Heath Ledger
The Dark Knight - Heath Ledger
General Information
Birth Name: Heath Andrew Ledger
Birth Date: April 4, 1979
Birth Place: Perth, Western Australia
Death Date: January 22, 2008 (Drug overdose)
Character(s): The Joker

Heath Ledger portrayed the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Significant Roles

  • Snowy Bowles in Sweat (1996)
  • Toby in Black Rock (1997)
  • Conor in Roar (1997)
  • Oberon in Paws (1997)
  • Patrick Verona in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
  • Jimmy in Two Hands (1999)
  • Gabriel Martin in The Patriot (2000)
  • William Thatcher in A Knight's Tale (2001)
  • Sonny Grotowski in Monster's Ball (2001)
  • Harry Feversham in The Four Feathers (2002)
  • Ned Kelly in Ned Kelly (2003)
  • Alex Bernier in The Sin Eater (2003)
  • Skip in Lords of Dogtown (2005)
  • Jacob Grimm in The Brothers Grimm (2005)
  • Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  • Casanova in Casanova (2005)
  • Dan in Candy (2006)
  • Robby in I'm Not There. (2007)
  • The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Tony Shepherd in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2008)


While Ledger had been previously praised for his performance in Brokeback Mountain, he received even higher praise with his posthumous performance as the Joker. Jeff Labrecque writes that Ledger's "seething anarchist Joker makes Jack Nicholson's once-iconic dandy now seem as clownish as Cesar Romero's." He received multiple critical awards and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. He also won under the same category at the 81st Academy Awards, making him one of few to be nominated and/or win for a role posthumously and the first actor in a comic book movie to win an Academy Award.

Untimely death

Tragically, Ledger died shortly after completing his scenes as the Joker on January 22, 2008 by accidentally overdosing on prescription drugs. It is thought that his death was the "result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Diazepam, Temazepam, Alprazolam, and Doxylamine".

Characters portrayed by Heath Ledger in the Batman Universe