Heath gets Oscar nod on anniversary of his death

dark_knight.jpgIt’s exactly one year since Heath Ledger‘s tragic, accidental death on January 22nd last year, and though it’s a coincidence that it falls on the same day, what better way to honor his memory than with an Oscar nomination? Ledger was given the nod for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight in the Supporting Actor category. He’ll be competing against Josh Brolin (Milk), Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt) and Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road). For a full list of Oscar nominees, click here.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. ke • January 22, 2009 @ 1:35 PM

    well-deserved. he took the psychopath persona on a whole different level. it was an unbelievable performance.

  2. tributegirl • January 22, 2009 @ 4:02 PM

    Agreed, ke.

  3. Romney • January 22, 2009 @ 5:48 PM

    I think he was great and an absolute shoe-in for the award. But I’m appauled by the fact that RObert Downey Jr. is nominated for Troic THunder. Don’t get me wrong the movie was funny and I love the actor, but the academy has a reputation for not nominating comedies. They shouldn’t make it so obvious that he’s going to win. Give the man some kind of compition

  4. Max Powers • January 22, 2009 @ 6:22 PM

    Maybe DowneyJR need to also take some drugs and accidently O.D. then he’s a shoe in to win.

    Coke, crack,O.D. same things as prescription O.D. abuse is abuse.

    Chime in Jo-Anne

  5. Jo-Anne. • January 22, 2009 @ 6:49 PM

    Okay Max, I’m chiming…

    extremely inappropriate remark from you

    Heath’s performance/nomination (and hopeful win) as the Joker has absolutely nothing to do with his tragic death, he deserves and has rightfully so received recognition for his outstanding portrayal of this demonic character.

    chime complete…

  6. Max Powers • January 22, 2009 @ 7:27 PM

    He is only being nominated bc he’s dead simple as that, Jack Nicolson portrayal of the joker was better, not saying Ledgers was bad but when watching it felt like I was watching Willy Wonky as the joker.

    Since when has any Comic book character even been nominated for an award? coincidence?

  7. Coop • January 22, 2009 @ 7:58 PM

    Max,your way off base on this one and clearly in the minority.The performance would have been nominated regardless of the tragedy that befell Ledger, he elevated the character far beyond Nicholson’s and it laced with beautifully subtle nuances that quite frankly were lost on you.I’m not surprised considering your small minded comments.

  8. Max Powers • January 22, 2009 @ 8:09 PM

    What about Bale’s performance as batman, took it to a new level, darker,weird no nomination for him.
    All those fancy words,”laced with beautifully subtle nuances” come on!!!!!!! thats politicly correct talk. never heard words used like that before for a comic book movie.

    It’s politicy correct to act like your in favor of Ledger winning this award, going against it would make one look bad. due to the tragic accidental overdose cough”abuse”cough leading up to his nomination.

    I’m not against Ledger at all, he played a realy good part, but not academy winning. he will win every category he’s nominated for, for any award….tells you something right there.

  9. quinn • January 22, 2009 @ 8:35 PM

    I know Max doesn’t need me to come to his defence however this is the Oscars not the MTV awards. The oscars have a certain cachet. Even though Heath does deserve the nomination the fact that he died soon after made his performance that much more gritty. Will he get the sympathy vote who knows. And Robert Downey jr being nominated also doesn’t fit the oscar company of the past. They are redefining the Oscars at a time where change is inevitable. They are just trying to keep up. And it is so great that we can have this discussion, always nice to get different pov’s

  10. Jo-Anne. • January 22, 2009 @ 10:07 PM

    one more thing, quinn, good points…

    The Boss Was Robbed…

  11. Vicki • January 22, 2009 @ 11:23 PM

    Jo, Coop and Quinn, excellent points. Max Powers, you made a great point about Christian Bale but your insensitive comments about Heath Ledger are hard to stomach.

  12. Will • January 23, 2009 @ 1:32 AM

    Congrats Heath.
    Rest In Peace

  13. demigod • January 23, 2009 @ 2:10 AM

    Politics aside, I’d have to say Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker was an improvement. Not to say he’s a better actor, or more fitting than Nicholson. It’s really about the script and the director’s vision of the character. He’s darker, more ruthless. Also his image is more suited. He wasn’t as ‘polished’ as Nicholson’s version. Would a madman be so concerned looking neat?

