Heath Ledger was an Australian actor best known for playing the role of the Joker in the film “The Dark Knight.” He was born on April 4, 1979, in Perth, Australia, to Sally Ramshaw and Kim Ledger whose family owned the Ledger Engineering Foundry. At ten years old, Ledger’s parents divorced and he attended Guildford Grammar School. The future actor’s love for acting started young and he began joining school productions. Ledger’s older sister who was an actress and publicist also encouraged him to take up acting full-time.
At 16 years old, Ledger moved to Sydney to become a professional actor. After a series of small roles in film and television, the actor landed his breakthrough role in the 1999 teen comedy, “10 Things I Hate About You,” where he starred alongside actress Julia Stiles. The following years proved to be successful for Ledger when co-starred with Mel Gibson in “The Patriot” (2000) and snagged the leading role in “A Knight’s Tale” (2001). At the end of the year, Ledger was listed as one of the best upcoming actors in Hollywood.
In 2005, Ledger starred in Ang Lee’s 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain” together with Jake Gyllenhaal. The role garnered him critical recognition and earned him awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and nominations from the Golden Globe Awards. Ledger also received nominations from the Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA Awards, and Academy Awards. The actor’s portrayal of Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” gave him posthumous awards including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Sadly, Ledger passed away in 2008 before he could receive the award for his performance. The actor’s sudden and tragic death sparked lots of speculations surrounding his life. Ledger’s controversial choices when it came to selecting his roles also contributed to the rumors about his sexuality. So, was Heather Ledger gay? Let’s find out what the actor had to say.
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Heath Ledger’s Relationships
Ledger was a certified heartthrob when he made his debut in Hollywood. Staying true to his bad-boy reputation, the actor didn’t shy away from dating models and actresses. Ledger had several high-profile relationships and one failed engagement. But despite his long list of affairs, most of his exes had nothing but great things to say about the actor. This was incredibly rare especially when you’re dating within show business. Here’s a quick look at all the women he’s loved before his unfortunate demise.
Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles (1999)
In 1999, Ledger met his co-star Julia Stiles while filming for “10 Things I Hate About You.” According to rumors, the pair dated during the entirety of the film but they never confirmed their relationship to the press. It’s also unclear whether they remained friends even after working together. It’s worth noting though that Stiles only had loving comments about the actor after his passing. The actress shared that Ledger always seemed mature and wanted to explore his skills in more movies.
Heath Ledger and Heather Graham (2000-2001)
A year later, Ledger confirmed that he was in a relationship with actress Heather Graham. The newly minted couple made a red carpet appearance together while holding hands. Apparently, Ledger and Graham met while they were both filming abroad in the same country. Their shared sense of humor made them bond almost immediately. Unfortunately, the pairing wasn’t meant to be and they split in 2001.
Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts (2002-2004)
In 2002, Ledger dated another co-star Naomi Watts which lasted for two years. The pair met on set while filming “Ned Kelly.” Although they dated for a while, they kept the details of their relationship to themselves. After Ledger’s death, Watts opened up for the first time about her ex-boyfriend. Based on the actress’ sentiments, Ledger was “a man who was completely full of joy.” He was also funny, affectionate, and a very special soul. The couple parted ways in 2004.
Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams (2004-2007)
At this point, Ledger already had a reputation for dating his co-stars. So when rumors started flying that he was seeing another actress, Michelle Williams, the public wasn’t surprised. Ledger and Williams met on the set of “Brokeback Mountain” and their chemistry was off the charts. They quickly started dating with Williams falling pregnant a few months into their relationship.
By 2005, Ledger and Williams were engaged and had one beautiful daughter, Matilda Rose. The couple then moved from Hollywood to Brooklyn to start raising their family. Sadly, the differences between the couple proved to be too much. They eventually broke up in September 2007 but remained on amicable terms for their daughter.
Heath Ledger and Kate Hudson (2007)
After his split from Williams, Ledger began dating Kate Hudson. The duo already met before in 2002 when they starred together in “Four Feathers.” They were spotted kissing a few months after the actor’s separation. While their relationship was brief, Hudson had always gushed about Ledger, calling him her favorite on-screen kiss.
Heath Ledger and Gemma Ward (2007)
At the time of Ledger’s passing, it was believed that he was seeing Australian model, Gemma Ward. Ward has admitted to struggling with depression since the actor’s accidental overdose. According to the model, she first met Ledger in New York and they bonded over the challenges in their lives. Ward took a break from the media spotlight but not without mentioning how special the actor was.
Heath Ledger and Mary-Kate Olsen (2007-2008)
Ledger was also rumored to be involved with Mary-Kate Olsen in 2008. When he was found dead in his apartment, it was Olsen’s number that was on his speed dial. However, the actress denied their alleged affair and considered the actor as her close friend.
Heath Ledger and Lindsay Lohan (2008)
In 2014, it was revealed that Ledger hooked up with actress Lindsay Lohan. The revelation came from a leaked sex list which featured most of Lohan’s personal affairs. Although the relationship seemed casual, the actress actually considered Ledger the “love of my life.”
Heath Ledger’s Queer Love Story
In 2005, Ledger made a controversial choice with his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Ang Lee’s film, “Brokeback Mountain.” The film also starred Jake Gyllenhaal who portrayed Jack Twist, Ledger’s love interest. The story revolved around two queer cowboys who fell in love even though they already had families of their own. It also took place during a time when homosexuality was still strongly condemned.
The film was heavily criticized by conservatives and homophobes. Some of Ledger’s fans were also upset with the actor’s decision to break away from his typical action-packed roles. However, Ledger was extremely vocal about his support for the film. During the press tour, he gave a clear statement to the haters:
Ledger also made it clear with his statement that he supported the LGBTQ community and its portrayal on the silver screen.
Was Heath Ledger Gay?
No, Heath Ledger wasn’t gay. Despite playing a gay cowboy on the screen, Ledger was undeniably straight. He has only been linked to women in the past and shares one daughter with one of his exes, Michelle Williams. However, Ledger was a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ community.