Heath Ledger for Oscar Best Actor award in 2008?

Will Heath Ledger be awarded Best Actor Oscar 2008 posthumously?

At least, that is the rumor being bandied about in tinselville. The late Health Ledger, who plays the Joker in the latest Batman movie The Dark Knight, has received rave reviews for his performance. The Australian premiere of The Dark Knight has prompted critics to say that Heath Ledger was “manically mesmerizing” and took the shine out of the rest of the cast.

heath ledger joker

The Daily Telegraph’s film editor Vicky Roach was quoted as saying the interest in Heath Ledger’s last movie was morbid but his triumph in creating one of the most memorable villains in history must be applauded.

Heath Ledger as Joker in The Dark Knight

It is this electric last performance that is fueling rumors that Heath Ledger may win the Oscar for Best Oscar, posthumously. While some say that the fact that Ledger has given such a great performance as the dark Joker in The Dark Knight is enough, and does not need an Oscar for endorsement, others feel that the Oscar nomination would be a just one, and not ride on sympathy.

So far, the only posthumous Oscar Best Actor winner is Peter Finch for his role in Network. Other posthumous Oscar award winners include Sidney Howard for the Gone with the Wind screenplay (the first posthumous Oscar,) Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson in 1984 for the Bridge on the River Kwai screenplay, and cinematographer Conrad Hall for Road to Perdition.

As far as the Best Actor nominations go, James Dean was nominated twice posthumously for East of Eden and Giant. Spencer Tracy was nominated posthumously for his role in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Massimo Troisi was also nominated posthumously for his role in Il Postino. So were Ralph Richardson and Jeanne Eagels.

None of them won.

heath ledger brokeback mountain

History does not bode well for Heath. Besides, do villains really have a chance at the Oscars? Most of the Oscars go to inspiring, sensitive roles. True, there have been villains who have won, notably Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter for Silence of The Lambs, Charlize Theron for Monster, Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland among a handful of others. Most of these performances have plumbed the different shades of darkness. Going by the acclaim that Heath Ledger has won so far for The Dark Knight, it does look like his performance is up there with the others.

Heath Ledger had been nominated many times but did not win any awards, except for the Robert Altman award for I’m Not There and the MTV best kiss award, the New York Film Critics Circle and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for Brokeback Mountain. In 2006, Ledger was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe award for his role in Brokeback Mountain.

Previously, Heath Ledger had been nominated for Australian Film Institute awards for Best Lead Actor, Two Hands (1999), Ned Kelly (200) and Candy (2006).
Heath Ledger
Heath was born to a French teacher, Sally Ledger Bell, and Kim Ledger, a race car driver, in Perth, Australia. Heath first appeared in the Australian movie, Blackrock (1997), followed by Ten Things I Hate About You and Two Hands, in 1999. Ledger then acted in The Patriot, Monster’s Ball, A Knight’s Tale, The Four Feathers, Ned Kelly, The Order, and The Brothers Grimm. Ledger’s final performance (incomplete) was for Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Ledger also wanted to be a director and was working on producer Allan Scott’s adaptation of the 1983 Walter Tevis novel The Queen’s Gambit.

The extremely promising Heath Ledger died in his Manhattan apartment in January 2008, of an accidental prescription drug overdose. He was just 28 years old. Heath’s toxicology report said that the medications found in the toxicological analysis were commonly prescribed for insomnia, anxiety, depression, pain, and cold. In November 2007, Heath had said in an interview that he had trouble sleeping largely due to exhaustion from work. Heath’s costar Christopher Plummer confirmed this and also said that Heath was suffering from a cold or a respiratory illness that seemed to be chronic.

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3 Responses to Heath Ledger for Oscar Best Actor award in 2008?

  1. Tony A. says:

    I think a posthumous Oscar For Best Actor is a fitting end to the whole Heath Ledger saga. Many feel he was cheated and should have won for Brokeback Mountain. His performance was heart rendering and he drew comparisons to “a young Brando” from the critics. Many thought that was his shining moment but then he surprised us all with his hair-raising take on The Joker as a full fledged psyschopath. Heath Ledger manages to steal The Dark Knight in true Joker fashion and for this reason alone he desrves The Academy Award For Best Actor. It would only be right to give Ledger his due for giving us a remarkable performance and blowing an old master like Jack Nicholson right out of the water! Recently,I have lost interest in The Oscars. This would most certainly rekindle my interest and Mr. Ledger could join Peter Finch in making cinematic history as the only two actors to win posthumously for trheir bodies of work.

  2. Dion McVey says:

    I have mixed feelings towards Heath Ledger being nominated for an Oscar, simply because I feel that Oscars are for outstanding roles in films that are serious, for example the film Philadelphia tackles a serious issue of aids and tom hanks acting was superb, and as a result of his acting tom hanks won himself a Oscar, as for the film the dark knight I feel that a comic book is not the sort of film that should be at the Oscars, even if the acting of heath ledgers performance was amazing, and it was, I just think that to put heath ledger up for nomination at the Oscars is simply putting him in the wrong competition.

    I mean this with great respects to Heath Ledger as he is a hero of mine

  3. martina says:

    R.I.P ledger

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