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Music, Movies, & Miscellany > Heath Ledger found dead

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message 1: by Sarah (last edited Jan 22, 2008 02:28PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7)

So sad how drugs ruin lives.

ETA: They don't know what the drugs were, just that prescription pills were found near the body. They don't know yet if it was abuse or an accident.

message 2: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany I just read about this online. He has a daughter, doesn't he? How horribly sad.

message 3: by Branden (new)

Branden (bjoycer98) OH I am glad that you posted it. I can't believe it! How sad!

message 4: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 571 comments wow. very sad indeed. he was poised to take over the world with his upcoming Joker role. thanks for posting about this.

message 5: by Sera (new)

Sera This news is a major downer. I'm so sad for his daughter.

message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) OK, just to head off the "but why is it more sad because he had kids" issue... it's not that his life was worth more than a single person's. It's just sad that the daughter will grow up without her father.

message 8: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Jan 22, 2008 05:51PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
My heart is broken.

Kat's "10 Things I Hate About You"

"I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair.
I hate the way you drive my car.
I hate it when you stare.
I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind.
I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme.
I hate the way you're always right.
I hate it when you lie.
I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it when you're not around, and the fact that you didn't call.
But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you.
Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all."

message 9: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (loveliesdiva) | 10 comments that is so sad, he was such a great actor, and so very cute. Feel so bad for his family.

message 10: by Meghan (last edited Jan 22, 2008 06:59PM) (new)

Meghan Wow. I was so shocked this week after learning that Christopher Bowman (the figure skater) and Brad Renfro had both died from drug overdoses. But this is beyond words.

And Alison, that movie is what made me first fall in love with him. I love the quote.

How horribly, horribly sad.

message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I knew about Brad Renfro but not Brian Boitano!

message 12: by Erica (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments To chime in here, I was quite shocked to hear about what happened. Reading more details and from what is said, I wouldn't call it a 'drug' related death in the sense of a heroin or coke od kinda thing.

It appears that the pills were sleeping pills and it is told that he took Ambien to help him sleep, but had publicly claimed that it only helped him for an hour at a time. While he did seem depressed due to the breakup of his relationship last year with Michelle Williams, and was known to be turning down roles recently, it seems that this could have been an accident.

People who go long term with sleep deprivation have been known to do things that aren't the wisest and it seems that he could have in a sleep deprived and frustrated cloud, just taken way too many pills with nothing more than the intent to sleep for more than an hour or two at a time. There have been cases of people whose judgement was skewed because of pain or sleep loss to do things that lead to their death, so while technically a suicided, death by their own hand, they may likely have not intended that to be the result, only the lessening of their symptoms!

As a survivor of suicide and a family member of substance abusers, I hesitate to jump to the conclusion to label anyone an OD or a suicide because this can be tremendously hurtful to the loved ones left behind.

message 13: by Meghan (last edited Jan 22, 2008 06:59PM) (new)

Meghan OK. MY BAD. NOT Boitano. It was Christopher Bowman (Bowman the Showman--figure skater though). I'm so terrible at names. I fixed it below.

Yeah he was found dead in a Budget Motel room with drug stuff. He apparently had gained a ton of weight (I think they said 260 pounds?). They mentioned that he taught skating to kids but that he had to rent his skates because he admitted that his had been stolen. The comparison to Will Ferrell in Blades of Glory had been made. Only I guess he wasn't bitter. It was just really really sad.

message 14: by Megan (new)

Megan | 118 comments well, it seems they always go in threes.

message 15: by Erica (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments I am sure it will be. Noone wants the stigma of knowing the one they loved killed themselves. Honestly, from my experience, and those I learned of in a survivors of suicide group, it doesn't sound like he 'planned' to kill himself. And all intial reports say that he was not known to be a drug abuser. It is a shame that just because you are famous and pills are mentioned that it is assumed that there is some kind of seedy substance abuse going on.

message 16: by Erica (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments BTW Meghan, I sent a message to your inbox!

message 17: by Erica (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments Ugh, Megan, I would just say it seems to always happen! It is a shame. No more so than when a wonderful NON famous person dies, but a shame nonetheless.

