It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Heath Ledger today. I have no remarkable stories to tell of knowing the chap, nor can I say that I was a massive fan of his work. Despite having only ever seen him in a handful of titles I have to say I had utmost respect for his talent. Moreover, my children still watch ‘A Knight’s Tale’ repeatedly, loving the story, the music and the characters, of which Heath Ledger is the lead.
What also saddens me is that such a young man (28, I believe) with such a promising future and respected back catalogue of work has been taken from us in such a way. Already the whisperings of drug abuse are filtering around the internet, amongst strong claims of a reaction to prescription drugs, or an accidental overdose. Whatever the cause, we are in a world where celebrities are elevated to unsustainable status and for some the way to deal with the immense pressure seems to be to find an outlet in drug use. Is this reasonable?
I feel a real sense of loss today, which is puzzling given my distinct lack of involvement with all things ‘Heath’ (apart from A Knight’s Tale each week almost), but nonetheless I am sad. My thoughts are with his family, particularly his daughter (Matilda) and those closest to him.
I only heard of his death when driving in to work and listening to the morning radio ‘crew’. Most had heard of Heath Ledger, but the ‘frontman’ of the show claimed not to have done, and was, in my opinion, less than generous in his comments about it all. It may well be that you have not heard of the fellow, Martin. It might be that you do not watch anything but blockbuster mainstream films (except, clearly, Brokeback Mountain), but regardless of your perceptions, the world has lost a talented actor through a drug related incident and is a duller place for all that. I would cut the family some slack right now, look at what Heath Ledger managed to achieve in his very short stay and celebrate some of that as a mark of respect, personally.