Yesterday's Blog was all about celebrating the many, many attractive men of Hollywood.
Today, it's all about just one of them, as the world mourns the death of 28-year-old actor Heath Ledger.
I still can't believe he's gone. When Stacy called last night with the breaking news, I was literally shocked. So much so that when I gasped and exclaimed several times, "No! You're kidding! No way!", then jumped for the TV remote, I think my mom thought we were in the middle of another terrorist attack or something.
My reaction might have been different if it had been a celebrity with a knack for getting into trouble, a reputation of drug or alcohol abuse, a sad past spent trudging in & out of rehab centres. But I never heard such things about Heath Ledger. Not once.
Instead, Ledger was known for being a fiercely private man who was careful about the roles he chose, often leaning towards the edgy & dark, rather than high-profile pretty-boy parts, which his good looks certainly would have allowed him to play. He hated the paparazzi, and lived a bohemian lifestyle in New York, avoiding the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown. His first crack at the big screen was in the teen flick "10 Things I Hate About You", in which he played the brooding high school bad-boy Patrick Verona. After that, he also starred in "A Knight's Tale" (one of my favourites), "Four Feathers", and "The Patriot". However, the film that launched him into super-stardom & earned him a spot as one of Hollywood's most revered & respected was 2005's critically-acclaimed "Brokeback Mountain", for which he received Oscar buzz in his role as the secretly gay cowboy, Ennis Del Mar.
It was on the set of "Brokeback Mountain" that Heath met Michelle Williams, his on-screen wife, whom he became engaged to in real life & together they had a daughter, Matilda, now 2. However, he & Williams separated in September of 2007. Heath had also just finished playing the role of the Joker in the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight", which is still in production and should be released this summer.
I was completely blindsided by the news of his death. He was found face-down in bed in a SoHo apartment, and speculation is that it was an accidental overdose on prescription sleeping pills. It seems like such a sad and unexpected end to the life of one of Hollywood's brightest & talented stars. He had already accomplished so much at such a young age, and it seems a real shame that his life is over. Too soon. So tragic.
Tinseltown is still reeling over the news, and quite frankly, so am I. Oddly enough, I had Heath Ledger pencilled into my Top 5 yesterday, then replaced him at the last minute with Ryan Gosling. I'm finding that a little creepy right now.
Heath Ledger has been one of my favourites, ever since I saw him for the first time in "10 Things I Hate About You". I couldn't get enough of his smirky little smile & the way his eyes seemed to twinkle with mischief. And, of course, the sexy Australian accent. He was the main reason I bought "A Knight's Tale"; he was the only reason I went to see "Brokeback Mountain". Today, as I think back on him and all that he had accomplished as an actor, I can't help wallowing in the disappointed and devestated feeling that he could have done so much more if he'd been given more time.
Ledger's light was snuffed out far too soon. And now, all I have left, are a few DVDs and magazine clippings, and the knowledge that, while he was already considered great, he never got the chance to blossom into the true star that he was.