Is it horrible that I often think that when someone famous dies, that while horrible for the family, they are luckier than some of us who lose our NONfamous loved ones because they can always have the movies, cds, etc of their loved ones to keep? The saddest part of when I lost my brother is that I can't hear his voice anymore...Heath's family and friends can always see something that will show him with that twinkle in his eye, or that special grin or whatever.

I know that wouldn't be a consolation to them now, but one day I hope that they are able to appreciate that.

message 18: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Erica, I know what you mean. The worst part of losing a loved one (for me, both my parents) is you eventually stop hearing their voice. It's weird how much that means to you after it's gone.

message 19: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Oh and I responded.

message 20: by Sarah (last edited Jan 23, 2008 11:09AM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Yeah, he was talking about how he couldn't turn his mind off and he'd gotten maybe 2 hours of sleep in the last week. This was during filming, though.

ETA: What I meant when I said it was during filming was that I believed he'd said this a while ago, and was not directly related to his death as far as I knew. But, like Dee said, the rumors are going and people are taking that quote out of context and inferring that he was so tormented by the role that it killed him.

message 21: by Cody (new)

Cody Wilshire (codywilshire) | 85 comments Okay now, I'm going to come off like a bitch but whatever.

It takes the body almost three days to die from an Ambien overdose. It's HIGHLY unlikely that's what caused his death. Not to mention the fact that the police stated they found him face down, stark naked, on his floor. That's pretty much near impossible for the human body to react that way from an Ambien or sleep medication overdose.

They found prescription medication in his apartment, yes, but it was not scattered all over the floor, it was not even NEAR the body, it was just IN his apartment.

A lot of you guys are basing your opinions off of stories from gossip sites. As of right now, the coroners official report is that it's inconclusive and it will take up to ten days for the full autopsy and work up. However, in most autopsies, one of the first things done is a tox screening (to check toxins in the system, drugs both prescription and otherwise), the fact that they haven't mentioned anything related to prescription medication or non prescription drugs means that most likely, it wasn't just ONE contributing factor.

Also, he was on intensely strong antibiotics due to a really bad bout of pnemounia. Anitbiotics are one of the prescription meds found in his home, it wasn't like he had bottles of Ambien all over the place.

I think the amount of gossip and wrong information going on about this, as well as peoples ridiculous comments (like Jack Nicholsons insensitive asshole remark) just fuel more fire and are completely disrespectful to not only his daughter, but his entire family.

Until anything is made official, the rumors will continue to fly but please keep in mind it's JUST that, RUMORS.

*jumps off soapbox*

message 22: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Dee - you're right. I deleted my comment. It is not appropriate. Sorry to have appeared to be fueling the rumor mill.

message 23: by Erica (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments You are very right Dee, I don't think anyone here was particularly 'gossiping' as far as saying that he did kill himself or use drugs indiscriminately (at least I didn't take it that way). This is one of the reasons that I always said that I never wanted to be in the limelight, or be in a relationship with someone trying to get there.

I know that it is bad enough when someone we know personally dies, we jump to conclusions and make assumptions that we have no place making. I had a former coworker die this summer, and the way he was found everyone assumed that he had od'd when in fact it had nothing to do with drugs, he had simply and unfortunately had a heart attack.

I was personally bothered by all the reports coming out commenting on drugs and depression and so on and so forth. But here in this room I think mostly everyone was just expressing their dismay without a bunch of judgement. You are right about the respect to the family and loved ones, I think I mentioned that in an earlier post.

By the way, hadn't heard that about the antibiotics or the pneumonia, but I did just read that he was not in fact found on the floor, that he was found in bed, but moved onto the floor by paramedics.

message 24: by Gizmology (new)

Gizmology | 10 comments I keep thinking of his incredible performance as Ennis in Brokeback Mountain, how he broke the hearts of an audience so eloquently with so few words -- the most subtle facial expressions and body language and the most nuanced of silences. So much pain lived inside of two hours! And here once again, his silence is breaking hearts, but his pain won't end this time when we walk out of the theater. How sad this seems!

Maybe it's cheesy to eulogize a movie star I never met, and wasn't even obsessed with or anything, but that one performance affected me so deeply that I want to write a goodbye somewhere, and here is as good a place as any. I guess the only way to look at such a death -- his or any other that seems so unfair, a life that seems to have been cut so short-- is simply to trust that his lessons here were done and it was time for him to move on. The best way to honor his memory is to try to hear what he was saying and carry the message of love that he was sharing. He gave an awful lot with that particular sweet and tortured performance in one powerful movie, and that's what he'll be remembered for.

