Heath Ledger: Gone But Oscar May Be Calling Him

When portraying the Joker in The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger describes playing the Crown Prince of Crime as “punk rock,” but also “Simply… a f—ing sinister guy.” Sadly, the film, which opens on July 18, will be Ledger’s last role, as the young actor died from an accidental overdose in January.

However, his post-death performance has been receiving rave reviews. Some are even talking about an Oscar nomination. “I do think that Heath has created an iconic villain that will stand for the ages, and of course, I would love to see him to get an award” said co-star Christian Bale, who portrays Batman once again in The Dark Knight.

In the sequel, the Joker starts wreaking havoc among Gotham City and declares war among Batman in an effort to prove that they’re both one and the same. “Whatever Heath channeled into it,” responded Gary Oldman, who returns as honest cop Jim Gordon, “he’s found something quite extraordinary. It’s arguably one of the greatest screen villains I think I’ve ever seen.”

Once the one-year anniversary of Ledger’s death comes January 22, he may be the seventh actor in history to be nominated for an Oscar posthumously. Peter Finch, Spencer Tracy, and James Dean were several actors that were nominated for an Academy Award after their death. Only Finch won for Best Actor in 1976’s Network, two months after he died. If Ledger gets nominated next year, he could be the second actor to win after his death. But it won’t be his first. In 2006, Ledger was nominated for Best Actor in the film adaptation of the controversial yet compelling gay cowboy romance, Brokeback Mountain – proving to both critics and audiences that he was more than just a heartthrob.

“The fact that only one actor has ever won an Oscar from the grave tells us that in general at the Oscars,” said Tom O’Neil, columnist for The Envelope.com, an awards Web site, “the feeling is when you’re dead, you’re dead. Maybe the point is that the Oscars are all about hugs. Nobody wants to hug a dead guy.”

Source: Detroit Free Press