Heath Andrew Ledger (April 4, 1979 -- January 22, 2008) was an Academy Award-, BAFTA-, Golden Globe-, and SAG Award-nominated Australian film and television actor. After appearing in television roles during the 1990s, Ledger developed a movie career, appearing in nearly 20 films. He starred in both critical and box-office successes, including 10 Things I Hate About You, The Patriot, Monster's Ball, A Knight's Tale, and Brokeback Mountain. For his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger was nominated for a 2005 Oscar for "Best Actor in a Leading Role" and also was nominated and won "Best Actor" awards for that role from BAFTA and the Australian Film Institute and the New York Film Critics Circle, respectively, as well as won an MTV Movie Award with Jake Gyllenhaal for their "best kiss" in the film.
He completed filming his role as the Joker in the forthcoming movie The Dark Knight, shortly before dying, on January 22, 2008, from an accidental prescription drug overdose at age 28. His final film performance, uncompleted at the time of his death, is the role of Tony in Terry Gilliam's forthcoming film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Posthumously, on February 23, 2008, he shared the Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award with the cast and crew of the film I'm Not There, in which he portrayed a character named "Robbie Clark", based on a stage in the life of Bob Dylan.