What is it about beauty, fame and riches (BFR) that fails to satisfy those who have it? If you look at Marilyn Monroe we can assume it's that beauty, fame and riches do not bring love. And so, poor Marilyn, stunningly beautiful, the most famous actress of her time, with more money than she could spend, died alone and without love.
But perhaps it has nothing to do with having all these great things but in how one has attained them. Marilyn once told us, "Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul." I suppose once you have sold your soul for half a buck, there is nothing more left to value in your life.
And so we learn today from initial reports that Heath Ledger, 28, was found dead in a New York City apartment on Broome Street a few blocks from my office in SOHO owned or inhabited by Mary-Kate Olson [update - it isn't her apartment] and that it appears to be a suicide [but since he was naked I don't think it was suicide - more likely a trist with some young thing that went bad drug-wise and she ran out after he died). A masseuse found him "naked and unconscious on a bed, with pills scattered around his body," according to the NY Times (which I would link except they let links rot after two weeks). No happy ending there. Heath had BFR which apparently didn't give him the rush he got from drugs.
Now it could very well be an accident unrelated to drugs, we'll have to wait and see.
Monica Guzman at the Seattle PI tells us that "The Dark Knight" is still unfinished. Fans of the Batman franchise will recall that Ledger was cast in the highly anticipated update to the Batman series and was starring as a new, dark Joker but my son tells me the film has wrapped and they are in post production. The film will release later this year and it will be interesting to see how it gets marketed now that Heath is dead.
Actually it is "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" that is unfinished. They may have to reshoot his character with another. But that's the trouble with drug users - no consideration for the rest of us - just leaving us hanging.
Ledger arrived in Hollywood when he was 19. He was spotted by Mel Gibson and landed the role of his son in "The Patriot." It was Ledger's big-time break and led to his leading role in "A Knight's Tale."
Ebay items of Heath Ledger that sold for $30.00 last week are now listing for thousands.
I will update this post with the names of other young stars who do not appreciate all the gifts they have in life and will list their names below when they, too, commit suicide or overdose or die in unexplained circumstances.
Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan, are you reading this?
[UPDATE: 7 Feb 2008]
The actor Heath Ledger died accidentally “from the abuse of prescription medications” — specifically, six kinds of painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety drugs — a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner said on Wednesday.
Mr. Ledger, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the 2005 movie “Brokeback Mountain,” died of “acute intoxication” caused by the combined effects of the six drugs, the spokeswoman, Ellen Borakove, said in a statement.