  14. Jo-Anne. • January 23, 2009 @ 9:59 AM

    I enjoyed both versions of The Joker, but I do agree with your comments, demigod. His psychopathic presence was all the more terrifying by his sloppy, unkept, appearance, definitely not polished. That was what made his portrayal of demonic evilness so believable.

  15. Hey I DIED!!! • January 23, 2009 @ 11:57 AM

    I say even Elvis should continue to get awards. You know, when we die, WE DIE and THAT’S IT! Next year after the 2nd anniversary, what, another stupid award for this guy? Many people die, yes even Hollywood actors. Elvis died a few decades ago and yet today/right now there’s probably someone walking over to his grave and bawling their eyes out like he just croaked yesterday or something. Only reason we have this as news is because all concerned in the industry keep milking it for all its worth by using the death of the guy for their own personal gain. Can we all just move along and let people rest in peace instead of people coming to these discussion boards and offering up Well Dones and R.I.P Heath like the guy was your neighbour or close personal friend? C’mon peeps, give yer melon a shake or two, how many days or weeks will go by until we hear of yet another Hollywired actor/actress kicking the bucket? It’s not like we all live forever anyway and that’s the way it should be. People die, get over it, there are thousands of other stars that can use the support. I mean really, Daniel Lawrence Whitney (look it up, he’s a REAL ACTOR!!!) has more talent in his left Pecan than Heath did. Heath managed that ‘act’ most likely b/c he was blitzed out of his tree while they were filming-we should be talking about that more, SAYING NO TO DRUGS!!!!!!

  16. Nancy • January 23, 2009 @ 12:24 PM

    What’s a “left Pecan”? 😉

  17. Gary • January 23, 2009 @ 12:49 PM

    I was skeptical at first, as I too thought he might be getting nominated out of pity, or grief. Then I saw the movie and I was blown away by his performance. It was chilling. He deserves the Oscar nomination. Period. He will deserve the Oscar he will probably win. Anybody remember Peter Finch? His performance in Network was mesmerizing. He too deserved the postumous Oscar.

  18. Monique • January 23, 2009 @ 1:18 PM

    “Im not against Ledger at all, he played a realy good part, but not academy winning”

    I agree too.
    In all honesty, I really didn’t like the movie much at all. Way to long and dragged out. Too many stories happening and not enough time to really get to know the characters.
    I also agree I liked Jack better as the Joker. Heath was good, but Jack (IMO) was better.
    Each to their own I say…
    if we all agree’d on everything the world would be one boring place to be…

  19. mandee • January 23, 2009 @ 1:23 PM

    i completely agree with you gary. everyone has some good points on this article, but i do think they are dragging it out a bit much. i completely agree that heath did an EXCELLENT job as the joker, but i think its unfair to him and his family to continue to bring him up throughout the oscars. im not saying he DOESNT deserve it, im not saying he wont get the award only because everyone still feels horrible about his premature death, im just saying shouldnt it be about time his death was left to rest? when brad renfro died, no one brought up his death, or any of the movies he played in. he was a young actor, and in my opinion, just about as good as heath. i just dont think it seems right that they would still be favouring him when so many other capable young actors have passed away and i dont remember them going to such lengths for them. but, once again, i do think he did an awesome job and im not saying i dont think he deserves the award.

  20. mandee • January 23, 2009 @ 1:43 PM

    i didnt say that he doesnt deserve the award. what i said is, its been a year, they have been giving him awards all year, why continue to do so at this point? EVENTUALLY they WILL have to let it go and leave him alone. i completely stand by my comment in every way. he already has more than enough recognition not only from his fans, but from the oscars and the news articles and whatever else still feels the need to continue to make money by posting or printing things about his death. i think its crazy to always bring someone up who has already passed on and i think its sick that they would still be printing in the news about heath. everyone seems to think its soo sick that someone would be trying to blackmail john travolta with pictures of his dead child (in not disagreeing) but no one seems to think its sick that papers, and the oscars etc continue to bring up heath in order to make money? its the same basic thing, and i think its just downright ignorant.

