Saturday, November 15, 2008

Heath Ledger (Deid becouse of drugs over dose)

Heath Ledger 28 Australian actor of “Brokeback Mountain” fame was found tragically dead in his New York apartment leaving behind his two year old daughter Matilda. He split with his girlfriend of three years Michelle Williams this past September 2007 and moved to California with their daughter. Few people know the emptiness and sadness that takes place when a parent’s bond between a child and parent is severed with the breakup of a relationship. The mainstream news media fails to cover the many suicides and the hurt that family court does to families that drives parents to take their lives. I am not saying that Heath Ledger took his live over this issue. However, many parents will do crazy things when the court system is only going to award sole custody to one parent and not the other which creates an unnatural inbalance.
Ledger was very distraught over the separation from his child. It seems that people around him failed to see warning signs that he might have been suffering from depression and needed help. He was reported “dressed like a homeless guy” in public on numerous occasions and spent Thanksgiving and Christmas alone when before he spent this holidays with his ex and child.
Ledger’s own parents divorced when he was 11-years-old and he difficulty dealing with it as a child and got into drug abuse as an escape. He felt close to both his parents and blamed himself. He credited getting into acting helped him deal with his dark emotions he felt about his parents divorce. The court psychologists parrot off that children are really resilient and get over these situations easily. I beg to differ, these issues carry on into their adult relationships and repeat especially when the break up is contentious. Spending four days per month with a child is hardly a relationship with a parent and child, but this is sadly the norm in the United States which adversarial lawyers and judges encourage fighting between parents because it generates revenue and profits for the courts. Children should not have to choose which parent, they should get both parents 50/50 equally. Besides equal parenting is becoming norm in Europe and studies prove that equal parenting benefits the children, parents, and taxpayers all around. Let’s prevent tragic deaths like Heath Ledger and other parents and promote 50-50 equal parenting for all children. Visit and learn more about the benefits of equal parenting.

His Life: After performing roles in Australian television and film during the 1990s, Ledger moved to the United States in 1998 to develop his movie career. His work included nineteen films, including
critical and box-office successes such as 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Patriot (2000), Monster's Ball (2000), A Knight's Tale (2001), Brokeback Mountain (2005), and The Dark Knight (2008).[1][2] In addition to his acting, he produced and directed music videos and aspired to be a film director.[3][4] For his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger won the 2005 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and the 2006 "Best Actor" award from the Australian Film Institute and was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor[5][6][1] and the 2006 Best Actor award from the BAFTA, as well as won an MTV Movie Award with Jake Gyllenhaal, for their "best kiss" in the film. He also received several award nominations for his work in Two Hands (1999), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), A Knight's Tale (2001), Ned Kelly (2003), and Candy (2006). Posthumously he shared the 2007 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award with the rest of the ensemble cast, the director, and the casting director for the film inspired by the life and songs of Bob Dylan, I'm Not There. Ledger portrayed a fictional actor named Robbie Clark, one of six characters embodying aspects of the Dylan legend.[3][7]
He died at the age of 28 after suffering an accidental overdose of prescription medication.
