“Why so serious? … Let’s put a smile on that face.” – Joker, ‘The Dark Knight’.
The actor who gave us these spine chilling lines in a stunning scene had been one of the most committed and brilliant actors the film industry has ever seen. Heath Ledger’s untimely demise undoubtedly shocked the film fraternity and movie lovers all over the globe. He was an enigma in his own way who left behind a legacy so amazing that all villains are still measured to the bar he set with his role as the Joker. Let’s have a look at his best performances that made him a true legend.
15. The Order (2003)
This movie narrates the investigations of an excommunicated priest’s suspicious death and the discovery of a Sin Eater that has headquarter in Rome. The movie introduces different storylines that eventually tie together.
Not well received by the critics, this movie opened at #6 in Box Office rating and grossed $4,438,899 in its opening weekend. Ledger gave a remarkable performance and delivered exhibited outstanding acting skills.
14. The Brothers Grimm (2005)
A fictitious and exaggerated portrayal of the Brothers Grimm, set in the 19th century. The brothers travel in the French occupied Germany and eventually encounter a fairy tale curse which needs real courage to tackle rather than the typical bogus exorcisms they use to con people.
This movie received mixed reviews from the critics and grossed $105.3 million in box office. This movie clearly belonged to Ledger who gave one of his most memorable performance which showcased a different side of talent, indicating his indeed is a diverse actor.
13. The Four Feathers (2002)
Set in 1875, this war drama movie follows an officer who hands in his resignation after discovering his regiment’s plans of shipping to Sudan for the conflict with Mahdi. His fiancée and friends mails him four white feathers that symbolizes cowardice. In order to redeem his honor, he tries to save the lives of the same people who called him a coward by disguising himself as an Arab.
This movie is among the long line of adaptions of A.E.W Mason’s novel ‘The Four Feathers’ published in 1902. It grossed $6,668,857,879 on its opening weekend at the Box office and made $29.8 million worldwide. Ledger truly showed his acting calibre and justified his selection over Jude Law.
12. Casanova (2005)
This movie narrates the story of a handsome young man who has the reputation of seducing women, regardless of their marital status. He eventually meets a beautiful woman who is indifferent towards his charms. Intrigued, he continues to pursue her but soon discovers he is falling for her.
An underrated movie that failed to do well at the box office, it showcases amazing performance by the entire cast. Ledger made a convincing and witty Casanova.
11. Ned Kelly (2003)
This historical drama is based on ‘Our Sunshine’, a novel published in 1991 by Robert Drewe. This movie dramatizes the life of Ned Kelly, who was a legendary outlaw and bush ranger. The story is set in 19th century Australia, where Ned Kelly flees with his brother and two other cohorts.
The movie grossed $6,585,516 worldwide and generated appreciation for the casts’ performance, especially Ledger. His outstanding and realistic portrayal of Ned Kelly earned him several award nominations, including AFI award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and FCCA award for Best Actor – Male.
10. Candy (2006)
This romantic drama movie is an adaptation of the novel ‘Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction’ by Luke Davies. The story follows a poet who falls for an art student who gravitates his love of heroin and his bohemian lifestyle. Completely hooked on each other as much as on the drug, their relation alternates between states of despair, self-destruction, and oblivion.
This is another underrated movie that exhibits brilliant performances by the leads. The chemistry between Ledger and Cornish is beautiful, and even unnerving and frightening at times. Both of them gave a splendid performance making this movie a must watch. Ledger received award nominations for this role, including IF award for Best Actor and FCCA award for Best Actor in a Lead Role. He won the Best Actor Award in Valenciennes International Festival of Action and Adventure Films Awards.
9. Lords of Dogtown (2005)
This biographical drama movie is set in the early 1970 and is based on true events. A drought in Southern California results in people emptying their swimming pools and a group of surfers from Dogtown move in with their skateboards, this results in the formation of a new sport. Their pool surfing leads to fortune fame, and some misfortune as well.
Ledger played the role of the group’s manager and guru. His performance earned him a nomination for Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Action Adventure/Thriller.
8. A Knight’s Tale (2001)
This movie is about a peasant who poses as a knight to compete in tournaments. He wins accolades and acquires friendships with historical figures. All this to change his stars and win the heart of a fair maiden.
This movie was a modest success at the box office and grossed $117,487,473. Ledger truly proved himself as an outstanding actor in this memorable role. He was nominated in Teen Choice Award for Film – Choice Actor category.