What Killed Heath Ledger?

The best movie I’ve seen in a long time.  The Dark Knight.  I’m not alone in loving this film, it made a new record opening at upwards of $155,000,000 this weekend.

There wasn’t a single thing in this movie that I would change and it may just be the best action/suspense/thriller/comic book movie I have ever seen.  The visuals were stunning, the musical score was spot on, the special effects were top notch and the acting was incredible, especially on Heath Ledger‘s parts.

In fact, Ledger was so into his character that when looking a him, the Joker, you could see nothing of Ledger.  His eyes were different, his hair, his face, the way he walked, his voice was dramatically changed.  The swagger as he went through a room brandishing knives and guns like lolly pops and dandilions.

I felt myself needing to be reminded that this person, the Joker, wasn’t real. It was as though the real villian had taken the stage.  Ledger had it down, the hand gestures, the licking of his lips, the heavy breathing and the sound his mouth made with the scars.

This was nothing like what you’d expect from the guy who played Patrick Verona.

If you were to ask me, “What killed Heath Ledger”, I would say, The Dark Knight killed Heath Ledger.

I believe that he got so into his character, so wrapped up in all the terrible things the Joker represented, that he became, at least in some degree, the Joker.  I think he took into his heart the pain the Joker felt, the pain that lead him to do the things he did.

I believe Ledger fell a victim of some sort of spontaneous paranoid schizophreniform psychosis.  It became too hard to tell reality from his character.  That was probably when he turned to RX drugs for depression and anxiety.

A dangerous side effect of anti anxiety, anti seizure, anti depression medications is respiratory infection.  Any time I have ever been on any of these medications, I have been hospitalized for either or both, pneumonia and bronchitis.

Mix the meds for the respiratory infection he had possibly from the anti psychotic medications along with a few too many similar meds and you have a prescription for death.

In the end, no one could have played that part better than Ledger and we would never have known that until now.

So if you ask me, it’s Warner Bros. fault Heath Ledger is dead, at last partly.  Either way, a tragic loss and one of the best performances I have ever seen.

(P.S., that last bit about Warner Bros. killing Ledger, to quote the Joker, “Why so serious?”.  It’s a joke)

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3 thoughts on “What Killed Heath Ledger?

  1. i don’t think we can blame warner bros cause they didn’t know. apparently jack nicholson knew, but that didn’t really help much. before i saw the movie the whole batman killed heath ledger thing sounded ridiculous. then i saw and i was like, oh, well, that explains it. but i don’t think you can really blame anyone… who could have forseen it? in any event, did you see if they put a dedication or memorium or anything in the credits? i didn’t stick around for them.

  2. So, you were totally right!  Wow.  What an amazing movie.  I had my doubts about Heath Ledger, but I was blown away by his performance.  I wanna see it again!  🙂

  3. Jack Nicholson claims that he warned Ledger about taking the sleeping pill Ambien, and the effects it can cause. According to what I’ve read, since Ledger was traveling extensively between New York [where is residence was] and London [for the filming of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus], each of his doctors were unaware of what the other was prescribing, therefore didn’t warn him that the combination of his prescriptions would produce a toxic and fatal effect.Sounds plausible… but I don’t know, because most doctors require patients to list any other medications….

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