Goodbye Heath Ledger.

*End of Cheesy but Sincere Eulogy*

message 25: by Shannon, the founder of fun (back from sabbatical) (new)

Shannon | 254 comments Mod
What a great loss. My husband has been very excited about his upcoming role in the Batman movie. For some reason I'm having the same feelings as I did from the death of Brandon Lee from the Crow, I can't particularly say why there just appears to be a similar tragic connection. I hope that his family and friends will find some kind of peace.

message 26: by Alison, the guru of grace (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
Awwww. I'm tearing up, and I'm not kidding.

I have pretty much tuned out any of the press on this, outside of initially signing on to Yahoo yesterday morning and doing that thing you do...where you're just staring at the headline, and you're thinking, "Am I reading this right?" Just that shock and disbelief.

To me, the hows and the whys are not as important as, like said above, honoring the life that was, and Dear God, for once let's try to learn from these tragic mistakes. We have no idea what happened that day, but let's please be careful in taking medications. Even a simple combination of one or two can be lethal, especially when combined with few as one or two drinks. Let's be careful with the chemicals we put in our body (avoiding any that aren't necessary)..follow instructions and never make assumptions regarding safety. And the rule "if one is good, two are better" does not apply to most, if any drugs. As I said, I have no idea what was going on in regard to his mental state and have no desire to guess or pass judgement, but, let's just try our best to be good to our bodies.

I can't get this song out of my head all day..."You're just too good to be true. Can't keep my eyes off of you." (10 Things)

message 27: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Amen, Alison!

message 28: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 571 comments So I saw the 10 things by Kat post, and I said to myself, I remember that, that was sweet. But that song! ... looks like double feature night with 10 Things and A Knight's Tale at my place tonight. (only two of his I own unfortunately).

I really need to pick up The Bros Grimm sometime - wasn't critically acclaimed or anything, but I liked it. Heath also did well in Ned Kelly and The Four Feathers I thought. I still need to watch Monster's Ball.

what better tribute than a movie night, eh?

message 29: by Erica (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments Sad to say but I have not yet seen Brokeback Mountain, and now I don't think I can for a bit. Alison, great post! And I too just couldn't get past the shock reading the headline. And I was not an obsessed fan, but he seemed like one of those few stars that if you met on the street would just be nice! And that is saying a lot.

message 30: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 571 comments my last post seems a bit flippant to me which wasn't intended, so let me just say my heart literally skipped a beat when I read the title of this post, which is where I first heard the news. not many things make it do that.

message 31: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I saw Brokeback Mountain with three gay friends. None of us liked the movie, but thought the acting was very good. We just didn't think they developed the love story very well. It came across as being more about sex than about love until the very end. To us, anyway.

message 32: by Dottie (new)

Dottie (oxymoronid) | 698 comments Sarah -- have you read the Proulx story on which the film was based? I thought the film was very well done actually, but would have to reread to see if I thought it leaned away from the love story just to the sex asoect. This is such a loss of talent but saddest for those who were closest to him naturally.

Someone mad a remark about Jack Nicholson making a comment that was not good -- could someone clarify either here or in a message? I love nicholson inspite of himself and yet would like to know what it was he'd said about Ledger's death.

message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) He said "I warned him." It's unclear what he warned him about, exactly.

Jack was notoriously angry about not being asked to reprise his role as the Joker. I guess he didn't get the memo that this is a YOUNGER version of the story.

Dottie, I have not read the story. We just all felt that when they first got together in the tent it felt more prison-sex-like than romantic. There was no build up of them falling in love. Just one day Heath's character was cold, went into the tent, and suddenly they're having violent and completely unromantic sex. It seemed like it was more about being cold and isolated than about being in love. I never got the "in love" vibe until the very end, in the scene with the shirt (won't say any more so I don't give it away for those who haven't seen it).

My gay friends remarked that this film was hardly "groundbreaking" as far as representing gay relationships. They pointed out several films they preferred, but the only one I can think of right now was Jeffrey.

message 34: by Dottie (new)

Dottie (oxymoronid) | 698 comments Okay -- your comments jogged my brain -- and my suggestion is to read the story and then watch the film paying very close attention -- it was all there, I'm sure -- and I believe the film is powerful because it stuck to the story. I fell in love with the story long before seeing the film and was not at all disappointed in the film as far as I can recall.

