Heath Ledger's 10 Most Legendary Performances

Gone 10 years.

Heath Ledger's 10 Most Legendary Performances

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the untimely death of legendary Australian actor Heath Ledger.

In his short but prolific acting career Ledger provided a body of work that would be the envy of many in Hollywood.

To celebrate the life of one of Australia's greatest entertainers, we've put together a list of Heath's top ten legendary performances on the big screen.

Monsters Ball

Ledger put in a powerful supporting performance in 2001's award-winning Monsters Ball next to Halle Berry (Best Actress Oscar) and Billy Bob Thornton, portraying the son of a troubled prison guard with a difficult relationship with his father.


A gritty film depicting love, relationships and drug addiction; Ledger's very-real performance in this heartbreaking film stands tall alongside Abby Cornish and Geoffrey Rush.

Lords of Dogtown

This very underrated film about the origins of modern skateboarding is an absolute ripper. The real story of the 'Z-Boys' - including the legendary Stacey Peralta and Tony Alva - Lords of Dogtown depicts how a drought in the 70s in Southern California gave birth to the sport of skateboarding - with Ledger acting as Z-Boys manager Skip Engblom.

A Knight's Tale 

This is one those films that you never set out to watch but when it's on TV you end up sitting down and enjoy watching from start to finish. Ledger stars as peasant-born William Thatcher, who along with his friends, tricks everyone into becoming nobleman Ulrich von Lichtenstein, the greatest knight in the World.

10 Things I Hate About You

Based on William Shakespeare's 'Taming of the Shrew', this film became a staple in English classes in high schools across Australia in the early-2000s. Ledger announced hismselfin Hollywood as both a heartthrob and a credible actor with his performance as Patrick Verona - a hard-nosed high school 'senior' with a heart of gold.

Two Hands

A terrific Aussie film starring a very strong local cast. Ledger plays Sydney club promoter Jimmy who gets work with local crime boss Pando (Bryan Brown), but things go awry and Jimmy ends up owing the crime boss $10,000, so Jimmy hatches a plan to rob a bank to pay back his debt and save himself and the beautiful girl he's fallen for (Rose Byrne). 

If you haven't seen this film do yourself a favour.

Ned Kelly

There's been many attempts at playing Australia's most famous bushranger but none come close to Ledger's portrayal of Ned Kelly. His depiction of Kelly's loyalty to both his family and friends shines through in this 2003 film, staying true to all first hand accounts from the time of the Kelly Gang.

Ledger stars alongside a very strong cast, including Hollywood heavyweights Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Naomi Watts.

Brokeback Mountain

This gritty and powerful film about a 'forbidden and secretive' relationship between two cowboys is arguably Ledger's greatest performance. Brokeback Mountain won an incredible 141 awards throughout varying ceremonies around the world, including the Best Director Oscar.

Ledger himself was nominated for Best Actor in both the Oscars and Golden Globes for his depiction as Ennis Del Mar alongside Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Patriot

Two of Australia's most famous acting exports star alongside each other in this American Civil War story, with Ledger playing the oldest of Mel Gibson's sons. The Patriot is just an absolute ripper action movie. We don't need to say too much about it because everyone's seen it and everyone loves it.

The Dark Knight

The most memorable performance from Ledger for both good and bad reasons.

Ledger's turn as Batman's greatest foe, the Joker, is the best villainous performance in movie history, hands down.

Ledger threw himself whole-heartedly into this role, which if you believe some stories, had a hand in his untimely death.


The Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan has openly stated that he was devastated by his good friends death, so much so that he didn't want to return to direct the third and final film in the trilogy, due to the fact that Ledger was set to play a large part in that film too.

Ledger posthumously won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as The Joker, deservedly cementing his name in Hollywood history.