Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger


4/4/1979, Perth, Western Australia



Birth Name

Heathcliff Andrew Ledger


  • Academy Awards for outstanding film achi...
  • Academy Awards for outstanding film achi...
  • Academy Awards for outstanding film achi...
out of 10
User Rating
263 votes


One who will always be known as a young actor full of promise, Heath was born in Perth, Australia of Irish and Scottish descent. He lived in Western Australia until he was 16, moving to Sydney with his best friend Trevor to act. He got his first break…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Heath won 28 awards in total for his final performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight.

    • Heath is the first person to win an Oscar for acting in a movie based on a comic book.

    • Heath won a posthumous Golden Globe and Academy award for best supporting actor for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight.

    • Heath's wardrobe was mostly designed by his friend Shem.

    • In June 2008 Ned Kelly director Gregor Jordan announced a new award, the Heath Ledger Scholarship, which will be presented annually to a young Australian-based actor to help them head to Hollywood.

    • Warner Bros released a doll with Heath's likeness based on his character as The Joker in the Batman film, The Dark Knight. The doll was released in Australia and America in May 2008.

    • On January 22nd 2008, Heath tragically died. His body was discovered in his apartment in New York. Prescription drugs were found in the room. In early February, cause of death was announced as an accidental overdose.

    • Heath and Michelle Williams split in September, 2007, after three years together.

    • In February 2007, Heath teamed up with Ben Harper to start their own music label, called Masses Music Co. Their first act to sign to the label was Australian, Grace Woodroofe, who was a personal favorite of Heath's.

    • Heath was the first non-American to play "The Joker" in the sequel to the 2005 box office hit, Batman Begins, called The Dark Knight.

    • Heath was 6' 1" tall.

    • Heath had a tattoo on his arm, "Old Man River" written by Michelle Williams. He had the tattoo artist tattoo over Michelle's handwriting.

    • Heath was good friends with his Brokeback Mountain co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal.

    • Heath had a tattoo on his wrist: "KAOS." They are the first initials of his mom and three sisters: Kate, Ashleigh, Olivia, and Sally. He also joked that growing up surrounded by girls was "Chaos."

    • Heath's father (Kim Ledger) was a mining engineer, and his mother (Sally Ledger) was a French teacher.

    • Heath starred in three films which screened at the 2005 Venice Film Festival. They included Brokeback Mountain, The Brothers Grimm and Casanova.

    • Heath was originally set to star in the 2004 epic Alexander but lost out to Colin Farrell.

    • Heath was a Men's Fashion Judge at the Melbourne Cup Carnival in November 2001.

    • Heath was a part of the Kalamunda Field Hockey team back in 1990 in his native country of Australia. His father, Kim Ledger, was the president of the team from 1990-1992.

    • Heath concentrated on both drama and sports in school. When forced to pick one over the other, he picked drama.

    • Heath dated co-star Lisa Zane while filming the FOX series Roar.

    • Heath dated Naomi Watts for almost two years. Naomi is nine years older than Heath.

    • Heath and his sister, Kate, were named after the leads in the Emily Bronte novel Wuthering Heights.

    • Heath won several awards for hockey while in high school.

    • Heath met Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain.

    • Heath and Michelle Williams welcomed their baby girl, Matilda Rose, on October 28, 2005.

    • Heath tried out for the lead role of Max on Roswell, but lost out to Jason Behr after the series was purchased from Fox by the WB.

    • Heath's first acting role was playing Peter Pan at age 10 at a local theater company.

    • Heath was captain of the drama team in high school.

  • Quotes

    • Heath: I never had money, and I was very happy without it. When I die, my money's not gonna come with me. My movies will live on--for people to judge what I was as a person. I just want to stay curious.

    • Heath: I only do this because I'm having fun. The day I stop having fun, I'll just walk away. I wasn't going to have fun doing a teen movie again... I don't want to do this for the rest of my life... I don't want to spend the rest of my youth doing this in this industry.

    • Heath: (on playing the Joker in the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight") He's just out of control. He has no empathy. He's a sociopath, psychotic, mass-murdering clown. And I'm just thoroughly, thoroughly enjoying it.

    • Heath: I'm not good at future planning. I don't plan at all. I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow. I don't have a day planner and I don't have a diary. I completely live in the now, not in the past, not in the future.

    • Heath: I'm still a kid. I'm like six years old. But it's just a matter of wanting to get up, it's just a big journey. I felt like when I left home that I was on a journey, and I still am.

    • Heath: I'm the worst auditioner; really, really bad. I mean, you're being judged and I'm just so aware of it that it consumes me. I can't relax, I'm tied in knots, so the voice is very taut and tense.

    • Heath: (On his relationship with Michelle Williams, and the birth of their first child) My relationship with Michelle was something that slowly fell into place. We were brought together during this amazing story and our relationship began to unfold... I couldn't be more excited or happier. It's a wonderful time. I've been astonished at the profound changes that have happened in my life. I'm now going to have some time off to enjoy it all.

    • Heath: (Joking about Brokeback Mountain) I never drew about my love for Michelle... Um, my love for [Jake's character] is very different.

    • Heath: (On filming the love scenes with co-star Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain) For me it was a little easier that it was for Jake... Any kind of nerves I had about approaching that scene, I didn't have to hide. We were like, 'F--k it, we took on this story, and there's no point in shying away from it.' Neither of us wanted to do it again any time soon. But in the end, it was just like kissing a person.

    • Heath: I only do this because I'm having fun. The day I stop having fun, I'll just walk away. I wasn't going to have fun doing a teen movie again... I don't want to do this for the rest of my life... I don't want to spend the rest of my youth doing this in this industry. There's so much I want to discover.

    • Heath: I prefer to date older women because they don't try to act older like younger girls... but because they try to act younger.

    • Heath: (Concerning the paparazzi) Most of the time you don't even know they're there. Now, that's the scary thing. It's really strange and invading, but I'm still working it all out. I try to not let it bother me. I really try and find the humour in all of it. And if I want to swim naked in my pool, I'm still going to do it. I certainly don't want to feel that I have to change everything in my life that I do to cater to them. I just won't let it happen.

    • Heath: I don't have a technique. I've never been a believer in having one set technique on how to act. There are no rules and there is no rulebook. At the end of the day, it all comes down to my instincts. That's the one thing that guides me through every decision professionally. Socially, also. That's my technique. Yeah, you read through the script 100 times. I guess I have little characteristics about myself. Sometimes, most often than not, once we start shooting I won't look at the script at all until we finished shooting. It's kind of like it's been imprinted in my head during rehearsals. You just let it go.

    • Heath: (On growing up with his mom and his sisters) I learned respect for women, and patience. You grow up with all those women around you... you learn to wait your turn.

    • Heath: I never studied acting in Australia. I never had an empty stage and black pajamas to run around and express myself.