When actor and heartthrob Heath Ledger died in 2008, the world was absolutely devastated by the loss of such an immense talent. It was hard to imagine the movies without him after he so flawlessly portrayed some of our most favorite characters.
Looking back at his film legacy, it’s almost shocking to realize how big of an impression the Aussie actor made on everyone with a relatively small body of work. It just goes to show the scope of his expertise — and his ability to connect with the world around him.
Heath even had a monumental impact on his costars years after his untimely passing. Kate Mara reflected on working with the Oscar-nominated performer in the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain during a November 2020 virtual appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I was 19, he was only a few years older than me, yeah, it was pretty crazy, but he was the sweetest thing,” the actress shared about collaborating with him in the award-winning flick. “That whole experience was really amazing. And he, even though he was only a couple years older, he really took me under his wing because I hadn’t worked that much. So yeah, it was really special.”
In the wake of his death, Health’s ex Michelle Williams raised their daughter, Matilda Rose, to know just how much her father truly loved and adored her. The power couple began dating in 2005 after working together on the set of the romantic drama Brokeback Mountain. The pair welcomed their first child in October of that year and ultimately went their separate ways in September 2007.
The father of one died at the young age of 28 on January 22, 2008, due to an accidental drug overdose.
“Every time I really miss him and wonder where he’s gone, I just look at [Matilda],” the Blue Valentine star told Vogue in September 2009 about how she has learned to live with the heartbreak. “I can talk about grief, because that’s mine, about single-parenting, about trying to balance work and kids.”
Scroll through the gallery below to relive Heath’s best scenes.