Heath Ledger started his acting career as a child in Australia but first became well known to the American audience in the hit teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You.
While he passed up several other teen comedy roles, his big break came in 2000 in the movie, The Patriot, where he played Mel Gibson’s son.
Ledger had many film successes throughout his career and several flops, such as Knight’s Tale and The Four Feathers.
His next big hit came in 2005 with his role in Casanova and Brokeback Mountain. However, it was his role in Brokeback Mountain that truly made Ledger a star.
While he may not have won the Oscar for Best Actor for his part, this movie certainly cemented his status as an A-list actor.
While he may have had professional success, his personal life had several rough spots, from his separation in 2007 from Michelle Williams to issues with his mental health after playing the Joker role.
These rough patches would, however, eventually lead to his death.
10 Ledger's Passing
Heath Ledger passed away on January 22, 2008, at 28 years old. His masseuse found him and his housekeeper on the floor of the apartment he rented in SoHo.
The entirety of New York City and the world was shocked by his unexpected passing. While emergency crews arrived, they were unable to revive him.
9 Cause Of Death
While the media speculated about illegal drug use being a possible cause of death, on February 8, the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office released Ledger’s toxicology reports.
The reports stated he had died of an accidental overdose on prescription medications that included painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs, and sleeping pills.