  21. Jo-Anne. • January 23, 2009 @ 2:33 PM

    well, I disagree again. I think the Oscars have every right to “bring up Heath” – I mean…he is nominated.

  22. mandee • January 23, 2009 @ 2:35 PM

    thats fine, thats your opinion. although he did a great job, i dont think you should be nominating people who have long passed away.

  23. Jo-Anne. • January 23, 2009 @ 2:41 PM

    “long passed away.” Mandee, he passed away in 2008, not 1892.

    however, I get your drift, you think he shouldn’t be nominated and I do. that’s fine.

  24. Robyn • January 23, 2009 @ 3:42 PM

    First I want to say that I am not a Batman fan at all. I didn’t see the one with Jack Nicholson so I am not able to make comparisons of the two. Having said that though, I do think Heath Ledger is completely worthy of this nomination and I also think he is derserving to win it. His performance was amazing. Again I have nothing to compare his performance to in regards to past Jokers, however I can say that I was mezmerized by his ability to portray such a demonic, pyscho character. He was brilliant and this being the “year” of the Dark Knight, I do think recognition is a good thing. I understand Mandee’s point and I respect it but I disagree with her comments about Heath Ledger already having won awards this year and his name continually being brought up as a tool to make money. His movie came out this year. Dead or alive this was “his” awards year. If this continues next year and the year after, absolutely it is a money making tool and my opinion will change to exactly yours. For now though, I think his name and performance should be honoured for what they were, which in my opinion is simply brillant.

  25. MD • January 23, 2009 @ 4:52 PM

    He did an amazing job, and fully deserves this nomination and any wins he gets for this role. I knew since the first day I watched this movie it would have a huge affect.

    Rest In Peace

  26. The Reverend-Let Us pray • January 23, 2009 @ 10:31 PM

    Locally we have a debate about something called Curbside Memorials and how people erect shrines to those killed by drunk drivers, murdered etc. The debate revolves around how long is acceptable to let these stand. Many are in front of residential homes and are deemed to be eyesores, the homeowners do respect the grieving process, they also understand that a person or persons died right there for 1 reason or another. Those who object to the memorials being removed are those who just can’t seem to let go. In fact, those same who erected the memorials are actually being disrespectful to dozens of others who own homes right in that area, residential areas aren’t cemetaries so why should people exiting their homes be subjected to all this tackiness? The argument by those looking to set a time limit is that we have cemetaries for this reason and it is actually very crass or disrespectful to those who aren’t directly affected by the tragedy as in, someone they know or in their family etc. So, our city says it’ll be 90 days and then they have to remove the shrine and so it should be. Obviously we don’t erect memorials on our homes or businesses when we lose a loved one or family member, we don’t put memorials at every spot someone dies at-maybe has a heart attack while walking to the store etc. If we did do something this crass, then every single home would have a sign or memorial plastered on the front of each home as i’m sure everyone loses someone sooner or later don’t they? So, this being said, why do we have to keep dredging up all the Hollywood actors who have died before? The respect the deceased really deserve, is to be left to rest, you can talk about them, share your stories and anything else, we just don’t need to keep bringing it up in the media because it’s almost always because the media knows this is what sells their stories and it’s always for their own gain. Has nothing to do with respecting the person and once they do open this gate and run hundreds of stories, it also brings out the other side and then we get controversy and many other things. Don’t people have enough to deal with in their own lives and could just move on instead of blathering about yet another actor who died so young??? Really, what about hundreds of thousands who pass on each day in this world, they have value too, only their life is probably more normal in that we aren’t all trying to tell those who aren’t associated with them in any way, how they died, why they died and why we need to keep blathering about it everyday. This part is respect for the deceased, people do pass and that is okay, can we just let them rest peacefully so we don’t open the door to controversy and speculation in addition to many other things? Something to add about the Batman movies now too. They aren’t as good as they used to be and they should quit when they are ahead. I say if the person died, let them rest, the awards go to the living while living. If he had died in something like a murder-suicide and i’m not being eveil here but it has happened. If he had killed a mate and then himself BUT had done a great job in a movie, we definitely would not have been talking about a posthumous award now would we? Just because he died in that way, it is still no different, actors do die at various ages and the award to Heath Ledger is moreso because he died young(er) and they are trying to keep up the hype by causing this type of controversy now. News-good or bad, sells. Leaving him to rest would mean that the Awards would be talked about less and we all know they are looking to get huge exposure because of the advertising revenue etc., has nothing to do with Ledger being a good actor in the Batman movie (debatable because many gave it a bad review ayway).

