Why Famous: Heath ledger was one of cinema's brightest stars before his tragic accidental death from a prescription drug overdose at 28.
Ledger left his native Australian for Los Angeles to pursue his film career, landing parts in "10 Things I hate about You" (1999) a modern Shakespeare adaptation opposite Julia Stiles and "The Patriot" (2000) with Mel Gibson.
Ledger went on to roles of critical acclaim in the romantic drama "Brokeback Mountain" (2005) directed by Ang Lee where he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. He followed this with Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" (2008) controversially playing the Joker and was posthumously awarded an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Ledger had started directing music videos and was planning to direct a film before his unexpected death.
- 1999-03-31 "10 Things I Hate About You", a modernization of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, is released
- 2005-12-09 "Brokeback Mountain" film released, directed by Ang Lee, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, based on story by Annie Proulx
- 2008-07-14 "The Dark Knight" directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger, premieres in New York
- 2009-02-22 Heath Ledger posthumously wins Academy Award, Best Supporting Actor, for his performance as the Joker in "The Dark Knight"