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Jack Nicholson Warned Him: Heath Ledger Recap- And the Big Titted Blond He Left Behind

New York City- The news of Brokeback Mountain star Heath Ledger’s death in a New York apartment has caused shockwaves around the world, but it didn’t come as a surprise to one Hollywood star.

A revealing – if ambiguous – comment made by Jack Nicholson hints he was aware Ledger was battling personal demons.

The acting veteran, who played the Batman’s most famous Joker, said in London: “I warned him.”

The comment came as it emerged that police had recovered a rolled-up $20 note from the apartment.

At a press conference NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly admitted that “no testing has been done for narcotics at this time” on the note, but it is something the police are looking into.

A source told CBS 2 that several drug packets containing an unknown substance had also been found but Kelly refused to elaborate on this, saying only, “Some of them were sleeping pills, in essence, and some other drugs there as well. … We are going to wait for the toxicology report.”

His family have rejected speculation that he committed suicide earlier.
An initial autopsy carried out by the New York City Medical Examiner was “inconclusive”, according to U.S. reports.

The official investigation was launched after a police spokesperson confirmed that presciption anxiety drugs Valim and Zoloft as well as sleeping medication Ambien were found in the vicinity of the actor’s body.

In Perth, his home town, Ledger’s father Kim read out a statement in which he insisted the death was an accident.

Surrounded by his ex-wife Sally and their sobbing daughter Kate, he said: “We confirm the very tragic, untimely and accidental passing of our dearly loved son, brother and doting father of Matilda.”

He went on to describe his son as “a down-to-earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving and selfless individual who was extremely inspirational to many.”

Kim continued: “Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life that few had the pleasure of truly knowing him.”

Ledger’s ex-fiancée Michelle Williams and their two year old daughter Matilda flew from a film set in Sweden to their home in Brooklyn following the tragedy.

“You can’t begin to imagine the state she’s in,” an executive on the film told the Mail Online.

It has been revealed Ledger made a friend promise to call and “wake me up” hours before his death.

Film director Shekhar Kapur said Ledger had asked him to call the next morning during a conversation on the eve of the tragedy.

Kapur, who directed Ledger in The Four Feathers, telephoned him on Monday after arriving in New York from London.

“I last spoke to him the night before he died. He said he could not see me that night but really wanted to meet me the next day. He made me promise that I would call him in the morning and wake him up. I tried. Little did I know that his soul had already left his body,” he said.

He added: “He was one of the most gentle, most honest, most caring, and most compassionate persons I had met.”

Meanwhile Naomi Watts, who dated Ledger for two years after they met on the set of Ned Kelly in 2002, has cancelled all her press at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where she was set to promote her upcoming thriller Funny Games.

The actress is said to be devastated by his death and will not attend her film premiere tonight reports

Sources told Mail Online that Ledger had been battling substance abuse problems – including an addiction to heroin – for some time.

“He had a stint in rehab last year when he was treated for heroin,” a source told The Daily Mail, adding that Ledger was increasingly introverted at the time of his death.

There are claims the strain of playing the Joker in the new Batman film may have proved too much for the star – in a recent interview, he told how the role of a “murderous psychopath” had left him “sleepless and exhausted”. He is also said to have recently suffered pneumonia.

He was only sleeping around two hours a night, with reports speculating his reliance on sleeping pills led to his “accidental overdose”.

A housekeeper at Ledger’s New York City apartment made the shocking discovery of his body face down on a bed at 3.20pm local time on Tuesday afternoon.

Minutes earlier, the housekeeper had opened the door to a masseuse, who had an appointment with the actor.

The Hollywood website reported that Ledger was in cardiac arrest when emergency services arrived on the scene.

The actor’s body was moved to the floor but subsequent attempts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead at 3.35pm, at the scene.

His remains were removed by police in a body bag from the apartment three hours after his death.

Her father Larry Williams said: “It has just broken everybody’s heart in my family. I think Tennyson got it right in the poem he described someone as having died at a young age but burning the candles at both ends. And oh what a beautiful flame he made. That was Heath.”

He said Ledger was devoted to his daughter Matilda.

“The saddest thing is his daughter whom he just loved dearly. The Tennyson poem is just so true. His years were few but he left a beautiful legacy.”

An insider disclosed that the Oscar nominated star had been battling substance abuse problems during the later part of his life.

Perth-born Ledger took his break-up with Williams last September very badly, according to the source.

“Heath was shattered by his split from Michelle,” the source told Mail Online, adding: “He became a recluse. He barely slept he was dealing with terrible mood swings.”

Ledger spent the past several months mourning the loss of his relationship with Williams and friends say he had become an introvert, who was headed in a downward spiral.

“Heath totally wanted to be on his own these past few months since he and Michelle split in September,” says a source. “She was very much in love with him, but the fact he continued to dabble in drugs kept their relationship from being one she could rely on.

