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Brian J. Robb: Heath Ledger

Brian J. Robb: Heath Ledger

Hollywood's Dark Star. UK 2008, 208 pp., brochure,  17.90
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Heath Ledger was one the most charismatic and powerful screen presences of his generation. Having established a high-profile acting career by the age of 21 with the lead in »A Knight's Tale«, the young Australian went on to pursue a succession of increasingly diverse and often subversive roles that challenged the film industry's initial impression of him as a mere teen-idol. While a limited number of his early roles would hint at the greatness of which he was capable, it was not until his melancholy, Oscar-nominated performance in Ang Lee's modern classic »Brokeback Mountain« that Heath proved beyond question the blistering extent of his abilities and secured his place amongst the Hollywood elite, bringing to this new status a depth of artistry absent in all but the most accomplished of his contemporaries. His sudden death at the age of 28 rocked the film industry to its core.