Thursday, January 24, 2008


I realize that there has been nonstop buzz about the death of actor Heath Ledger, but I feel his life is worth me commenting on.  I grew up with him constantly in the spotlight, and I realized that this is the first celebrity to die that I have watched from beginning to end.  He rose to stardom just as I reached the age for his teen sensations and passed as I witnessed the Oscar nominee finally gain credibility for his work. 

I will admit that my junior high years were spent obsessing over the latest heartthrob, and at that time, Heath Ledger was the greatest out there.  My friends and I cared nothing for his talent or abilities, we just thought he was beautiful.  Now, however, I have grown out of the teen magazines and tabloid hotties and into a deep analyzation of actors.  I have watched Ledger grow from a teen star to an Oscar nominee.  Always slightly on the edge, Ledger challenged himself with complicated characters and unusual stories.  I think his best work started with the film Lords of Dogtown.  Although the movie was not a hit, I was shocked at Ledger's acting job; he was amazing.  Brokeback Mountain was the first controversial role for Heath Ledger, but when he gained an Academy Award nomination, I knew that Ledger had forever left teen stardom and reached a new level of talent and recognition.  He continued with I'm Not There, the artistic documentation of the life of Bob Dylan, taking on the role one of the most complicated musicians of the century.  With the announcement of the new Batman installment, I knew he had reached yet another level of excellence.  Ledger was not afraid of any role, and he would have continued to wow audiences.  He was just reaching true iconic status, and the world will never know what he could have accomplished.

As a person pursuing a career in the film industry, I think about the future in terms of who I would love to work with and what actors and actresses are talented.  I always thought Heath Ledger was a classic pick as a male lead.  He had sex appeal and genuine talent; I know h.  I had him pegged as a person to follow when I worked in the industry later in life.  Now, it is so surreal to know that could never happen. 

I think the world will quickly move on, for we can count on a new Brittany Spears scandal, but I feel we are truly at a loss.  Heath Ledger is the first actor of our generation to reach beyond the teen heartthrob status and gain a level of credibility in the acting world, and now he is gone. 

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