“He adored his daughter Matilda, and when Michelle called it quits, he missed Matilda so much that he was thrown into a deep dark depression.

“Heath was living in New York to be close to his daughter. But he hardly ever ventured out anymore.

“His close friend and Brokeback co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal has been worried about him for months. And he knew Heath was sinking further into a depression. Jake is Matilda’s godfather, and he and Heath had become really close since they did the film Brokeback together.

“Jake wanted Heath to get help, but he refused, and now it looks as though he may have died of a drug overdose.

“Michelle will be devastated by the news, because she always hoped he would get help and they could manage to work out their relationship for the sake of their daughter.

“Now poor little Matty is left without a father, and Heath has died a senseless death.

“He had so much to live for and he was so talented. He was working on a new film, and he had everything in life to live for. Now, tragically, he has thrown it all away at just 28.”

Industry observers spoke of the increasingly “unhinged” way that Ledger has carried himself professionally and personally in recent months.

“It’s easy to think an actor is just dressing bizarrely and acting weird on the red carpet to try to drum up some interest in themselves. But a picture is fast emerging, through discussions with his friends and work associates, that Heath has really been very out of it for months.

“And he’s been battling some pretty serious demons. It’s just so incredible that it was allowed to gone on unchecked for so long.”

Ledger’s former fiancée Williams failed to talk sense into her now deceased former partner.

“She cared for him deeply but his life was unmanageable,” said the source. “As much as she wanted to stay together, he was a different person these past couple of years.

“The tragic reality was that he lost his grip on life.”

As for Ledger’s trip to rehab, the source said: “It was during his filming of The Dark Knight. Heath’s addiction was really getting in the way of his ability to act. He went to rehab but left fairly quickly, within a number of days.

“Tragically, he never really faced up to his addictions. Had he done so, he would be alive today.”

It was at the Venice Film Festival in September of last year that Ledger first started displaying signs of being floored by his split with Williams and at was then that friends noticed a change of behaviour in him.

After behaving oddly during a press junket at the festival on the Venice Lido all day on September 3rd, Ledger went alone to a party thrown by Italian designer Alberta Ferretti on a yacht moored off the main city at 10pm.

Ledger arrived dressed “as if he was homeless”, said a source.

“It looked as if he was if he was trying to make some kind of point. He drifted around the party not talking to anyone for half an hour and then just walked off into the night like a lost soul. It was most odd.

“He and Richard Gere were both special guests at the party. But Heath was just like a ghost. It was obvious something awful had happened to him.”

In an interview last November, Ledger spoke of the joy of fatherhood; “Having a child changes every aspect of your life – for the better, of course. The sacrifices are large, but what you get in return is even bigger than the sacrifices you make.

“I feel, in a sense, ready to die because you are living on in your child.”

Chief among his celebrity confidants during the final stages of his life was fellow Australian Naomi Watts.

Ledger was currently in the middle of filming the Terry Gilliam movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus at the time of his death. Last weekend, he was photographed dressed as a clown on set in London.

The fantasy-adventure film about a travelling theatre troupe was scheduled for release next year.

Born in Perth, Western Australia, to race car driver Kim Ledger and French teacher Sally Bell, the actor left school at age 16 to pursue his acting career in Sydney.

After making his TV debut in children’s TV series Clowning Around at the age of 13, Ledger made his first big screen outing in Australian drama Blackrock.

Ledger’s breakout Hollywood role came in 1999 teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You, alongside Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

After high-profile roles opposite Mel Gibson in The Patriot and Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball, Ledger was firmly established as a leading man in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain in 2005.

Ledger was Oscar-nominated for his acclaimed performance as gay cowboy Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain, but missed out to Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won the Academy Award for Capote.

He can currently be seen in cinemas playing Bob Dylan in I’m Not There alongside Cate Blanchett and Richard Gere.

His performance as The Joker in Batman sequel The Dark Knight has already received a good reception from test audiences. The movie is expected to be a blockbuster when it is released this summer.

Warner Bros. Pictures Group, who produced the Batman movie, has issued a statement: “The studio is stunned and devastated by this tragic news. The entertainment community has lost an enormous talent.

“Heath was a brilliant actor and an exceptional person. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”

As well as his film career, Ledger also had a love for music and started a record company with American musician Ben Harper.

Ledger’s demise comes just a week after the sudden death of another young Hollywood star, 25-year-old Brad Renfro. It is believed Renfro died of a suspected drug overdose.

Despite his high-profile relationships with Williams, Watts and Heather Graham, Ledger hated the media attention that came with his fame and had often hit the headlines for altercations with the paparazzi.

As well as his parents and daughter Matilda, Ledger is also survived by his sister Katherine, and half-sisters Olivia Ledger and Ashleigh Bell.


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