[5][8][9] A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming his well-received penultimate performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight.[10][11][12] At the time of his death, he was performing the role of Tony in Terry Gilliam's forthcoming film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.[10][13][14][15]
As of October 2008, Ledger was listed as one of the world's highest-earning deceased celebrities, at USD $20 million, ranking third behind
Elvis Presley and Charles M. Schulz
Heath Ledger was born on 4 April 1979, in
Perth, Western Australia, the son of Sally Ledger Bell (née Ramshaw), a French teacher, and Kim Ledger, a racing-car driver and mining engineer, whose family established and owned the well-known Ledger Engineering Foundry.[17][18][19] The Sir Frank Ledger Charitable Trust is named after his great-grandfather.[17] Ledger attended Mary's Mount Primary School, in Gooseberry Hill and later Guildford Grammar School, where he had his first acting experiences, starring in a school production as Peter Pan at age 10.[6][17] His parents separated when he was 10 and divorced when he was 11.[22] Ledger's older sister, Kate, an actress and later a publicist, with whom he was very close, inspired his acting on stage, and his love of Gene Kelly inspired his successful choreography leading to Guildford Grammar's 60-member team's "first all-boy victory" at the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge.[17][23][24][25] Heath's and Kate's other siblings include two half-sisters, Ashleigh Bell (b. 1989), his mother's daughter with her second husband and his stepfather Roger Bell, and Olivia Ledger (b. 1997), his father's daughter with second wife and his stepmother Emma Brown.[26]Ledger was an avid chess player, winning Western Australia's junior chess championship at the age of 10.[27][28] As an adult, he often played with other chess enthusiasts at Washington Square Park.[29][30] Allan Scott's film adaptation of the chess-related 1983 novel The Queen's Gambit, by Walter Tevis, which at the time of his death he was planning both to perform in and to direct, would have been Ledger's first feature film as a director. Among his most-notable romantic relationships, Ledger dated actress Heather Graham for several months in 2000 to 2001,[32] and he had a serious on-and-off-again long-term relationship with actress Naomi Watts, whom he met during the filming of Ned Kelly and with whom he lived at times from 2002 to 2004.[33][34] In the summer of 2004, he met and began dating actress Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain, and their daughter, Matilda Rose, was born on 28 October 2005 in New York City.[35] Matilda Rose's godparents are Ledger's Brokeback co-star Jake Gyllenhaal and Williams' Dawson's Creek castmate Busy Philipps.[36][37] Problems with paparazzi in Australia prompted Ledger to sell his residence in Bronte, New South Wales and move to the United States, where he shared an apartment with Williams, in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, from 2005 to 2007.[5][38][39][40][41] In September 2007, Williams' father, Larry Williams, confirmed to Sydney's Daily Telegraph that Ledger and Williams had ended their relationship.[42] After his break up with Williams, in late 2007 and early 2008, the tabloid press and other public media linked Ledger romantically with supermodels Helena Christensen and Gemma Ward and with former child star, actress Mary-Kate Olsen.[43][44][45][46]
From 2000 to 2005, he starred in supporting roles as Gabriel Martin, the eldest son of
Mel Gibson, in The Patriot (2000), and as Sonny Grotowski, the son of Billy Bob Thornton, in Monster's Ball (2000); and in leading or title roles in A Knight's Tale (2001), The Four Feathers (2002), The Order (2003), Ned Kelly (2003), Casanova (2005), The Brothers Grimm (2005), and Lords of Dogtown (2005).[2] In 2001, he won a ShoWest Award as "Male Star of Tomorrow".[47]Ledger received "Best Actor of 2005" awards from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for his performance in Brokeback Mountain,[48][49] in which he plays Wyoming ranch hand Ennis Del Mar, who has a love affair with aspiring rodeo rider Jack Twist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.[50] He also received a nomination for Golden Globe Best Actor in a Drama and a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor for this performance,[51][52] making him, at age 26, the ninth youngest nominee for a Best Actor Oscar. In The New York Times review of the film, critic Stephen Holden writes: "Both Mr. Ledger and Mr. Gyllenhaal make this anguished love story physically palpable. Mr. Ledger magically and mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a great screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn."[53] In a review in Rolling Stone, Peter Travers states: "Ledger's magnificent performance is an acting miracle. He seems to tear it from his insides. Ledger doesn't just know how Ennis moves, speaks and listens; he knows how he breathes. To see him inhale the scent of a shirt hanging in Jack's closet is to take measure of the pain of love lost.

