Happy Birthday, Heath Ledger.
On what would have been the actor’s 38th birthday, Spike TV released the trailer for the upcoming documentary I Am Heath Ledger — a film that features home movies and interviews about the late star from his close friends, family, and co-workers.
“Heath was the most alive human and if it wasn’t on the edge, it didn’t interest him,” musician Ben Harper said in the clip.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
A childhood friend revealed that Heath’s original dream was to become a director and he used acting as a way to reach that goal. Another pal, model Christina Cauchi, said that cameras were always around wherever he went.
The Australian hunk was born on April 4, 1979, and he got his start in acting as a teenager. He got his big break in the 1999 teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You and he went on to star in a string of hit movies — from 2001’s A Knight’s Tale to his critically acclaimed role in 2005’s Brokeback Mountain.
“Before Brokeback Mountain came out, it would’ve been unthinkable to have a romantic tragedy involving two gay cowboys. This is one of the biggest heartthrobs on earth taking on that character — that’s an artist,” actor Ben Mendelsohn said.
Heath’s tragic death happened shortly after he took on the biggest role of his career as the Joker in the 2008 blockbuster hit The Dark Knight — which he posthumously won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. On January 22, 2008, he was found unconscious in his New York apartment where he was later pronounced dead after an accidental drug overdose. He left behind a daughter — 11-year-old daughter Matilda Ledger, from his previous relationship with Dawson’s Creek star Michelle Williams.
Now nine years after his death, his friend Matt Amato is revealing a heartbreaking detail about how Heath coped with his status as a Hollywood star.
“He wanted fame,” the filmmaker said, “and when he got it, he didn’t want it.”
I Am Heath Ledger is set for a May 17 premiere.
Scroll through the gallery below to read some of Heath's best quotes.