his daughter here and I would see him carrying her or pushing her in her stroller."

Mossa said the day's tragic events unfolded when Heath's housekeeper came to his apartment to fix some light bulbs and let herself into his home with her key.

Shortly afterwards, the housekeeper frantically called Mossa. "She was saying, 'Something happened. Something happened to him. Come here now'."

When Mossa got to Heath's fourth-floor apartment, he said that the place was swarming with police officers, and he saw Heath's body covered and being moved off the bed.

Heath Ledger's neighbors were equally shocked and saddened.

"It's unbelievable," said Dan Gillham. "He was such a vibrant guy. Heath pretty much kept to himself after moving here two years ago. We seldom saw Michelle or their young daughter, but we know he was very proud of his child."

Another neighbor, actor Adrian Belliani, added, "It's such a shame that he should die at such a young age. Everybody that knew Heath seemed to like him."

For all the latest news on Heath Ledger's tragic death, visit our special section on the Australian actor.

Heath Ledger News

Police sources in New York said that Heath's apartment looked "like a temporary crash pad".
They say the bed that he was found dead in was just a mattress on the floor with plain white sheets, and the apartment wasn't decorated.

Heath Ledger's ex-fiancee Michelle Williams is now making a tearful dash from Sweden to New York with their two-year-old daughter Matilda after learning of the Aussie actor's shocking death.

Williams, who split with Ledger last September, was in the Nordic country filming her new movie Mammoth. Read full details of this story here.

In another development late today, a mourning Naomi Watts, the Australian actress who was a former girlfriend, has pulled out of all engagements at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Read tributes from the world's stars to Heath Ledger here.

The actress, in Park City to promote her new thriller Funny Games, has canceled all interviews and obligations after learning her former lover Heath Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan home.

The pair began dating after sparks flew on the set of their 2002 Western Ned Kelly and lasted 16 months.

Heath Ledger News

ACTOR Heath Ledger, who was found dead in New York today, had been taking a prescription drug that has been caused bizarre and potentially dangerous reactions for hundreds of Australians.

The three bottles of prescription pills found in Heath Ledger's Manhattan apartment in SoHo contained antidepressants and Ambien, a police source told

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said that there were three prescription bottles found, all in Heath Ledger's name.

The actor, from Perth who was found dead of an apparent overdose today at the age of 28, had spoken in the past about having trouble sleeping.
Commissioner Browne wouldn't elaborate on what the pills were but said that they included sleeping pills.
"There were some still left in the bottle," he said. "They were not scattered around the apartment."

Called Ambien in the US, the tablet is marketed as Stilnox Down Under and hit headlines last year when a national drug hotline fielded calls from users reporting strange side-effects.

Some 500 people described odd behaviours from walking, crashing cars, having sex and falling from balconies after popping a pill.

One patient gained 23 kilograms over seven months after unknowingly eating from the refrigerator while asleep. Another patient woke up with a paintbrush in her hand after painting the front door.

In November, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) reduced pack sizes and updated its warnings on the drug to protect people from its "worrying and potentially dangerous adverse effects".

The most serious of the newly-listed side-effects included "rage reactions, worsened insomnia, confusion, agitation, hallucinations and other forms of unwanted behaviour". Read full details of concerns over his prescription drugs here.

In an interview with the New York Times last November, Ledger said he'd been taking Ambien sleeping pills, which according to the newspaper, "failed to work".

"He took a second one and fell into a stupor, only to wake up an hour later, his mind still racing," the journalist reported.

But one of his friends told, that the 28-year-old Heath Ledger was also battling depression.

"I was hearing that he was depressed," says actor Jonathan Zarin, who met Heath through mutual friends. "I'm sure he must have been in a really bad place. I'd been hearing that for a while."

But his family in a statement to the media in Perth today said Ledger's death was accidential. Read their statement here.

