Heath Ledger: Down In A Blaze Of Glory

by Jessica Vandelay - Date: 2008-07-20 - Word Count: 466 Share This!

Ledger became a quick sought-after Hollywood actor and starred in several supporting roles in the movies The Patriot, Monster's Ball, A Knight's Tale, The Four Feathers, Ned Kelly and The Brothers Grimm, among others between the years 2000-2004. While most of these movies garnered Ledger critical praise, none were overly successful at the box office. In 2000 Ledger appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and was dubbed "The Hot New Aussie in Town."

However, Ledger made magazine headlines with his portrayal of a gay cowboy in 2005's controversial film "Brokeback Mountain," in which he received many critical awards and was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award. Several magazine critics like Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine raved "Ledger's magnificent performance is an acting miracle. He seems to tear it from his insides," of his performance. Comparisons of other legendary actors like Marlon Brando, Sean Penn and Jack Nicholson ensued.

In 2007 Ledger garnered more critical acclaim as one of seven actors in the Bob Dylan bio-pic "I'm Not There." During this time Ledger was at work on the much-anticipated Batman sequel; Ledger was cast as "The Joker."

Generally speaking, celebrity magazines like People, In Touch Weekly, OK! Magazine and Star magazine ran a lot of articles and photos on Ledger's personal life. In the past Ledger dated actresses Heather Graham and Naomi Watts; most recently he was engaged to actress Michelle Williams, whom he had a daughter Matilda, with in 2005.

Shockingly and sadly, in January 2008 Ledger died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. News of the actor's death spread like wildfire over the Internet with magazines like New York magazine, People and Vanity Fair following the story intently.

Popular magazines like People, Us Weekly, Life and Style Weekly and Star continued intense coverage of Ledger's family and friends after his death. Photos of his funeral in Australia along with actors' reactions were featured. Michelle Williams released a statement to magazines stating her heartbreak and positive outlook in the rearing of Matilda Ledger.

Almost every popular magazine ran a mention or tribute to the actor including news magazines like Time and Newsweek. Vanity Fair magazine along with many others posted tributes on blogs. In the months since his death magazines have also ran stories on Ledger's mental state, lifestyle and other personal issues regarding Ledger's will and projects.

For a few months coverage slowed down regarding Ledger but with the July 2008 release of "The Dark Knight," even more coverage has erupted. This time magazines are devoting pages to movie reviews laced with speculation and comparisons of Ledger and his untimely death. Unfortunately, part of the coverage has been devoted to how the actor's tragic death has affected the promotion of the movie. Recently both Entertainment Weekly and Wired magazine have featured Ledger as "The Joker" on covers.

Related Tags: magazines, people magazine, wired, celebrity magazines, entertainment weekly, vanity fair, newsweek, popular magazine, in touch weekly, ok! magazine

For more celebrity magazines, visit www.magazines.com/ncom/mag?view=0&btn=D&l=20&search=celebrityJessica Vandelay is a free-lance writer in New York City.

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