January 23, 2008 by 8junebugs
Wow. Heath Ledger dead at 28. That knocked me for a loop last night, and I still can’t quite wrap my head around it. I’m not really even a fan, though I think he was a talented actor. I particularly liked him in “10 Things I Hate About You,” but I’m a sucker for modern takes on classic tales. Also for Julia Stiles.
Maybe it’s that I can’t think of Heath Ledger without picturing his gigantic smile. It was warm and goofy and inviting. I know his performance as The Joker in the upcoming Batman flick is going to totally ruin that for me, but I keep seeing that smile instead of the more serious and grown-up photos on the news, and I have a hard time believing the force behind the grin is just…gone.
This is when death seems a waste to me. Pope John Paul II? Old and frail. Ronald Reagan? Long time coming. Ann Richards, Julia Child? Huge bummer, but they’d had good long lives. Heath Ledger was just too young to die, to young to need the sleeping pills that appear to have killed him. (I don’t question that he had trouble sleeping. I question a world that make it that hard to be a successful young adult.)
Again, not being a fan, I couldn’t say if he was actually dark, brooding…another River Phoenix with fewer demons. But 28 is very, very young to die.