Ten years ago today, Hollywood and the world lost a gem. Australian actor and director Heath Ledger tragically died on Jan. 22, 2008 at the age of 28, and the world continues to mourn his loss.
Ledger had just completed his iconic role as The Joker in The Dark Knight and was in the middle of filming The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus when he passed away.
Though Ledger's career was sadly short, the actor gave thrilling performances that will continue to entertain fans for years to come. As we celebrate the actor's legacy, here are Ledger's five best roles.
1. The Joker
Hailed the best perfomance of 2008, Ledger's role as The Joker in The Dark Knight is one that will live on infinitely. While The Joker was portrayed by others in the past as cynical yet humorous, Ledger's take on the villain was a work of art and exhilarating from start to finish.
Ledger's death paid a big factor in the marketing of the film as many speculated that the role is what caused Ledger's untimely death. Ledger's former co-stars have disputed this claim. The actor's performance earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, which he won posthumously.
2. Ennis Del Mar
In the emotional drama Brokeback Mountain, Ledger portrayed Ennis Del Mar, a reserved sheepherder that falls in love with rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal). The film received critical acclaim and skyrocketed Ledger's career.
During the production of the film, Ledger met actress Michelle Williams, whom he dated for three years and with whom she had his only child, Matilda. Ledger also became close to Gyllenhaal, who is the godfather to Matilda.
3. Patrick Verona
If you didn't fall in love with Patrick Verona in the hit teen classic 10 Things I Hate About You, then you must re-watch the movie immediately! Ledger portrayed the adorable bad boy that was paid to date the rebellious Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles). The film that was based on the Shakespeare play, "The Taming of the Shrew," also featured other popular '90s stars such as Larissa Olyenik and Andrew Keegan. Stiles and Ledger were the perfect on-screen couple and made high school seem a little less boring.
4. Jacob Grimm
Ledger co-starred in The Brothers Grimm with Matt Damon. Damon and Ledger portrayed the fictional characters Wilhelm "Will" and Jakob "Jake" Grimm, who were con-artists that get swooped up in a real fairy tale nightmare and must save a town from a curse.
Ledger proved once again his comedic talents in this film while also making it impossible to resist Jake's sensitive and goodhearted nature.
5. Sonny Grotowski
Another groundbreaking performance from Ledger was in the 2001 film Monster's Ball. Ledger portrayed Sonny Grotowski, the son of Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thorton), who was emotionally abused by his father. Ledger's character died early in the film, but his death played a crucial part in Hank's redemption.