Heath Ledger Biography

In August 2007, Us Weekly reported that Ledger and Williams ended their relationship because of their busy schedules. Neither Ledger nor Williams confirmed the rumor at that time. In September, 2007, Williams' father, Larry, confirmed to Sydney Daily Telegraph that Ledger and Williams had indeed split.

In early 2008, Heath Ledger was reported to have been seeing model Gemma Ward after media articles linked the two together at end of 2007 holiday celebrations.

Heath Ledger was found dead in his fourth-floor apartment at 421 Broome Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City on January 22, 2008. He was found at 3:26 p.m. EST by a housekeeper and a massage therapist, who entered the bedroom to find him face down, naked, and unconscious at the foot of his bed with sleeping pills on a nearby night table. Police said that they also found prescription medication in the bathroom and that there were "no obvious signs" of suicide, nor did they suspect foul play.

On January 23, 2008 Heath Ledger's parents and sister—who learned of his death from a radio broadcast—appeared outside Ledger's mother's house in Applecross, a riverside Perth suburb, and read a short statement to the media:

"We, Heath's family, confirm the very tragic, untimely and accidental passing of our dearly loved son, brother and doting father of Matilda, who was found in a peaceful sleep in his New York apartment by his housekeeper at 3:30 pm [New York Time]. We would like to thank our friends and everyone around the world for their kind wishes at this time. Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life, but few had the pleasure to truly know him. He was a down-to-earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving and unselfish individual who was an extreme inspiration to many. Please now respect our family's need to grieve and come to terms with our loss privately."

In reaction to Heath Ledger's death, former partner Michelle Williams was reported as saying that she was "devastated" at the loss and had boarded a plane to New York City. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd released a statement saying, "It was with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of Heath Ledger... It is tragic that we have lost one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life."

Heath Ledger Biography

Ledger was also subject to criticism in the press following his performance on stage at the 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Ledger was seen giggling when presenting Brokeback Mountain as a nominee for Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The Los Angeles Times described his behavior as "some kind of gay spoof." Ledger later called the Times to explain that his actions were the result of stage fright, saying that he was only told he would be presenting the award minutes beforehand. "I am so sorry and I apologize for my nervousness," Ledger told the newspaper.

Heath Ledger came under fire after he was quoted in January 2006 in Australia's Herald Sun as saying that West Virginia had banned Brokeback Mountain (which it had not). He also referred to the state as having had lynchings as recently as the 1980s. These statements have been roundly disputed by archivists and historians, who state that the last extra-legal public hanging in West Virginia occurred in 1931.

From August 2002 to April 2004, Heath Ledger had a relationship with actress Naomi Watts, whom he met during the filming of Ned Kelly. Previously, he had dated actresses Lisa Zane and Heather Graham.

Ledger was engaged to actress Michelle Williams, whom he met on the set of Brokeback Mountain. Their daughter, Matilda Rose, was born on October 28, 2005 in New York City. The child's godparents are Ledger's Brokeback costar Jake Gyllenhaal and Williams' Dawson's Creek castmate Busy Phillips. Ledger and his family divided their time between Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Sydney. Ledger sold his Australian residence in Bronte, New South Wales, for A$7 million.

Heath Ledger Biography

Heath Ledger started a record company with singer Ben Harper. His first step in the music business was directing Harper's music video for "Morning Yearning". In 2006, Ledger directed three music videos: "Cause an Effect" and "Seduction Is Evil (She's Hot)" for Australian hip-hop artist N'fa, as well as "Morning Yearning" for Ben Harper.

In 2007, Heath Ledger spoke at a news conference at the Venice Film Festival about his desire to direct a music video set to the music of Nick Drake, even though he also said at the conference that such hopes had faded away. It was found out after Ledger's death that he had, in his final days, created a music video for Nick Drake's 1974 song "Black Eyed Dog", one of the last songs recorded by Drake before his own suicide. The black-and-white video, which has not been released to the public, shows the camera being turned on Ledger, who, at the end of the video, drowns in a bathtub.

