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Heath Ledger's Sister Talks About Him Playing the Joker

Heath Ledger's Sister Says His Role as the Joker Didn't Contribute to His Death

Heath Ledger won a posthumous Academy Award for his haunting portrayal of the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, but there have been long-standing rumors that the role continued to have a very serious effect on the actor even after the cameras stopped rolling. Heath's sister, Kate, decided to finally put an end to that talk when she attended the premiere of the documentary I Am Heath Ledger in New York City on Monday. "I was really shocked, because that was him having fun," she told The Daily Telegraph. "Every report was coming out that he was depressed and that [the role] was taking this toll on him, and we're going, honestly, it was the absolute opposite. It couldn't be more wrong."

A few months after Heath wrapped the film, he died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 28. Before his death, Heath did admit that the role of the Joker stressed him out "a little too much" and that he lost sleep during filming. Jack Nicholson, who played the same role in the 1989 Batman film, also said he warned the actor about taking on such a dark character. But Kate went on to say that those closest to the actor knew what was really going on. "He had an amazing sense of humor, and I guess maybe only his family and friends knew that, but he was having fun," she continued. "He wasn't depressed about the Joker!"

Image Source: Everett Collection
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