As you’ve all probably heard by now, Heath Ledger is dead. The reports, rumors, and speculations are running rampant, so I won’t even bother to comment on any of those until the facts come out.
I would like to say, though, that I’ve been writing about Ledger for over a year now in relation first to his being cast as the Joker in the new Batman movie, then with the still-shots of him as the Joker, then finally from the acutal Dark Knight trailer. From the get-go, I trusted Christopher Nolan with choosing Ledger, and from that moment on, Ledger showed me he was perfect for the role. My respect for him as an artist grew exponentially every time I saw his interpretation of one of popular culture’s most iconic visages.
I’m sure this will sound unreasonable to some, but as an artist, his portrayal of the Joker looks to be perfect, and if one must die, to die at the top of one’s art … well, there could be worse ways to leave this world. I hope you understand what I mean by that. I worry it may sound callous, and it’s certainly not meant to. Artists never want to grow old feeling as though their best work is behind them, and Ledger will never feel that way.
My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans, especially his little girl. The world lost an emerging artist, but she lost her daddy.