Fact File Heath Ledger

In honour of the late Heath Ledger, Movies.ie presents ten fascinating facts about the Oscar nominated actor.

Considered by many to be his definitive role, the late Heath Ledger stars as The Joker this weekend in the critically acclaimed ‘Dark Knight’. We look back at Australia actors life and career from those early days right through to what we consider an Oscar winning role – The Joker.

(1) Ledger and his older sister Kate are named after the two main romantic characters of the Emily Brontë’s novel, “Wuthering Heights”.


(2) The Australia born actor is of Irish and Scottish ancestry.


(3) Before International fame the actor starred in Ozzie show ‘Home and Away’. He also auditioned for the part of Max on the TV show ‘Roswell’ (1999), however, he lost the role to Jason Behr.


(4) He directed three music videos for Australian artist N’fa and Ben Harper.


(5) Ledger was originally set to star in Oliver Stone’s ‘Alexander’ (2004) before Irish actor Colin Farrell took over the role.

(6) Was engaged to his Brokeback Mountain co-star Michelle Williams. The two separated but had one daughter together – Matilda Ros.


(7) Jake Gyllenhaal is the godfather of his daughter Matilda. When Ledger was cast as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008), rumours circulated that Gyllenhaal would be playing district attorney Harvey Dent. Instead, Jake’s sister Maggie Gyllenhaal was cast as assistant D.A. Rachel Dawes.


(8) Ledger was set to star in Baz Luhrmann’s pre-WWII drama ‘Australia’ , but backed out to play The Joker.

(9) The youngest actor to play the Joker in a Batman movie The Dark Knight (2008). In an interview shortly before his death, he stated that his favorite role so far in his career had been his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight.


(10) Ledger’s final screen role will be in Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – expected in cinemas 2009.


The Dark Knight is in Irish cinemas now.