Heath Ledger, a Reluctant Celebrity, Is Dead At the Age of 28

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In the spring of 2001, I spent a day with Heath Ledger as he was driven from KDFW-Channel 4 to WFAA-Channel 8 to his hotel, then back again to yet another TV interview at TXCN -- all in the name of promoting A Knight's Tale, the rock-and-roll refit of a medieval fable. He loathed that part of the job, the primping and pimping of product and the sell-sell-selling of himself in order to add a few bucks to a studio's bottom line. I will never forget when a Channel 4 anchor asked him: "Tell me about your personal life." He replied, "Tell me about your personal life." He was 22 at the time, an almost-famous kid on the verge of a movie star's career that culminates with this summer's The Dark Knight, in which he will play The Joker.

Only, Ledger will not be around to promote that bit of product: The star of Brokeback Mountain and last year's Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There died today in a SoHo apartment, either of a suicide or accidental overdose. He was 28. --Robert Wilonsky

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