It seems hard to believe, but five years ago today, Heath Ledger died at the age of 28. The actor’s passing left a mark on his fans around the world, especially those eagerly awaiting the role that would eventually win him a posthumous Academy Award, as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.”
In honor of the anniversary of his passing, we’ve assembled clips from the five best performances in Ledger’s short career.
Click past the jump to see the video tribute to Heath Ledger.
“10 Things I Hate About You”
A classic of 90s teen cinema, “10 Things I Hate About You” announced Ledger’s arrival in the states.
“A Knight’s Tale”
Once again taking on the role of the romantic lead, Ledger nearly single-handedly brought an audience to what became a cult classic of sorts.
In Marc Forster’s “Monster’s Ball,” Ledger played Sonny Grotowski, the tragic son of Billy Bob Thornton’s Hank. It was perhaps the first time US audience saw Ledger as a brooding figure. (Video clip contains spoilers.)
Ledger earned his first Academy Award nomination for playing Ennis Del Mar, the love-lorn cowboy, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in Ang Lee’s romantic classic.
“The Dark Knight”
The actor’s iconic turn as Batman’s most famous nemesis deserved every bit of praise it got, but when it comes down to it, Ledger’s greatest achievement was elevating an entire film with pure talent.
What is your favorite Heath Ledger role? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!