  27. ke • January 23, 2009 @ 11:13 PM

    just a thought…weren’t people already talking and raving about his amazing performance before he died? there was already very early Oscar talk about the way he portrayed the Joker before they even finished editing the film for the finished product. So, I think there is certainly the element of sympathy and loss of a great actor but I totally agree that his performance was ‘chilling’. No qualms from me about his nomination.

  28. Harley Quinn • January 24, 2009 @ 3:14 AM

    The Joker (Heath Ledger) is not just the same old villan in a movie… Heath Ledger Actually gave this character a sence of realism… He basically created that character! The Joker that Heath Ledger showed us was the BEST villain that I have ever seen! He became that character… Before The Dark Knight came out, I never played any attention to Batman, Now, after I have seen the movie, I am the biggest fan (As far as I know). Heath Ledger really captured this character; there fore he really disserves this Award. Yes, I know, He is dead, but this Oscar will Honor his memory. Not just for his family and friends, but for his Fans too…

  29. mandee • January 24, 2009 @ 4:40 AM

    The Reverend-Let Us pray on January 23, 2009 10:31 pm

    i completely agree with what youre saying, and im glad to see someone can see it from my perspective. i wish that i had of been able to say it as good as you did, but im lacking for words these days.

    jo, a year IS a very long time. a lot can happen (and does) and a lot can be changed and be different within a single year, so yes, he has been long ago passed.

    also, once again i never said he does not DESERVE the award, nor will i ever. i also completely agree that he was a breath-taking actor and his time was cut short way too soon. but he should not still be in the awards when he is unable to accept the award for himself. i just think its wrong and i do believe fully that its a money grab and that once again it compares to the extortion of john and kelly about their son…perhaps its even worse, since no one is willing to try to stop this, and the papers etc continue to get a paycheck dragging him up every day of the week. its the same thing with princess diana. everyone should just lay it to rest and move on.

  30. Jo-Anne • January 24, 2009 @ 8:22 AM

    Dear Reverend,

    am in total disagreement to your entire post, which in a nutshell (and boy do we need to “nutshell” it) says Heath’s Gone, Don’t Mention His Name.

    What you and others are failing to acknowlege is that his Joker performance and ultimate death occurred in the timeframe of this past year, subsequently his nomination.

    No one is “blathering about it everyday”, but in view of the impending Oscars and Heath’s deserved nomination, I say now, more than ever, IS the time for a sermon on Heath’s exemplary performance, Reverend.

  31. blah • January 24, 2009 @ 10:37 AM

    he deserves the award every bit go heth ledger he is amazing great acting….i am happy he got the award woot!

  32. tributegirl • January 24, 2009 @ 11:52 AM

    Gary, I agree, before I saw the movie I thought there would probably be a lot of sympathy votes and he might win an award of which he was not deserving, only because he died, not because of his performance. But after I saw the movie, I thought that his performance is certainly worthy of many awards, it was amazing. It is still a sad thing that he died, but whether an actor is dead or alive, they should get whatever nominations (and wins) that their performance deserves.

  33. Guardian • January 24, 2009 @ 1:17 PM

    Ledger was the worst of all the Jokers. Really, his performance was okay at best and the Dark Knight altogether was a disappointment. Did nobody notice the obvious rip-off of Burton’s Batman? The Batjet attacking Nicholson (far superior Joker), was the exact same scene as the Batbike attacking Ledger. No originality and far too many faults. The only thing Dark Knight got right was the filming, that was beautiful.

  34. tributegirl • January 24, 2009 @ 3:00 PM

    Guardian, you are repeating yourself. Your post above is identical to your comment on the “The Dark Knight wins Tribute’s Oscar poll” article.

