A Day Later… Dealing With the Loss of Ledger

I know you guys expect the latest news, pics and trailers from all the upcoming movies here at RopeofSilicon, but after the news regarding the death of Heath Ledger yesterday I felt it would be incredibly unfortunate to have immediate news regarding set pics from X-Files 2 or any other kind of news next to it.

I am not afraid to admit that most oftentimes the death of an entertainer does not affect me in the slightest. I basically resort to making sure I have a recent bio and picture in the database for each individual and update their date of death. However, as we get older things begin to affect us in a different way because the people that begin to pass away had a greater impact on our lives; Heath Ledger’s death did that to me.

I started RopeofSilicon in 2003 and since that time the only actor that passed away that affected me in any way was Marlon Brando, but even Brando’s death doesn’t compare to the effect Ledger’s death had on me. To me Brando was an icon, his potential had been reached. My memories of Brando were of performances in the past, with Ledger it was the promise of the future. Ledger was only a couple years younger than me and it is the largest loss my generation has suffered since the death of River Phoenix, at least in the world of movies, and in my eyes.

One thing I would like to say is “thank you” to the readers at RopeofSilicon. Many (and I mean MANY) people read the Heath Ledger article I kept updating yesterday and while only a few of you commented, I would say all but one of them treated Ledger’s death with respect. Nothing saddened me more than visiting some of the other movie sites and seeing articles speculating the future of The Dark Knight, comments by readers asking if Ledger was done filming and praying the film wouldn’t be postponed.

I am not sure if the Batman fans realize what has happened. Heath Ledger died. He is dead. Show some respect.

Forget whether or not The Dark Knight is going to be released, I am trying to cope with how I am going to handle the moment I see Ledger on screen as a maniacal psychopath. Trust me Bat-fans, the film will be released. I can only wonder if some of you are so morbid as to only worry about your precious superhero film when one of Hollywood’s most promising actors under the age of 30 has died only hours after you hear the news. If you fall into that category I am not sure I can have any respect for you whatsoever.

Once again, thank you RopeofSilicon readers for being respectful of the situation with your comments, or at least remaining quiet and not posting, deciding to share your thoughts privately with others. Heath’s death is, in my mind, the single biggest story I have had to deal with since starting this site and to say it hit me hard is an understatement, and I believe it hit many of you the exact same way.

Things are going back to normal around here, but I can’t help but believe that this is something that is going to stick with us all year long.

One thing is certain, the tagline for The Dark Knight, “Why So Serious,” now has a haunting quality about it, and not in a positive way…

CNN carries this quote from Ledger’s father:

“Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life, but few had the pleasure of truly knowing him… He was a down-to-earth, generous, kindhearted, life-loving, unselfish individual extremely inspirational to many.”


Marvel and DC