After Brokeback Mountain, Ledger costarred with fellow Australian
Abbie Cornish in the 2006 Australian film Candy, an adaptation of the 1998 novel Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction, as young heroin addicts in love attempting to break free of their addiction, whose mentor is played by renowned Australian actor Geoffrey Rush; for his performance as sometime poet Dan, Ledger was nominated for three "Best Actor" awards, including one of the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards 2006, which both Cornish and Rush won in their categories. A couple of weeks after the release of Candy, Ledger was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[55]
As one of six actors embodying different aspects of the life of
Bob Dylan in the 2007 film I'm Not There, directed by Todd Haynes, Ledger "won praise for his portrayal of 'Robbie [Clark],' a moody, counter-culture actor who represents the romanticist side of Dylan, but says accolades are never his motivation."[56] Posthumously, on 23 February 2008, he shared the 2007 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award with the rest of the film's ensemble cast, its director, and its casting director.[3]
In his penultimate film performance, Ledger plays the
Joker in The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan, the sequel to the 2005 film Batman Begins, first released, in Australia, on 16 July 2008, nearly six months after his death. While still working on the film, in London, Ledger told Sarah Lyall, in their interview published in the New York Times on 4 November 2007, that he viewed The Dark Knight's Joker as a "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy."[57] To prepare for the role, Ledger told Empire, "I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices — it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts"; after reiterating his view of the character as "just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown," he added that Nolan had given him "free rein" to create the role, which he found "fun, because there are no real boundaries to what The Joker would say or do. Nothing intimidates him, and everything is a big joke."[58][59][60]
At the time of his death, on 22 January 2008, Ledger had completed about half of his final film performance as Tony in
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.[10][61]
Ledger had aspirations to become a film director and had made some
music videos, which director Todd Haynes praised highly in his tribute to Ledger upon accepting the ISP Robert Altman Award, which Ledger posthumously shared, on 23 February 2008.[3]
In 2006 Ledger directed music videos for the title track on Australian
hip-hop artist N'fa's CD debut solo album Cause an Effect[62] and for the single "Seduction Is Evil (She's Hot)".[63][64]
Later that year, Ledger inaugurated a new record label, Masses Music, with singer
Ben Harper and also directed a music video for Harper's song "Morning Yearning".[57][65]
At a news conference at the 2007
Venice Film Festival, Ledger spoke of his desire to make a documentary film about the British singer-songwriter Nick Drake, who died in 1974, at the age of 26, from an overdose of an antidepressant.[66] Ledger created and acted in a music video set to Drake's recording of the singer's 1974 song about depression "Black Eyed Dog"–a title "inspired by Winston Churchill’s descriptive term for depression" (black dog)[67]; it was shown publicly only twice, first at the Bumbershoot Festival, in Seattle, Washington, held from 1 September to 3 September 2007; and secondly as part of "A Place To Be: A Celebration of Nick Drake", with its screening of Their Place: Reflections On Nick Drake, "a series of short filmed homages to Nick Drake" (including Ledger's), sponsored by American Cinematheque, at the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, in Hollywood, on 5 October 2007.[68] After Ledger's death, his music video for "Black Eyed Dog" was shown on the internet and excerpted in news clips distributed via YouTube.[66][69][70]He was also working with Scottish screenwriter and producer Allan Scott on an adaptation of the 1983 novel The Queen's Gambit, by Walter Tevis; he was planning both to act in and to direct it, and it would have been his first feature film as a director.
He was also working with Scottish screenwriter and producer Allan Scott on an adaptation of the 1983 novel The Queen's Gambit, by Walter Tevis; he was planning both to act in and to direct it, and it would have been his first feature film as a director
Ledger's relationship with the press in Australia was sometimes turbulent, and it led to his relocating to
New York City In 2004 he strongly denied press reports alleging that "he spat at journalists on the Sydney set of the movie Candy," or that one of his relatives had done so later, outside Ledger's Sydney home.[ On 13 January 2006, "Several members of the paparazzi retaliated ... squirting Ledger and Williams with water pistols on the red carpet at the Sydney premiere of Brokeback Mountain."[
After his performance on stage at the 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards, when he had giggled in presenting Brokeback Mountain as a nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, the Los Angeles Times referred to his presentation as an "apparent gay spoof."[76] Ledger called the Times later and explained that his levity resulted from stage fright, saying that he had been told that he would be presenting the award only minutes earlier; he stated: "I am so sorry and I apologise for my nervousness. I would be absolutely horrified if my stage fright was misinterpreted as a lack of respect for the film, the topic and for the amazing filmmakers."[
Ledger was quoted in January 2006 in Melbourne's Herald Sun as saying that he heard that West Virginia had banned Brokeback Mountain, which it had not; actually, a cinema in Utah had banned the film.[73] He had also referred mistakenly to West Virginia's having had lynchings as recently as the 1980s, but state scholars disputed his statement, observing that, whereas lynchings did occur in Alabama as recently as 1981, according to "the director of state archives and history" quoted in The Charleston Gazette, "The last documented lynching in West Virginia took place in Lewisburg in 1931.
Sleep difficulties and other work-related health issues:In their New York Times interview, published on 4 November 2007, Ledger told Sarah Lyall that his recently-completed roles in I'm Not There (2007) and The Dark Knight (2008) had taken a toll on his ability to sleep: "Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. ... I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going." At that time, he told Lyall that he had taken two Ambien pills, after taking just one had not sufficed, and those left him in "a stupor, only to wake up an hour later, his mind still racing."