  35. Nancy • January 24, 2009 @ 4:14 PM

    I think Guardian repeated his/her comment because Harley Quinn repeated his comment from that same article. 😛

    Personally, I think Heath is totally entitled to this award as he did have a movie released last year and this award is based on last years movies. His performances have come to an abrupt end and the awards for those performances will end soon too but at least let little Matilda and the rest of Heath’s family receive the awards in which their loved one is rightfully entitled.

  36. Ash • January 24, 2009 @ 4:53 PM

    I think he got this awards/nods because he is an amazing actor, engulfed himself in his work and did every thing justice. I don’t think he’s getting these because of his death.
    His death wasn’t suicide either, it was accidental. His doctors prescribed him medicine and he was taking them like he was told and it was unfortunate.
    I loved watching him grow, he was a great actor. A hole is left where he stood in our generation.

  37. demigod • January 24, 2009 @ 8:48 PM

    Guardian – no originality? This new version actually recounts how the original Batman came to be. In ‘Batman Begins’ it details how he transformed into a crusader, after witnessing the murder of his parents, seeing the injustices/corruption. He became trained in the martial arts, and developed ninja skills.
    None of this was thoroughly covered in Burton’s version.

  38. Guardian • January 25, 2009 @ 4:42 AM

    Batman Begins was an excellent film. In case you haven’t noticed I was talking about The “Dark” Knight. I repeated my message because I felt it should be read in both articles, not because someone else did.

  39. demigod • January 25, 2009 @ 11:41 PM

    I didn’t see any parallels between The Dark Knight and Burton’s version. Totally diff script.

  40. Anonymous • January 26, 2009 @ 9:14 AM

    I didn’t read everyones comment I read only a few but he didn’t ONLY get nominated because he is now DEAD !!! HE did a phenomenal job and there was talk of him possibly getting an oscar nod before his death while they were promoting the movie before it was released.

  41. Anonymous • January 26, 2009 @ 9:23 AM

    Also comparing his protrayal of the Joker to Nicholson says NOTHING. Jack Nicholson did a good job as the joker but Heath Ledger (may he Rest In Peace) did an outstanding job as the joker. In my opinion Nicholson didn’t have to act too far of from his own person and character, quiet frankly (and no offence to Nicholson as he is a great actor) he seems a little crazy to me as is. Heath Ledger however I feel had to play a character far from who he himself is.

  42. Vicki • January 27, 2009 @ 6:27 PM

    Room for one more opinion on this fascinating, passionate site?
    I think every performance worth a nomination should be considered, regardless of whether or not the actor is alive for the ceremony. Personally, I found Heath utterly mesmerizing as the Joker and I hope he wins.
    To the Reverend and his argument in favour of time limits on neighbourhood memorials, I have to disagree. What you call “tacky” are the heartfelt mementoes of grieving friends and family. Yes, they have cemeteries to visit but, in the case of accidental deaths, they also have the actual site where their loved ones breathed their last… I think they should be allowed to deal with their pain in any way that helps them.

  43. tributegirl • January 27, 2009 @ 6:37 PM

    I totally agree, Vicki. I pass a number of these on my way to work, I find it is also a reminder for people to slow down.

  44. Vicki • January 27, 2009 @ 6:45 PM

    Very good point, Tributegirl. My friend tied a ribbon and some plastic flowers to a hydro pole where her 18 year old son was killed and kept refreshing it for a few years. It was a bad intersection but there hasn’t been another accident since… maybe her memento helped.

  45. tributegirl • January 28, 2009 @ 5:02 PM

    Wow, that must have been really painful for her, I can’t imagine. But I can imagine how these tributes would help the family and friends of accident victims, and I think it probably does make people more aware to slow down. So your friend doesn’t do that anymore? What made her decide to stop?

  46. Vicki • January 28, 2009 @ 5:15 PM

    I’m not sure. One day she took down the fraying ribbon, as she’d done so many times before, and just didn’t put a new one up. She never said why. I know they’d made many other very slow steps to deal with his death, like finally unwrapping the gifts they’d bought him (he died two weeks before Christmas). It was a horrible, horrible time but, as you said on another post, they got through it by leaning hugely on their massive circle of friends. In fact, she asked me to design his gravestone around the “circle of friends” motif. I said I didn’t think I was a good enough artist (it’s just a hobby for me) to do such an important job and she said she wanted it done by someone out of love, not professionally.
    Thanks for asking:)

  47. tributegirl • January 28, 2009 @ 6:11 PM

    Wow. That is a really amazing honour for them to have given you. I hope you did the design. I still visit my friends parents, she was their only child, her husband remarried and has 2 babies now, he and his new wife are still close to my friends parents as well, they are a third set of grandparents to these little boys. It is amazing the amount of suffering a person can endure, amazing and so so sad.