Thanks -- for the quick response -- just Jack shooting himself in the foot again -- sigh.

message 35: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 571 comments I was reading an obituary for Ledger and came across this bit of trivia that might interest some WH fans:

He had come a long way, both literally and figuratively, from his birthplace of Perth in Western Australia. His middle-class parents - his mother a French teacher and father a racing-car driver and mining engineer - somewhat perversely, named him and his sister after Emily Brontë's tragic lovers in Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff and Catherine. He soon shortened it.

message 36: by Meghan (last edited Jan 25, 2008 06:04AM) (new)

Meghan Thanks Heather. I always wondered how his parents came up with his name. Makes much more sense now.

MSN did a really nice tribute to him. They brought up a movie that I would have to concur was much more poignant than say Brokeback Mountain. He played Skip in Lords of Dogtown (a skate boarding movie based on a true story). His final scene is a tribute to his talent as a performer.

It's interesting thinking back on all the movies I've seen him in. He sort of made himself out as this moody, stoic sort of guy. But when he smiled, man, could he light up a room! I think that's when I started my Heath crush, in 10 Things when he's smiling at Kat. It's this sincere smile tinged with a little bit of mischief.

Here's the article if you care to read:

message 37: by Shannon, the founder of fun (back from sabbatical) (new)

Shannon | 254 comments Mod
Wow Heather - that is an interesting bit of trivia.

message 38: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 38 comments What I have heard is Jack Nicholson made that comment in reference to the sleeping pill Ambien. But there has been speculation if that is really true or if he was referring to the role Heath had just finished shooting for The Joker in Batman, since he had played the same exact role.

message 39: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) It would make more sense to be the latter, Nicole. Why would Jack Nicholson talk to Heath Ledger about Ambien? Jack didn't like Heath. It sounds like the Hollywood rumor mill at work, IMO. Of course we'd never know without asking Jack.

message 40: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Jan 25, 2008 11:38AM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
That makes sense to me, too...he "warned him" about what a taxing role the Joker would be. If you watch The Dark Knight trailer, he does come off as evil incarnate (as he was supposed to).

I love him so much more now that I know he was named after my beloved Heathcliff!

Story alert: One day I was at work (I work in a hospital), and it was a Saturday, and very slow...just me, and the nursing assistant, and one patient, and I saw where 10 things was coming on TV, and I begged the nursing assistant to go in a room and watch it. I told her I would do her work and mine for two hours if she'd go see it (she never had). I KNOW it's a high school movie, but for anyone out there who doesn't know, it's a re-telling of The Taming of the Shrew, and it's very WORDY (much like our own beloved "Girls") and smart, and so, so romantic. And it made Julia Stiles & Heath stars, although Heath tried to veer away from such roles in the future. If anyone hasn't seen it, I highly recommend it.

I read Brokeback, but haven't seen it. It was one of those movies that sat on our kitchen counter for like a week, running up Blockbuster fees unwatched (because of time constraints) so that when I finally returned it, I could have bought it for what I paid to rent it. And that always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But eventually I'll catch it on TV and TIVO it. I feel like I've seen it...there were so many spoilers around that Oscar season. If anyone's interested in the short story (or novella)'s very short and could be read in a sitting.

And Heather, I didn't think your post was flippant. What better way to honor an actor's death than through his art? I'm sure that's the way he'd like it.

message 41: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Apparently Jack's comment WAS about Ambien:

"I warned him," Nicholson said, then added: "I told him so."

Later, at the film's premiere, Nicholson said: "I took Ambien once. I fell asleep and then got a call and almost drove off a cliff 50 yards from my house."

message 42: by Dottie (new)

Dottie (oxymoronid) | 698 comments And obviously Jack had a reason to tell Ledger to be wary of it after his own experience. The whole thing is sad but we will just find out what we find out once the full reports are in. the article surely points out that he had too many different sleep and anxiety meds at hand.

message 43: by Bree (new)

Bree I just wanted to add a comment here, just in a manner of tribute. My favorite Heath Ledger film was Knights Tale...just for the pure fun of it. I have always found him sweet and funny and while I don't get into star watching at all, I was shocked and saddened by the news, I'm not sure why except that he was a very charismatic and likable man.