Prior to his return to New York from his last film assignment, in London, in January 2008, while he was apparently suffering from some kind of respiratory illness, he reportedly complained to his co-star Christopher Plummer that he was continuing to have difficulty sleeping and taking pills to help with that problem: "Confirming earlier reports that Ledger hadn't been feeling well on set, Plummer says, 'we all caught colds because we were shooting outside on horrible, damp nights. But Heath's went on and I don't think he dealt with it immediately with the antibiotics.... [sic] I think what he did have was the walking pneumonia.' [...] On top of that, 'He was saying all the time, "dammit, I can't sleep"...[sic] and he was taking all these pills [to help him] [sic].' "In talking with Interview magazine after his death, Ledger's former fiancée Michelle Williams "also confirmed reports the actor had experienced trouble sleeping. 'For as long as I'd known him, he had bouts with insomnia,' she said. 'He had too much energy. His mind was turning, turning turning always turning.'

Death: At about 2:45 p.m. (EST), on 22 January 2008, Ledger was found unconscious in his bed by his housekeeper, Teresa Solomon, and his masseuse, Diana Wolozin, in his fourth-floor loft apartment at 421 Broome Street in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.[
According to the police, Wolozin, who had arrived early for a 3:00 p.m. appointment with Ledger, used his cell phone "speed-dial button" to call Ledger's friend actress Mary-Kate Olsen for help. Olsen, who was in California, directed a New York City private security guard to go to the scene. At 3:26 p.m., "[fewer] than 15 minutes after Wolozin first saw him in bed and only a few moments" after first calling Olsen and then calling her a second time to express her fears that Ledger was dead, Wolozin telephoned,"to say that Mr. Ledger was not breathing." At the urging of the 9-1-1 operator, Wolozin administered CPR, which was unsuccessful in reviving him.[82]Emergency medical technicians (EMT) arrived seven minutes later, at 3:33 p.m. ("at almost exactly the same moment as a private security guard summoned by Ms. Olsen"), but were also unable to revive him.
At 3:36 p.m., Ledger was pronounced dead and his body removed from the apartment.
Memorial for Heath Ledger, outside 421 Broome Street, SoHo, Manhattan, 23 January 2008
As the news of Ledger's death became public, throughout the night of 22 January 2008, and the next day,
media crews, mourners, fans, and other onlookers began gathering outside his apartment building, with some leaving flowers or other memorial tributes.
On 23 January 2008, at 10:50
a.m., Australian time, Ledger's parents and sister appeared outside his mother's house in Applecross, a riverside suburb of Perth, and read a short statement to the media expressing their grief and desire for privacy.[Within the next few days, memorial tributes were communicated by family members, Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd, Deputy Premier of Western Australia Eric Ripper, Warner Bros. (distributor of The Dark Knight), and thousands of Ledger's fans around the world.[Several actors made statements expressing their sorrow at Ledger's death, including Daniel Day-Lewis, who dedicated his Screen Actors Guild Award to Ledger, saying that he was inspired by Ledger's acting; Day-Lewis praised Ledger's performances in Monster's Ball and Brokeback Mountain, describing the latter as "unique, perfect."[On 1 February 2008, in her first public statement after Ledger's death, Michelle Williams expressed her heartbreak and described Ledger's spirit as surviving in their daughter.After attending private memorial ceremonies in Los Angeles, Ledger's family members returned with his body to Perth. On 9 February 2008, a memorial service attended by several hundred invited guests was held at Penrhos College, garnering considerable press attention; afterward Ledger's body was cremated at Fremantle Cemetery, followed by a private service attended by only 10 closest family members, with his ashes to be interred later in a family plot at Karrakatta Cemetery, next to two of his grandparents.Later that night, his family and friends gathered for a wake on Cottesloe Beach.Autopsy and toxicological analysis
After two weeks of intense media speculation about possible causes of Ledger's death, on 6 February 2008, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York released its conclusions, based on an initial autopsy of 23 January 2008, and a subsequent complete toxicological analysis. The report concludes, in part, "Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine." It also states definitively: "We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications."[8][106] The medications found in the toxicological analysis are commonly prescribed in the United States for insomnia, anxiety, depression, pain, and/or cold symptoms.Although the Associated Press and other media reported that "police estimate Ledger's time of death between 1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m." (on 22 January 2008),[107] the Medical Examiner's Office announced that it would not be publicly disclosing the official estimated time of death.The official announcement of the cause and manner of Ledger's death heightened concerns about the growing problems of prescription drug abuse or misuse and Combined Drug Intoxication (CDI).
