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Heather Ledger For Entertainment Weekly on the One Year Anniversary of His Death

Heath's Friends Weigh In on His Life One Year Later

It's hard to believe almost a year has gone by since Heath Ledger's tragic passing, but next Thursday will be the one-year anniversary of his death. He's already been honored with a few posthumous awards, including a Golden Globe, and with Oscar nominations less than a week away, the buzz around Heath's performance in The Dark Knight is as loud as ever. To continue honoring and celebrating his memory, Entertainment Weekly made Heath its cover story with quotes and highlights about his life from the people that worked closely with the actor and grew to know and love him over the years. Here are a few highlights from the touching article:

  • Gil Junger, director, 10 Things I Hate About You: "Heath came in to read, and he exuded a sexuality so uncommon for a man of that age. As soon as he left, I stood up and said, 'Ladies, I have never wanted to sleep with a man, but if I had to, that would be the man. Please hire him immediately.'"
  • Todd Black, producer, A Knight's Tale: "Heath was the pied piper. If you were sad, he took care of you. If you were happy, he made you happier just by dancing or talking or laughing. Fear didn't enter his psyche. He would say whatever was on his mind. If he didn't like you, you would know it, and if he liked you, you would know it."
  • Wes Bentley, friend and costar, The Four Feathers: "Heath's fun clouded its way through a room. It was infectious. If you were stuck in an elevator with him, you'd be entertained. He liked to go to Vegas dressed snazzy. He'd walk the streets of Vegas and never really have a plan, dressed up in a pink blazer and a tie. He liked to get a boat and travel to the Greek islands. Some people think he'd party too much and take drugs. That wasn't the case. It was young energy. He was high off life."
  • Terry Gilliam, director, The Brothers Grimm: "All of us who were close to Heath knew what was going on, and it was not the most pleasant experience. . . . He was obsessed with his daughter. She became the center of his thoughts. He would drag her up to my house in London. Here's Heath, Academy Award nominee, and he'd just grab his daughter, stick her in a backpack, hop on the Tube, and come up to the house. Nobody would have thought, There's Heath Ledger. He was just a guy with a kid."

To read a lot more quotes from costars and friends about Heath's life and tragic death, just