  48. Vicki • January 28, 2009 @ 6:57 PM

    I did do it. I thought it looked kind of “homemade” and far from special enough, but she cried and said it was perfect. Yes, it was a truly amazing honour…
    Your beautiful sentiments are warmly appreciated, tributegirl. Also, I’m so glad that your friend’s parents have those new babies in their life. Her husband and his new wife must have generous, loving hearts, just as you so clearly do.

  49. tributegirl • January 28, 2009 @ 8:29 PM

    Oh, thanks Vicki! That’s so sweet! Yes, these people are amazing, wonderful people, you couldn’t help but love them. And he was the most incredible husband while his first wife was suffering, I don’t know anybody who would go to the lengths he went to. And now, instead of leaving her parents and restarting his life, he restarted his life and kept them in his life, and we are all so pleased and greatful that his 2nd wife is so happy and willing to embrace the family and friends of his deceased wife. She is just as amazing as my friend.
    I think what you did for your friend is probably the most special thing anyone could have done for them. That is one story that I am never going to forget, it really touched my heart.

  50. Vicki • January 29, 2009 @ 5:26 PM

    That is a lovely thing to say. Thank you so much, tributegirl:)

  51. tributegirl • January 29, 2009 @ 8:34 PM

    Vicki, I’m really happy that you found this site. And I’m really happy that you are able to be friends with all of us, considering all the hard feelings between some of us. I wish all that crap wasn’t there, but some things were said long ago, so a friendship between three of us and Jo-Anne isn’t going to happen, but I am pleased that you can be friends with all of us. I hope you never feel pulled in either direction.

  52. Vicki • January 31, 2009 @ 12:27 AM

    And ANOTHER warm thank-you for a wonderful note, tributegirl! I really enjoy this site, especially contributions from some of the particularly thoughtful contributors. I enjoy Jo-Anne’s clever, hilarious posts, Nancy’s snappy comments, Mandee’s kind and earnest contributions and your own articulate, heartfelt insights. I am SO grateful for having connected with you all and just want to go on being friends with everybody:)

  53. Nancy • January 31, 2009 @ 3:38 PM

    Huh! So All I get is “snappy”?

    Thanks alot Vicki!! 😛

    And, I would have to totally disagree with you on your description of one other person…I don’t think you need 3 guesses with that.

  54. Vicki • January 31, 2009 @ 4:29 PM

    Okay, how about “incisively funny with an edgy quality that often promises to interest and amuse”… That took me some serious effort to compose, so I hope you like it better!

    Tee hee hee:)

  55. Vicki • January 31, 2009 @ 4:31 PM

    P.S. I am a total techno-moron, but can you tell me in VERY simple language how to get those beautiful emoticons you use? They are SO much cuter than my 🙂

  56. Vicki • January 31, 2009 @ 4:32 PM

    OMG I’m freaking out!!!! How did that happen?!!!!

  57. Nancy • January 31, 2009 @ 5:40 PM

    Yeah, I can handle that! I also find that I am straight up, to the point and can’t stand liars and people who ‘brown-nose’ their way through life. But I understand you not mentioning any of those because no one on here “knows me” outside of Tribute. The Nancy everyone knows and loves on here…that’s who I REALLY am. My friends say I am the female version of Simon Cowell, LOL. He has way more money but I’m better looking. Hahahaha!

    Ok, I think you just used : D to get 😀
    : P for 😛
    ; ) for 😉

    If you press and hold ‘alt’ while typing #’s such as 5 (5 times) you get this: ♥

    alt 13… ♪
    etc., the possibilities are endless. Using the ‘alt’ and typing in #’s is where you can find the letters with accents in the french language (alt 130 is é ; alt 131 is â)

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