Federal investigation
Late in February 2008, a
DEA investigation of medical professionals relating to Ledger's death exonerated two American physicians, who practice in Los Angeles and Houston, of any wrongdoing, determining that "the doctors in question had prescribed Ledger other medications – not the pills that killed him."
On 4 August 2008, citing unnamed sources, Murray Weiss, of the
New York Post, first reported that Mary-Kate Olsen had "refused [through her attorney, Michael C. Miller] to be interviewed by federal investigators probing the accidental drug death of her close friend Heath Ledger ... [without] ... immunity from prosecution," and that, when asked about the matter, Miller at first declined further comment.Later that day, after the police confirmed the gist of Weiss's account to the Associated Press, Miller issued a statement denying that Olsen supplied Ledger with the drugs causing his death and asserting that she did not know their source." In his statement, Miller said specifically: "Despite tabloid speculation, Mary-Kate Olsen had nothing whatsoever to do with the drugs found in Heath Ledger's home or his body, and she does not know where he obtained them," emphasizing that media "descriptions [attributed to an unidentified source] are incomplete and inaccurate."After a flurry of further media speculation, on 6 August 2008, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan closed its investigation into Ledger's death without filing any charges and rendering moot its subpoena of Olsen.With the clearing of the two doctors and Olsen, and the closing of the investigation because the prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office "don't believe there's a viable target," it is still not known how Ledger obtained the oxycodone and hydrocodone in the lethal drug combination that killed him.
Controversy over will:After Heath Ledger's death, in response to some press reports about his will, filed in New York City on 28 February 2008,and his daughter's access to his financial legacy, his father, Kim Ledger, said that he considered the financial well-being of his granddaughter Matilda Rose the Ledger family's "absolute priority" and her mother, Michelle Williams, "an integral part of our family," adding "They will be taken care of and that's how Heath would want it to be."Some relatives of Heath Ledger may be challenging the legal status of his will signed in 2003, prior to his involvement with Michelle Williams and the birth of their daughter and not updated to include them, which was filed in New York and divides half of his estate between his parents and half among his siblings; they claim that there is a second, unsigned will, which leaves most of that estate to Matilda Rose.Williams' father, Larry Williams, has also joined the controversy about Ledger's will as it was filed in New York City soon after his death.
On 31 March 2008, stimulating another controversy pertaining to Ledger's estate, Gemma Jones and Janet Fife-Yeomans published an "Exclusive" report, in
The Daily Telegraph, citing Ledger's uncle Haydn Ledger and other family members, who "believe the late actor may have fathered a secret love child" when he was 17, and stating that "If it is confirmed that Ledger is the girl's biological father, it could split his multi-million dollar estate between ...
Matilda Rose ... and his secret love child." A few days later, reports citing telephone interviews with Ledger's uncles Haydn and Mike Ledger and the family of the other little girl, published in OK! and Us Weekly, "denied" those "claims", with Ledger's uncles and the little girl's mother and stepfather describing them as unfounded "rumors" distorted and exaggerated by the media.[On 15 July 2008, Fife-Yeomans reported further, via Australian News Limited, that "While Ledger left everything to his parents and three sisters, it is understood they have legal advice that under WA law, Matilda Rose is entitled to the lion's share" of his estate; its executors, Kim Ledger's former business colleague Robert John Collins and Geraldton accountant William Mark Dyson, "have applied for probate in the West Australian Supreme Court in Perth, advertising "for 'creditors and other persons' having claims on the estate to lodge them by 11 August 2008 ... to ensure all debts are paid before the estate is distributed...According to this report by Fife-Yeomans and earlier reports citing Ledger's uncles, which do not include his actual posthumous earnings, "his entire fortune, mostly held in Australian trusts, is likely to be worth up to
$20 million."
On 27 September 2008 Heath Ledger's father Kim stated that Matilda Rose would inherit the entire estate valued at 20 million U.S. Dollars. He is quoted as saying "There is no claim. Our family has gifted everything to Matilde.

No comments: