Oscar nominated actor Heath Ledger, who plays the Joker in this summer’s THE DARK KNIGHT was found dead in his Soho apartment this afternoon, multiple sources are reporting.

According to the NY Times, a masseuse arriving for an appointment found the actor dead in his bedroom. Pills were found near his body.

Ledger’s Joker character was the subject of an ongoing viral marketing campaign for the new Batman film. These plans will undoubtedly be reassessed in the wake of Ledger’s death.


  1. Unbelievable. I was just going to email you about this but you of course you were already in the know. Was The Dark Knight all wrapped up with production?
    It’s very sad to see such a promising young actor come to such an early demise..

  2. That’s terrible, but finding pills near a body indicates nothing, so let’s wait and see. Regardless, what a waste. Very sad.

  3. I’d like to see this article accompanied by a *different* still from the movie (My nomination: the overused one of Joker shooting at somebody offscreen). This intense close-up is waaaaay too disturbing under the circumstances.

    — Rob

  4. This sucks, I really liked Heath as an actor in various roles (even in A Knight’s Tale, which some people found stupid). RIP, Heath, and best wishes to his friends and family (especially his little daughter :()

  5. I tell you – it’s the curse of the Crow. They shouldn’t have made the Joker look like the Crow.

    I blame Brandon Lee’s ghost for this.

    This sucks! This is such a black cloud over the Oscar Noms.



  6. Yes, pills were found near the body, but they were prescription pills and there is no mention of how many were missing. The NYTimes piece is very specific that no illegal drugs were found in the apartment, and there were no signs of drinking. Let’s just wait and see what the autopsy says.

    Such shocking news. When I first saw it an hour ago I was sure it was some kind of sick joke. His poor young daughter….

  7. Carey:

    I’d just like to say that pretty much every word of your post made me want to kick you right in the head.

    Fucking idiot. A young man’s dead, most likely by his own hand, show some fucking class.

  8. What a crummy week for deaths. I was saddened by Suzanne Pleshette’s death at 70, and I felt a moment’s sadness for The Brady Bunch’s Sam The Butcher, but Heath’s is just awful because he was so young. This one seems bizarre. The pills found were just some sort of over the counter nonsense apparently.

  9. ABC News is across the street from my bookstore, so we know almost immediately when something happens.
    Sad news, but a bit surprised how many people at work were talking about it. Autopsy scheduled for Wednesday.
    His resume shows a variety of roles, and I hope his Joker reminds us of the talent which was lost today.

  10. I hope they dedicate the new Batman to him. I’m sure they will. It seems the right thing to do. I’d also like to say that I don’t believe that his death was by his own hand… at least not intentionally. That Ambion (sp?) stuff can leave you really confused, and I know he had been taking it to help with what sounded like a pretty major sleeping problem.

  11. Dear Heidi/the Beat,

    Though the news of Heath Ledger’s death is scattered all over news and comic sites, I take off my hat off to this site. Why you ask? Simply because of the picture chosen for the article. Everyone (across the web) speculates on how this will effect everything from Hollywood’s loss to Dark Knight Marketing but none of that compares to how it’ll affect the little girl who is sitting on her Daddy’s shoulder’s.

    God bless her.

  12. “Fucking idiot. A young man’s dead, most likely by his own hand, show some fucking class.”

    Nice … are you leading by example?

  13. Hey Orwell – don’t get out much, do you?

    I didn’t intend my post to be mean-spirited. I was just stating the similarities between two actors who are now dead who both performed a role made up in greasepaint.

    I was pretty much devastated as everyone else by the news- more so, especially as one who is gainfully employed in the entertainment industry – I also share the sentiments of my former employer, Warner Bros in this loss of such a tremendous talent.

    Now everyone is ready to calm down?



  14. Answer to Dan’s question: actually, no – other than my grandfather who was the inventor of Bosco Chocolate Syrup. Everyone in my family is pretty much still alive and kicking.

    I haven’t been to one funeral or a wedding in my entire life.



  15. What kind of stupid doctor would prescribe all that crap and even worse what kind of idiot would take all of these pills. ohhhh a suicidal one oh well it all makes sense now.

  16. i think all we need to think about instead of judging wht jst happened is the loss of an incredible man, an outstanding actor, and a caring father.He deserves to be remembered…but most of all his daughter needs to hear or read nothing but positive things about her father.rip. we will all miss u heath ledger. i hope thanks to these last 2 movies ur real talent will be recognized.

  17. Heath ledger was an amazing actor and will only be remebered with positive thoughts. He was amazing on the inside and DEFINITLY on the outside. Wow the joker gives me goose bumps im so absorbed by him! Wish i were crazy…maybe i already am……hehehe

  18. WTF JOY?? pray for the guy! this is absurd. I hope he’s in a better place now. Hope his daughter a better future. he will forever be remembered. :) We miss you Heath Ledger