Heath Ledger had a turbulent relationship with paparazzi photographers. It is alleged that he spat at and assaulted a photographer in Sydney in 2004, while a relative also is alleged to have spat on a photographer in 2005. Ledger strongly denied the accusation. On January 13, 2006, several photographers retaliated, squirting Ledger with water pistols as he walked the red carpet for the Sydney premiere of Brokeback Mountain.

Heath Ledger Biography

In the New York Times review of the film, critic Stephen Holden wrote:

"Both Mr. Ledger and Mr. Gyllenhaal make this anguished love story physically palpable. Mr. Ledger magically and mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn."

In another review in Rolling Stone, Peter Travers wrote:

"Ledger's magnificent performance is an acting miracle. He seems to tear it from his insides. Ledger doesn't just know how Ennis moves, speaks and listens; he knows how he breathes. To see him inhale the scent of a shirt hanging in Jack's closet is to take measure of the pain of love lost."

Also in 2005, Heath Ledger played a fictionalized version of Giacomo Casanova in Casanova. The film, a romantic comedy which co-starred Sienna Miller, drew mixed reviews from critics and failed to find a significant audience among general moviegoers. In 2006, Ledger was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2007, he was one of six actors to portray different sides of singer Bob Dylan in the film I'm Not There. Ledger played iconic comic book villain The Joker in The Dark Knight, the sequel to the 2005 film Batman Begins, opposite fellow I'm Not There star Christian Bale. The film is set to debut on July 18, 2008. The film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, in which he had been cast, was in production at the time of his death.

Heath Ledger Biography

At sixteen, Heath Ledger sat for early graduation exams, and left school to pursue an acting career with girlfriend Jenna Sorrell. With his best friend, Trevor DiCarlo, Ledger made the cross-country drive to Sydney. Heath Ledger returned to Perth for the TV series Sweat (1996), in which he played a gay cyclist.

In 1996, prior to his film debut in the 1997 Australian movie Blackrock, Heath Ledger was involved in the short lived Fox Broadcasting Company fantasy-drama Roar. In 1999, Ledger starred in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You and also had the lead role in the acclaimed Australian movie Two Hands, directed by Gregor Jordan.

From 2000 to 2005 he starred in The Patriot, Monster's Ball, A Knight's Tale, The Four Feathers, Ned Kelly, The Order, and The Brothers Grimm. In 2001, Heath Ledger won a ShoWest Award for the Male Star of Tomorrow based on his performance in The Patriot, and worldwide release of A Knight's Tale. In 2003, he was named one of Australian GQ's Men of the Year for acting.

Heath Ledger received "Best Actor of 2005" awards from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for his acclaimed performance in Brokeback Mountain, in which he plays Wyoming ranch hand Ennis Del Mar, who has a love affair with aspiring rodeo rider Jack Twist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Heath Ledger also received a nomination for Golden Globe Best Actor in a Drama and a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor for this performance.

Heath Ledger Biography

Heath Ledger was born as Heathcliff Andrew Ledger. he was born on April 4, 1979, and passed away on January 22, 2008, prematurely, at age 28. Heath Ledger was an Academy Award-nominated Australian actor. After appearing in television roles during the 1990s, Heath Ledger developed a Hollywood career. He starred in both critical and financial successes, including The Patriot, Monster's Ball, and Brokeback Mountain, and completed the role of The Joker in the forthcoming The Dark Knight. Ledger died in New York City on January 22, 2008.

Heath Ledger was born in Perth, Western Australia, the son of Sally Ledger Bell (née Ramshaw), a French teacher, and Kim Ledger, a race car driver and mining engineer. Ledger's mother is descended from the Clan Campbell of Scotland and his father comes from a family known in Perth for their ownership of the Ledger Engineering Foundry. Heath (Heathcliff) and his sister Katherine were named after the two main characters in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. The Sir Frank Ledger Charitable Trust was named after his great-grandfather. Ledger attended Guildford Grammar School, where he had his first acting experiences, starring in a school production as Peter Pan at age 10.