What's really weird (for me anyway) is that I think I'll always remember when I heard that he had died. The only other celebrity that I can say that about is Princess Di's death.

message 44: by Gizmology (last edited Jan 26, 2008 06:24AM) (new)

Gizmology | 10 comments Just had to express my surprise at a couple people saying that they thought Brokeback Mountain was about sex rather than love! Could I beg you to watch it again, this time watching for the unspoken cues in what's NOT said, in the substitution of violence when emotion is too great, in the shrug of a shoulder or the tightening of a jaw, which is the only way that men raised in that particularly harsh time and place could do in place of speaking the too-powerful feelings that terrified them so much. What I found to be so incredible about that movie was that it seemed to me to be an incredible depiction of an incredibly passionate relationship, one made doubly poignant by the fact that these men had no idea of how to talk about their feelings and every reason for keeping them hidden until they simply felt too much love and pain to contain them. Both characters felt incredibly self-protective and guilty about their love-- Ennis's own father had raised him to to think that a man should deserve no better than violent death as a consequence of the sin of acting on such repellent feelings-- and yet they couldn't stay away from each other. While it may be hard for cosmopolitan young gay men in some open-minded parts of the country today to imagine a life so repressed and subtle, I thought that Jake Gyllenhall and especially Heath Ledger gave entirely convincing performances showing just why every tiny gesture had to be made almost invisibly and then studied for underlying meaning. The scene where they embraced against the side of the house after they'd not seen each other for several years the first time was one of the most intensely wrenching reunions I've ever seen on film. I think my gay friends must be very different from the ones a couple of you have -- they all saw it multiple times and felt that it spoke very eloquently for a terrorized minority that couldn't, in that time and place, take the chance of speaking for itself. Try watching it again, seriously!

message 45: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Thanks for your comments, Gizmology. My take on the film was similar to yours. About the sex parts, I just remember thinking how "masculine" it was. It wasn't like we see in movies about heterosexual romance and sex. I was like two male partners having sex. Oh, wait, it *was* two male partners having sex.

message 46: by Zoe (new)

Zoe | 16 comments it is so sad! I doubt it was suicide though...

message 47: by Karey (new)

Karey (kareyshane) Life is such a precious gift.

message 48: by Beth (new)

Beth | 173 comments btw,speaking of Ambien, there is a rapidly growing body of anecdotal evidence linking the drug to all kinds of bizarre behavior. Many reports involve "nocturnal driving" or "nocturnal eating" - basically meaning people are driving their cars or eating large amounts of food while asleep, with no memory of the acts. People are also doing all kinds of other bizarre things. Pretty scary, as this is a very widely-used drug. This has absolutely nothing to do with books, sorry, but seems interesting in relation to Heath Ledger's death.

message 49: by Arielle (new)

Arielle | 120 comments Prayers and thoughts to his family and friends.

message 50: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
It’s interesting that no one has mentioned The Patriot. I don’t know why, but that is the first role I thought of… that and 10 Things.

Sarah, your "but why is it more sad because he had kids" post felt a tad harsh. I completely agree it's sad for his daughter to loose her father, but it is amazing how so much more grief seems to be outputted, it is expressed as somehow more sad, when the person has a child/children. I think it’s wonderful that he was able to enjoy fatherhood for even a time. What a blessing! Anyway, I wasn't going to bring it up until I saw your post.

I just think death is very sad and difficult for any family left behind… and sometimes more so for the friends because they don’t get the kind of support family does and may have been as close, or closer to the individual.

I completely agree with Erica when she said, “…I often think that when someone famous dies, that while horrible for the family, they are luckier than some of us who lose our NONfamous loved ones because they can always have the movies, cds, etc of their loved ones to keep...” I have to think that his daughter has something that other daughters who lost their father’s don’t… a way to see him at work after he died… to hear how he talked and looked and moved. That’s a heck of a lot.

This girl I used to hang out with in Italy used to tell stories about hanging out with Heath in London, and in every one he always sounded so truly kind as well as generous. So many actors that are met by the “average” person are condescending, rude, arrogant, or annoyed. I’ve met some that were tolerant, but often their self-importance shines. Because of my friend’s stories, I held Ledger in good regard. So for that reason I’m all the more sad.

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