Heath Barred

Heath Ledger

This morning I heard an NPR reporter mention in a reverent tone that The Dark Knight features Heath Ledger in his last acting role. To that I say, “Big deal!” I resent feeling like an idiot for not knowing who Heath Ledger was before he died.

In order to cope with this resentment in a mature manner, I will dis’ readers who would lionize the man. But first …

  • I admit The Dark Knight sounds pretty cool. I’ll probably see it (although not necessarily on the big screen).
  • I know it’s common courtesy when speaking in public about a dead person to employ a reverent tone. This goes double if said dead person was relatively young, like say 29 — and goes triple if the deceased shared a birthday with my son #1.
  • I admit to often being out of it when it comes to certain aspects of popular culture. For example, I doubt I could name more than 20 recording artists who have achieved substantial commercial success post-1989. Steely Dan doesn’t count.
  • I know the authorities established it’s not Ledger’s fault his acting career was abruptly shortened.
  • I know he was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Ennis Del Mar in the Oscar winner for best picture of 2005, Brokeback Mountain.
  • I know, ladies, that he is — er, was — a hunk and his trademark was his deep voice.

But c’mon, Heath freakin’ Ledger? Give me a break!

We’re not talking about a Bogart or a Chaplin, DeNiro, Hoffman, Pacino, or even a Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. Not even close. Ledger’s acting career spanned a mere 16 years. From what I’ve read, it doesn’t sound like he was targeted for greatness on the levels of the guys I mentioned.

So can everyone please put a lid on the Heath Ledger obsession? A lid, you know, like the lid on the coffin that contains the man’s body. (Actually, I don’t know what was done with his body. But if it was put in a coffin, that coffin is no doubt a hunky one and if it could talk, it would have a deep voice.)

I think I feel a bit less like an idiot now— though some readers might argue I should feel more like one.

Despite the title of this post, I’m not barring commenters here from mentioning Heath Ledger (the title is, of course, a clever play on words I couldn’t resist — precisely for its cleverness). But I will predict, with confidence: Heath Ledger will not be the subject of another post on this blog.

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3 comments so far

  1. Mrs. QC on

    Watch out for some angry fan backlash!

    I think this “last movie” post mortem aggrandizement has happened many times before – think Brandon Lee in “The Crow”, Marilyn Monroe, Carole Lombard, probably River Phoenix. James Dean’s films probably were much more popular due to his early demise.

  2. QC on

    “Post mortem aggrandizement” — yep, that’s it, exactly 🙂

  3. Gina on

    I was hoping to retort with some well-informed and intelligent-sounding comment, but all I kept coming up with was “tanned biceps”. Oh, and “gorgeous eyes”. And, yeah, the deep voice too.

    So, you win. Consider me un-‘dissed’. 🙂


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