  • Mel Gibson, costar, The Patriot: "We'd hook up from time to time and chat. He did ask me a couple of times for advice, but I just said, 'Hey, follow your own gut, dude. You're doing alright so far. Don't listen to me. I've often been known to be quite wrong about a lot of things.' But he was his own man. He was going to do what he was going to do. He was looking for a way to fulfill himself in his art and in who he was. He didn't have the cart before the horse."
  • Nicola Pecorini, friend and cinematographer, The Order and Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus: "Heath would sometimes ask for help to escape: 'Can you call me at 5:15 so I can pick up the phone and get off this interview?' It was very funny, because he was like a big kid — you know, 'Get me out of Science 101.' He went along for the ride, but at times it was a bit too much for him. He'd call me and say, 'Can I come play with your kid?' My son at the time was 10, and Heath would come and spend hours playing soldiers with him, just to get away from everything."
  • Catherine Hardwicke, director, The Lords of Dogtown: "During the awards and celebratory parties for Brokeback, he told me, 'I don't want to work. I want to take a year or two off where Michelle and I will move to Holland and ride bikes.' This dream took root in his mind: How can I get away? How can I get time to renew my soul? But the business doesn't want you to take that time. He was so desirable, everyone was offering him the most delicious things in the world on a daily basis."
  • Gary Oldman, costar, The Dark Knight: "I kind of raised my eyebrow at the casting and thought, Oh, I wonder how that will be. But any concerns that one may have had vanished when you got on the set with him. I did a couple of scenes with Heath in the first leg of the shoot in London. I called a friend and he said, 'How's Heath?' I said, 'He's breathtaking. He's going to be astounding.' I could tell just working for five minutes with him."
  • Pecorini: "He was so solid into keeping clean, it was quite stunning. I really think he died of a broken heart. I know it can sound very romantic, but it's very tragic. I think that's what killed him."
  • Steve Alexander, his CAA Agent: "We were making these incredible plans about what was next, career-wise. The day after he died, he was going to meet Steven Spielberg to explore the idea of playing Tom Hayden in a movie about the Chicago 7. This wasn't a guy who was even for a second thinking about checking out in any way, shape, or form. There's a moment in The Dark Knight when Heath's hanging upside down and he says to Batman, 'You and I are destined to do this forever.' It's a very sad moment. A sequel certainly would have happened. I cringe when I read that he was a tortured soul or a Method actor who couldn't get out of his own way because he'd played this dark character. It's just not true."
  • Oldman: "If Heath does get an Oscar nomination, I can just picture him up there, looking down and going, F---!"
rachelanne rachelanne 8 years
I was saddened to hear of his death a year ago. It is always tragic to a person so young to die. What a talented actor he was.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
bridget, you're right. Oops I read the quote too fast :oops: The way it's actually written makes more sense anyway, seeing how Heath wasn't that preoccupied with fame.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's interesting of you hear about what the last few folks were saying about how he wanted to escape and how he needed time away. it shows you that he must have really gotten enraptured with what hew as doing EVERY time he took on a role, and that had to take a toll on him. i kind of wish that he and michelle had moved to holland and done their own thing, because that's kind of what i feel may have saved him. yes that area is known for their leniency on drugs, but i think that he would have been happy there with his family.
Asche Asche 8 years
These are indeed lovely comments about a talented actor, but I am disgusted by this article. Heath Ledger was indeed famous, but he was not legendary. This article was planted not because it is the anniversary of his death, but because the studio promoting Dark Knight is really pandering to get the Oscar. They probably hope that this tugs at the heartstrings of Academy voters (who will in turn vote for him). Hollywood is an industry, and I think that you all forget this. Nothing is ever done out of goodness--there is always an MO. The people quote in this article repeatedly discuss how he wanted privacy. Is this giving him privacy? No. It's a backhanded Oscar campaign. Instead of taking out a page in Variety like most studios do for their actors, the studio decided to push this. It's nauseating.
jaan_black jaan_black 8 years
Audrey1974 Audrey1974 8 years
What a great man for his family and friends. What a tragic, sad loss for the rest of us...
alwayssmile8 alwayssmile8 8 years
i ca't believe it's been so long. its sad, yet beautiful
runaluna runaluna 8 years
This is so sad. Yet so sweet. Playing soldiers with a friend's kid as a means to escape, and taking a year off going to Holland with Michelle, it's so heartbreaking! RIP.
karen-zoo karen-zoo 8 years
I love that he asked Percorini to call him at 5:15 to get him out of an interview lol! I love that. And playing soldiers with a friend's son. I love that too. He sounds like he was such as sweetheart.
bridget0621 bridget0621 8 years
Oldman actually said if he DOES win the Oscar, he'd say "Fu**". I believe he is referring to Heath's lack of interest in the fame and recognition. That, or its a pop-typo.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
RIP Heath. I can't believe that it has been a year... I loved Gary Oldman's last line about Heath yelling "F*ck!" in Heaven if he doesn't get an Oscar.
bluestar bluestar 8 years
I love that picture of him. RIP...still so sad!
BethM BethM 8 years
Gosh, his death still feels like yesterday. I hope he rests in peace and I know he's watching over Matilda and Michelle.
cakiely23 cakiely23 8 years
May he rest in peace......
lise lise 8 years
theflyinghorse theflyinghorse 8 years
ditto at ur_momm and juicylemon. He always made me smile while watching his movies... such a talented man... so sad :(
Juicylemon Juicylemon 8 years
Its heartbreaking. I remember how happy I was that Heath Ledger was getting noticed for his talent after Brokeback Mountain. I was looking forward to what he'll do next and how he'll probably get other chances to have an Oscar since he's so young. Instead he died.
Lily-Inferno Lily-Inferno 8 years
I wasnt too sad when he died, but hearing how ppl talk about him, who he really almost made me cry. I probably would have had I not been at work
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
Still very, very sad. The story about him playing soldiers with the little boy is heartbreaking because he had so little privacy in his life and that was his means of escape. It's nice to hear Wes Bentley's thoughts. I loved The Four Feathers and I knew they remained friends after the filming.
Samy210 Samy210 8 years
so sad, but sounds like he was a great father and friend, loved him in DK and Brothers Grimm, pretty much most of his movies he brought something new. hope he wins a oscar tho.
ur_momm ur_momm 8 years
Awww brings tears to my eyes. I want to move to holland and ride bikes too.. What a loss to the world.
mlen mlen 8 years
i doubt he's blaming michelle, just trying to explain how it wasn't that he was a druggie or troubled actor (like other out of control young hollywood types), that it was not just that
Angel15 Angel15 8 years
Pecorini: "He was so solid into keeping clean, it was quite stunning. I really think he died of a broken heart. I know it can sound very romantic, but it's very tragic. I think that's what killed him." Is he blaming Michelle?!
naked_american naked_american 8 years
Very touching indeed. But what did Gilliam mean about "we knew what was going on, and it was not the most pleasant experience"? Was he referring to Heath & Michelle's breakup? I can't believe it's been nearly a year already. :(
meggiemegs meggiemegs 8 years
still so sad
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