24 January 2007

Stars, friends react to Heath Ledger's death

Actress Julia Stiles: Ledger's 10 Things I Hate About You co-star spent last night at a bar, the Bowery, a few blocks from where he died. "I am drinking away my sorrows right now," she told the Independent.

Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee: "Working with Heath was one of the purest joys of my life. He brought to the role of Ennis [Del Mar] more than any of us could have imagined."

Lee said Ledger had "a thirst for life, for love, and for truth, and a vulnerability that made everyone who knew him love him. His death is heartbreaking".

Talk show host Ellen Degeneres: The comedian took a moment at the end of her talk show on Wednesday to remember Heath Ledger in a touching and humorous tribute. Calling the actor an "amazing, amazing, talented young man," DeGeneres said: "He was a friend and we will miss him," before running a clip from his last appearance on her show, on February 13, 2006.

Model Helena Christensen: "He was such a special and genuine person, so extraordinarily talented because he was so raw and honest with his feelings," Christensen told Women's Wear Daily. "He was so full of life, so electric."
Ledger, she said, was "a sweet, smart and talented young man and had many friends. My heart goes out to his family. I am just beyond sad at this point, and shocked."
Christensen also said she was about to see the 28-year-old actor when she heard of his death. "I was on my way over to pay him a visit when I found out," she said.
"I had just left him a message and heard his voice on the machine."

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd: "It was with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of Heath Ledger.
"It is tragic that we have lost one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life.
"Heath Ledger's diverse and challenging roles will be remembered as some of the great performances by an Australian actor."

Actress Nicole Kidman: "What a tragedy. My heart goes out to his family."

Neil Armfield, who directed Ledger in the 2006 Australian drama Candy: "He was always a complex and complicated man to work with but ... just a master."

Scriptwriter Luke Davies, who wrote Candy: "This is just an awful, awful day and and awful awful loss."
"He was a very beautiful person. We got to know each other quite well on set - he just had an immediate connection with people."
"I feel so sad and just weirdly privileged to have been involved with him. What amazed me about Heath was his amazing tactile, emotional response to a script and other actors.
"He just brought a huge amount to a script - and it was just magnified on the big screen."

Actor John Travolta: "He's touched me deeply as a talent and it's a great loss. Losing him at any age would be a loss but it was pretty rough news. I was really shocked by it."

Alan Horn, President and CEO of Warner Bros, the producers of the upcoming Batman movie The Dark Knight, in which Ledger stars: "The studio is stunned and devastated by this tragic news. The entertainment community has lost an enormous talent. Heath was a brilliant actor and an exceptional person. Our hearts go out to his family and friends."

(NZ Herald 11:42AM Thursday January 24, 2008 here)

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