Real name: Heathcliff Andrew Ledger
Birthdate: April 4, 1979
Partner: Heather Graham
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In 1996, prior to his film debut in the 1997 Australian movie Blackrock, Heath Ledger was involved in the short lived Fox Broadcasting Company fantasy-drama Roar. In 1999, Ledger starred in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate about You and also had the lead role in the acclaimed Australian movie Two Hands, directed by Gregor Jordan. Since then he has starred in The Patriot, Monster's Ball, A Knight's Tale, Ned Kelly, The Order, and The Brothers Grimm.
In 2005, Ledger received a "Best Actor in a Drama" Golden Globe nomination for his acclaimed performance in Brokeback Mountain, 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. In the New York Times review of the film, critic Stephen Holden wrote:"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 screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn."
In another review in Rolling Stone, Peter Travers wrote:"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."
In Spring 2006, it was announced that Ledger would portray Bob Dylan in the film I'm Not There. Although not actually playing Dylan himself, Ledger along with several other actors will portray different sides of the singer.
On July 21, 2006, Ledger was officially confirmed to play iconic comic book villain The Joker in The Dark Knight, the sequel to the 2005 film Batman Begins, opposite fellow I'm Not There star Christian Bale. The film is due in 2008.
In 2006, Ledger directed three music videos: "Cause an Effect" and "Seduction Is Evil (She's Hot)" for Australian hip-hop artist N'fa, as well as "Morning Yearning" for Ben Harper.
Ledger has a turbulent relationship with paparazzi photographers. It is alleged that he spat at and assaulted a photographer in Sydney in 2004, while a relative also is alleged to have spat on a photographer in 2005. Ledger strongly denies the accusation. On January 13, 2006, several photographers retaliated, squirting Ledger with water pistols as he walked the red carpet for the Sydney premiere of Brokeback Mountain.
Ledger was engaged to actress Michelle Williams, whom he met on the set of Brokeback Mountain. They have a daughter, Matilda Rose, who was born on October 28, 2005. The child's godparents are Ledger's Brokeback costar Jake Gyllenhaal and Williams' Dawson's Creek castmate Busy Phillips.
In August 2007, Us Weekly reported that Ledger and Williams ended their relationship because of their busy schedule. Neither Ledger nor Williams has confirmed the rumor at the time of this writing. On September 4, 2007, Williams' father, Larry, confirmed to Sydney Daily Telegraph that Ledger & Williams have indeed split.
Academy Award nominee (Best Lead Actor)Golden Globe nominee (Best Lead Actor - Drama)BAFTA Award nominee (Best Lead Actor)SAG nominee (Best Lead Actor, Best Ensemble Cast) AFI Award (Best Lead Actor)