Heath Ledger, RIP

woah, this was not expected at all.

Hollywood actor Heath Ledger has been found dead at a residence in downtown Manhattan.

“He was found unconscious at the apartment and pronounced dead,” the New York Police Department said, adding that pills were found near the body.

Police are reportedly investigating if the Australian actor, who earned an Oscar nomination for Brokeback Mountain, died of a drug overdose.

The 28-year-old was found dead in the flat at around 1530 (2030 GMT).

Police said they did not suspect foul play and that his body had been discovered surrounded by pills.

I am reminded of River Phoenix, or Brandon Lee. It’s quite a shock, especially given how anticipated his turn as The Joker is going to be this summer in the Batman sequel. But Ledger was a really solid actor – I saw Cassanova on a flight last year and was really surprised at how enjoyable it was, almost entirely due to Ledger’s robust performance. I haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain but his dramatic turn there is probably what landed him the role in Batman, where the viral marketing campaign has already succeeded in making him the definitive iconic Joker (thankfully eclipsing the dreadful Jack Nicholson version). Ledger will definitely be missed.