The news came yesterday afternoon that Heath Ledger had been found dead in a Manhattan apartment. He was 28 years old.
I’ve been covering the entertainment industry for nearly twenty years now. I know we’re supposed to have deep and empathetic things to say about actors who die young — the tragedy of a talent cut short, the waste of a bright future, and so on.
But that’d be boilerplate. I never met Heath Ledger; I never knew him beyond his acting. I felt nothing upon learning of his death, other than mild surprise.
I don’t have anything to say, really, other than the obvious: It’s too bad he’s dead. He was 28, he had a young daughter, and he did indeed have a promising career ahead of him. I am still interested to see his Joker in “The Dark Knight”, and hope that, if the character comes to a bad end, the filmmakers don’t soften it out of consideration for sensitive viewers.
And I’ll say this, which is what I’ll say whenever the death of a person I don’t know seems to warrant comment: I’ve lost enough people to know that the poor guy’s friends and family must be going through hell right now. And that should be the last word on it.