RIP Heath Ledger

I have been quite upset by Heath Ledger's death. I'm rather surprised at how much it seems to have affected me. So - because I seem unable to write anything this week that isn't in list-format, either at work or in my personal life - here is a list of the reasons why I am upset about Heath Ledger's death, in descending order of importance.

  1. OUT960703It was a surprise. I don't think anyone saw this coming. Lindsay Lohan? Britney? Pete Doherty¹? Yes, I could see that. But Heath Ledger? Where did that come from? The first I heard about it was when Elisabeth twittered "RIP Heath Ledger." My first thought was, "What's he done now? Has he embarrassed himself in such a way as to damage his career?" It never even occurred to me that he was actually dead. Even when Erica's next tweet was "I'd rather hear about Heath Ledger than about Britney Spears" I just thought, "Oh boy, this must be some good gossip" and checked out Yahoo! News to see what they were reporting. It never occurred to me that he actually could be dead until I read it there.
  2. He was young. If you'd asked me before he died how old Heath Ledger was, I would have guessed that he was somewhere in his 30s. It turns out he was only a year older than me. He'd made some really good movies and played some important roles, but he had a lot of potential left to explore.
  3. He had a young daughter. She's - what - two? So she probably won't remember him. I feel bad for her and for her mother.
  4. The media is descending. He never seemed to be someone who sought media attention, and the media didn't really search him out either. Now that he's dead, we have these reports all over the place. "There was a $20 bill in the room! Maybe he snorted drugs with it!" "Never mind; they tested the bill and it's clean." "He died in a pile of pills." "Oops, our bad. There were pills in the room, but not strewn around the bed like we said earlier." There's always something new, and most of it is really stupid and irrelevant. I'm interested to see what the results of the autopsy are, but I don't need the endless speculation in between.
  5. I wanted to save him. I frequently have this reaction when a famous person is reported dead - that if only they had told me when he/she was dying I somehow could have saved them. When you tell me they're dead, there's nothing more for me to do. At least give me some hope, no matter how little sense it makes!
  6. Batman. I had a discussion the other night with a friend about how his death might affect The Dark Knight, in which Heath Ledger played The Joker. My friend was concerned that they might not release it, but then we did some searching online for precedent and discovered that movies are always being released after stars died. The best example we came up with was that Giant was released after James Dean died. Another that I came up with later: The Crow.
  7. He seems to have been a pretty nice guy. Here are some stories from people who knew or met him.
  8. The term "male masseuse." I keep hearing reports about the male masseuse who found him. You can't be a male masseuse! Masseuse is a feminine term! A man can be a masseur or a massage therapist or something.
  9. Personal guilt. I feel bad because I am profiting, in whatever superficial way, from Heath Ledger's death, as I have him on both of my Fafarazzi teams. I picked him because I thought he was going to be big news when Batman came out! I didn't know it was going to be because of this!
¹ I really like how Doherty sounds like "Dockerty" when English people say it.

srah - Thursday, 24 January 2008 - 9:13 PM
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Comments (5)

gravatar tiff - January 25, 2008 - 7:45 AM -

I too have been wierdly affected by his death than I thought I would ever be.

I love your thought that you could save him...I think subconsciously I was thinking the same thing! He just needed our help. But now that it's a tragic accident (I think? Last time I checked the rags?) I feel even worse. He just had pneumonia and trouble sleeping. When I have trouble sleeping and I'm sick, I take a Tylenol PM and a glass of wine and I'm up at noon the next day. He didn't know that was going to happen! It's soooo sad. I'm going to read your post about 50 happy things before I get teary-eyed again.

gravatar srah - January 25, 2008 - 8:24 AM -

Last I heard, they'd ruled out pneumonia. I shouldn't read the speculation, though.

gravatar jday - January 25, 2008 - 3:59 PM -

I'm unreasonably upset too! I think my grief comes from the fact that I loved "10 Things I Hate About You"- granted, not one of his most profound films, but my favortie teeny bopper flick of all time.

gravatar katelin - January 25, 2008 - 6:39 PM -

I have definitely been upset about this too, it's just so sad.

gravatar Funchilde - January 25, 2008 - 11:50 PM -

i hear you on this one. he was just so darn...un-hollywood that you had to like the guy. it's also nervewracking to think that you could pop a couple of pills, looking for some peace and...curtains, show's over, light's out.

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