celebs! hugging! greg!



Take the feed! Subscribe

Get GIH news via Twitter

Follow Greg: Twitter Facebook

Greg on Flickr:

Vanity Fair on the last days of Heath Ledger

The world is mourning the death of Michael Jackson who died at 50 and of Farrah Fawcett who died at 62. Both seemed to be gone too soon.
Then you think of Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight star Heath Ledger, just 28 when he died last year. That was really too soon. Vanity Fair has Heath on the cover of its August issue and the article inside offers new details into his life near the end. Here are some of the highlights:

How his relationship failed
Terry Gilliam—Ledger’s friend and mentor, and the director of Doctor Parnassus—agrees with cinematographer Nicola Pecorini, who worked with Ledger on that last film, that the romance between Ledger and Michelle Williams began to unravel during the Oscar campaign for Brokeback Mountain. “The whole machinery started growing up around them,” Gilliam says. “That was the moment when it changed, when he realized, Uh-oh. We perceive the world differently. He didn’t care about things like those awards.”,0.jpg

According to Pecorini, “Heath was always blaming himself [about the relationship], asking, What did I do wrong?” Adds Gilliam, “Because he’s a much nicer person than I am, he really thought he could do the right thing. He was trying to be decent and graceful, give her whatever she wanted—the house, every fucking thing. But once it started going south, it went very quickly. He was overwhelmed by lawyers, and there were more and more of them, as if they were breeding. I said, ‘This is bullshit. Heath, just end it. Get out—it’s bad. You’ve got to just walk away from it.’ The stakes kept going up. He wouldn’t listen to any of us.”

As Ledger’s relationship with Williams unraveled, and the pair started dealing with lawyers and custody issues, according to Gilliam, Ledger fell apart. “The thing that really made Heath snap” was legal wrangling over his daughter, Matilda, Gilliam says. “He said, ‘Just fuck all of you! I’m not giving Michelle anything.’???” Recalls another source, when it came to Matilda’s care, “there were definitely heated conversations, and emotions were high.” (Ledger’s lawyer declined to comment on any aspect of the separation or custody dispute.)

How chronic insomnia may have led to his death
Ledger’s use of sleeping medication to combat chronic insomnia at the end of his life was of more concern to vocal coach Gerry Grennell, who worked and lived with the actor during the filming of The Dark Knight. “I’d say, ‘If you can possibly bear it to stop taking the medications, do, because they don’t seem to be doing you any good.’ He agreed. It is very difficult for me to imagine how close he came to not taking them.”

Ledger would typically spend night after night awake, diverting himself with time killers, Vanity Fair contributing editor Peter Biskind reports, such as re-arranging the furniture in whatever space he happened to be living in at the moment. Grennell coached him in the Alexander Technique, which helped him to sleep for a few hours at a time, but he still struggled.

“Everyone has a different view of how he passed away,” Grennell tells Biskind. “From my perspective, and knowing him as well as I did, and being around him as much as I was, it was a combination of exhaustion, sleeping medication … and perhaps the aftereffects of the flu. I guess his body just stopped breathing.”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized


(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

One Remark

  1. July 21st, 2014 at 6:10 pm
    anthony ratley says:

    it is so sad that my number 1 favorite male acter had to go so soon, i never new that he was insomnia a lot of people blames his x wife, but to skip to the end, when god call on us there is nothing we can do it will be our time, just like there was nothing heath ledger could have done it was his time, now he waits for his love ones with god.

Leave a Reply