It is with great sadness to announce the passing of Australian actor Heath Ledger on January 22nd 2008. Although, Heath only starred in one full-fledged teen movie, 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), he became one of the first actors to be featured at Hollywood Teen Movies when the site was launched in 2001. At Hollywood Teen Movies we believe that Heath was one of the greatest actors of his generation and sadly his career wasn't even half realized.
In 1999 I viewed 10 Things I Hate About You at an advanced screening in an Australian cinema. My immediate thoughts were, this is an above average teen movie with an exceptional young cast. Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles stood out as two of the most promising young actors on the scene. A couple of months later I viewed Two Hands in an Australian cinema, only a day or two after its initial release. I was simply blown away by the movie and in particular by Heath's performance. A day or two later I was on a flight to Los Angeles and was sitting next a young female that I discovered was involved in the entertainment industry. I cannot remember her name or specifically what kind of work she did, but I think she may have been involved in script writing. What I do remember is a brief part of our conversation. I was flicking through a number of entertainment publications that I had picked up at the magazine outlet of the airport. She saw what I was reading and asked me what films I was interested in and what actors had impressed me most in recent times. I said I had just viewed the film Two Hands a couple of days ago. I asked her if she had seen the film and she said no. She asked me about who was in it. I told her that it starred a young Australian actor called Heath Ledger and the older Australian actor Bryan Brown. She said that she had never heard of Heath Ledger, but knew of Bryan Brown. I went on to tell her that I thought that Heath was an actor to watch out for and that I think you will hear a lot about him in the next few years. I also mentioned that I had seen him in the American teen film 10 Things I Hate About You, earlier in the year and that he had put in a brilliant performance in that film also. She told me, that she had heard about 10 Things but had not yet seen it. She went on to say that she would keep a look out for Heath in the future.
When Hollywood Teen Movies was launched in 2001, Heath's profile page was one of the first of the actor pages to go online and his early films 10 Thing I Hate About You, Two Hands, The Patriot and A Knight Tale, were among the first films to be featured at Hollywood Teen Movies. I am now sure that the young lady I met on the plane back in 1999 has since discovered who Heath Ledger is and now like the rest of the world; knows what Heath Ledger brought to the world of acting in his short life. Heath was a true artist and an exceptional talent who played an array of diverse characters in a collection of high-quality films that both critics and audiences loved. I did not know Heath Ledger, nor did I ever meet him personally. I only knew Heath through his films and I believe Heath was an accomplished artist and a true actor well ahead of his time. He may have only been 28 years of age but the quality of his work was way beyond his years. Heath will be sadly missed by his family, friends and of course his many fans. From Hollywood Teen Movies we send our deepest condolences to Heath's family and friends at this very sad time.
Tony (webmaster of www.hollywoodteenmovies.com)