A Tribute to Heath Ledger

I was sad to hear yesterday about this actor’s death. I don’t feel the drama that most people seem to feel about it, but I do feel something. Maybe it is the lass of the on-screen charisma that many remember and love. Maybe it’s the lack of this hot-hot actor just a year older than me in any upcoming new films. I’m not sure, but it is a fleeting thing, not like the screaming annoyance I felt at the cancellation of one of my favorite TV shows back in 1997. Stupid Fox.

In the wake of his death, there have been conflicting reports, various statements by those close to him, and a variety of resources being published to both remember this actor and address the issues concerning his death.  A collection and analysis of the reporting snafus can be found here.  If you want up-to-the-minute information, check here.  As for me, what I’d really like to address is my beginnings with Heath, which were also the beginnings of his career, at least in the United States.

It seems I have a  history of loving those television shows that are doomed to failure.  Sure, i don’t mind watching the occasional episode of shows like Heroes or Battlestar Galactica.  And Friends and Seinfeld reruns are good once in a while as well. But the shows I seem really drawn to, that I HAVe to watch every week, are doomed to a few seasons at most.  Take Pretender, that wonder-of-wonders with Michael T. Weiss!  Not only is it addictive plot-wise, but you can get caught up just in the man’s extreme facial expressions.  Now that’s acting!

With Heath, it was that non-hit TV show, Roar.  He was a cutie worth following even then, and his Celts knew it.  For those who don’t understand the greatness, the wikipedia summary is here.   Basically, this was a show to end all shows – and it didn’t get all the way through its first season.  Why?  People are dumb.  It’s the only underlying law of human nature.

With the end of Heath comes the end of any hope of rekindling the Roar tradition, and for that I am especially sad.  I am grateful to discover the existence of Roar: The Complete Series, including the episodes that were not aired in the US, but that will never replace the fullness of what might have been in the rest of this actor’s young life.  And I think the types of shows he was involved in early show who he truly was as an actor.  They were not the most popular shows, or the most well-developed ones.  But his character still had something that we needed and loved on the screen – perhaps is was his humanness.  I hope that was something he didn’t lose, even in the end.

I leave you with a quote from the flickfilosopher: “It’ll be quite a while before we know how Ledger died, but I’m not sure I believe that there’s truly such a thing as an accidental drug overdose. I hope I’m wrong about that. Because it’s hard to imagine that someone so gifted and with, clearly, so much further still to go could imagine that life is not worth living.”

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