R.I.P. Heath Ledger.
I think the story first broke about 8 a.m. over here in Australia. And it's been on the news all day. Ninemsn and Heraldsun.com have had big sections on Heath's death, and the events surrounding it. On the news tonight (Channel 7 and Channel 9) they both devoted the first 5 - 6 minutes of their bulletins to the tragic death of Heath Ledger.
Following that, they then turned to the story of the house fire that killed two people and the crash in Melbourne yesterday that killed a young boy and his baby brother and critically injured their grandma. Then the stockmarket crash and Australian Open news. You know, news.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that the death of a great actor isn't worth that much time on the news. It is. But the fact is, the facts aren't known yet. There's so much unknown about what happened, and what caused Heath Ledgers death, that at the moment all that seems to be on the news is a heap of "sources close to Ledger" who are quoted as saying vague things, insinuating things that may or may not be true.
On Today Tonight, and A Current Affair, suddenly there were "whispers that he had a drug problem / and / had recently been to rehab". Really? Because articles on news sites said it was a huge shock since he had never been into drugs, and there were no hints he'd ever been into that scene. And "isn't it funny he died 10 hours after the Oscar nominations were released and he didn't get one? / and / he was always such a dark and tortured soul, you just had that feeling he was going to die young". Uh-huh.
You know what really sucks? He's got a 2 year old kid. Who, in 10 years time is going to want to know about her dad. What will she find if she looks into the articles written after his death? Yeah, he was a talented actor, but he's going to now be remembered as the guy who killed himself with a drug overdose ... And we all knew he had a drug problem all along, of course ...
And his poor family, trying to grieve while all this crap is being said and written about him. Bet that'd make the grieving process much easier. Not only that, but trying to deal with the loss of their son/brother/nephew/grandson/friend in the glare of the media. Jeez, the guy is dead. Leave his family alone.
The fact is, I didn't even really like him as a person. He always came across as sort of ... Up himself, cocky ... Something. He was sullen ... Or appeared to be. I don't know. But no one deserves this kind of disrespect when they're dead. I know people have a curiousity about what happened. Of course they do. It's a morbid fascination most people have with celebrities. But it's sad that he won't be remembered for how he lived, or the contribution he made to the movie world. It'll always be "Heath Ledger, the actor who died tragically at age 28 after overdosing on pills .... etc."
R.I.P. Heath Ledger. 1979 - 2008.