The Truth About Heath Ledger’s Death Will Shock You
If you haven’t seen the documentary I Am Heath Ledger, find a copy of it and watch it NOW!
The film, which was released in April, has to be one of the most intimate looks into the life of an actor, well, human you will ever see.
Filled with footage from his personal collection, it is difficult not to end the session without feeling like you knew him personally.
But it’s the recollections from his family and friends that give a different dimension to Heath’s life that led to his untimely death on the 22 January 2008, aged just 28 years old.
According to his father, Kim, Heath was a happy man and did not intend to end his own life.
While filming what was to be his final film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Heath developed pneumonia after filming during a freezing cold night in London where his character continued to be drenched in water.
It was after this that he took a lethal dose of medication to help him sleep.
His family and friends revealed that Heath was a happy, talented and spirited person who very much wanted to be a part of this world.
Heath somehow knew about his own mortality however, and even joked with his childhood friend that he was “just like” Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Members of the infamous 27 club - popular musicians, actors or artists who died at the age of 27.
After Heath’s death, the media portrayed it as an ‘obvious’ struggle and that method acting was detrimental to his health.
The idea came about from the fact that he locked himself away for six weeks to come up with the now infamous Joker, however, it was a year before and his family declared that he very much wanted to be alive.
Ledger's family in particular have always been careful about how their son and brother's legacy has been preserved and remain personally involved in the administration of the Heath Ledger Scholarship.
His death shook them to their core.
“The world did find out before we did,” Kate Ledger, Heath's sister said. “It will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
“I guess we’re no different from anybody that loses a child or loses somebody suddenly. The only difference being, is that we had to live our feelings out in the public eye,” said Sally Ledger Bell, Heath’s Mum.
“It was our boy and it was the world’s moment and our private moment, but it was something that we had to share,” Kim Ledger said. “And sharing that across the world was so hard.”