The Biography of Heath Ledger

  • The birth of a great artist

    Born Heathcliff Andrew Ledger in Perth, Australia to Sally and Kim Ledger. He is named after the character in Wuthering Heights.
  • Guildford Grammar School

    Guildford Grammar School
    He enrolls in Guildford Grammar School.
  • Breaking loving bonds

    His parents divorce.
  • Kalamunda Field Hockey

    He is part of the Kalamunda Field Hockey team of which his father is president.
  • A outlook change

    His aunt dies of lung cancer, an event he says changed his outlook on life.
  • Graduation

    At 16, he graduates high school early in order to become an actor and moves to Sydney with his friend Trevor DiCarlo.
  • The Globe Shakespeare Company

    The Globe Shakespeare Company
    He joins the Globe Shakespeare Company in Perth, Australia.
  • Sweat

    Portrays a gay cyclist in the Australian TV series, Sweat.
  • Good changes

    He stars in the Fox drama, Roar, and begins dating co-star Lisa Zane. The series lasts for one season.
  • Blackrock

    Makes his film debut in Blackrock, an Australian film.
  • Two Hands

    Two Hands
    Stars in an Australian film, Two Hands.
  • The Patriot

    Stars in The Patriot with Mel Gibson and does his own stunts. He was chosen for the part because the producers and director said that he possessed "exuberant youth."
  • New Love

    New Love
    He begins dating actress Heather Graham.
  • A Knight's Tale

    Portrays peasant squire William Thatcher in A Knight's Tale. The film, directed by Brian Helgeland, also stars Shannyn Sossamon and Mark Addy. During filming, one of director Brian Helgeland's front teeth is poked out by a broomstick that Heath is holding while demonstrating a jousting move.
  • Googbye, Graham

    He and Heather Graham break up.
  • Legder, Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton

    Stars in Monster's Ball with Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton. He plays Sonny Grotowsky, the son of Thornton's character.
  • Naomi Watts

    Naomi Watts
    Meets Naomi Watts on the set of Australian film Ned Kelly and the two begin dating
  • The Four Feathers

    Stars in The Four Feathers alongside Kate Hudson.
  • Ned Kelly

    Ned Kelly is released, starring Ledger, Orlando Bloom and Naomi Watts. The film is based on the book Our Sunshine by Robert Drewe.
  • Men of the Year

    Australian GQ names him one of their Men of the Year for acting.
  • The Order

    The Order
    Stars in The Order alongside Shannyn Sossamon and Mark Addy. The film is written and directed by Brian Helgeland, who also directed the trio in A Knight's Tale.
  • Another separation

    Ledger's sister and publicist says in a statement that Ledger and Watts have broken up: "Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts have made the decision to go their separate ways. At this time in their lives both are busy pursuing careers which are taking them in different directions. They remain close friends."
  • His soul mate

    His soul mate
    Meets actress Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain and the two become an item. He says, "She's my soul mate and we couldn't love each other any more than we do already. We're like two peas in a pod."
  • Lords of Dogtown

    Stars in Lords of Dogtown.
  • The Brothers Grimm

    Stars in The Brothers Grimm directed by Terry Gilliam and co-starring Matt Damon.
  • Revolt

    He throws eggs at some paparazzi.
  • Brokeback Mountain

    Brokeback Mountain is released, directed by Ang Lee and based on the short story by E. Annie Proulx. The movie also stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams.
  • The baby girl

    The baby girl
    Michelle Williams gives birth in New York City to their daughter, Matilda Rose. He says, "Matilda is adorable, and beautifully observant and wise. Michelle and I love her so much. Becoming a father exceeds all my expectations. It's the most remarkable experience I've ever had - it's marvelous."
  • Casanova

    Stars in Casanova alongside Sienna Miller and Jeremy Irons. The film is directed by Lasse Hallstrom and is based on the life of Giacomo Casanova.
  • Anger

    Ledger giggles nervously and holds his hand in a "teacup" position while presenting onstage with Jake Gyllenhaal at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG). The Los Angeles Times refers to his odd performance as "some kind of gay spoof." Ledger tells the Times: "I am so sorry and I apologise for my nervousness. I would be absolutely horrified if my stage fright was misinterpreted as a lack of respect for the film, the topic and for the amazing filmmakers." He also explains the "teacup hand" positio
  • I'm Not There

    Production begins on I'm Not There, inspired by the life of Bob Dylan
  • Rumors

    US Weekly reports that Ledger and Williams' relationship has come to an end, though the couple does not confirm it.
  • Venice Film Festival

    At a news conference at the Venice Film Festival promoting I'm Not There, Ledger speaks about his "obsession" with English singer/songwriter Nick Drake, whom he calls "a very mysterious figure." Drake committed suicide in 1974 at the age of 26 by overdosing on antidepressants. Ledger says: "I was obsessed with his story and his music and I pursued it for a while and still have hopes to kind of tell his story one day."
  • The end of another love

    Michelle Williams' father Larry tells the Sydney Daily Telegraph that his daughter and Ledger have split, confirming the US Weekly report.
  • Toronto International Film Festival

    I'm Not There is shown at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Joker

    Joker
    Ledger tells the New York Times that his version of the Joker is a "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy". He says he lived alone in a hotel room for a month in order to prepare for the role and that his Joker is inspired in part by Sid Vicious and A Clockwork Orange.
  • Dating again

    The Daily Telegraph reports that Ledger is dating Gemma Ward. The pair are both from Perth, Australia and the report states that they spent the New Year's holidays there together while visiting their respective families.
  • The death of a great actor

    Ledger is found dead in his Manhattan apartment. A bottle of sleeping pills is found on the nightstand and he is reported to have been suffering from pneumonia. The media swirls with rumors of previous drug abuse problems. Officials declare the death a probable accidental overdose rather than foul play or suicide, though an investigation is still ongoing.