Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Heath Ledger

Back in November I wrote a blog entry about The Dark Knight, the next Batman film from director Christopher Nolan. Tragically earlier today it was announced that the film's star, Heath Ledger, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment. It is suspected that he took a drug overdose.

Police say that they do not expect foul play as his body had been discovered surrounded by pills. The Australian actor split from girlfriend Michelle Williams, with whom he has a two-year-old daughter, last September. Ledger had previously played the role of a suicidal prison officer in Monster's Ball. His performance as a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain was perhaps most memorable, having earned an Oscar nomination in 2005.

Ledger's death follows former child star Brad Renfro being found dead by his girlfriend last week, at the age of just 25, suspected of suicide. Owen Wilson, the star of many hit comedies including Wedding Crashers, was found bloodied and intoxicated after overdosing and slitting his wrists last August. The 38-year-old star was discovered by a family member and is now being treated for depression.

With the Oscar nominees announced the same day as Ledger's death some of the shimmer that surrounds the Hollywood industry has been darkened. The cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but if it was suicide then it will follow a recent trend that has cast a shadow over the Hollywood film industry.

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