Born on 4 April 1979 in Perth, Western
Australia, Heath Ledger was interested in acting
while studying in Guilford Grammar School. He started
his career performing onstage with the Guildford
Theatre Company and was soon appearing in substantial
roles on Australian television shows such as Sweat
(1996) and Roar (1997).
After moving to Los Angeles, Ledger landed his leading
role as the rebellious Patrick Verona in the teen
comedy 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
opposite Julia Stiles. The film was a hit and garnered
him a legion of new fans. That same year, he starred
as a Sydney teenager who finds himself in debt to
a criminal kingpin in Two Hands.
After starring the leading roles in The Patriot
(2000) and A Knight's
Tale (2001), Ledger
garnered praise for his supporting role as a deeply
depressed prison guard in Monsters Ball (2001).
Ledger once again proved himself a multitalented
actor in The Four Feathers (2002),
in which he starred as an officer who resigns from
the British Army shortly before being shipped off
to Sudan. He was also praised for his intense performance
as a tortured priest in The Order (2003).
He then starred as sixteen-year-old outlaw Ned Kelly
in Ned Kelly (2003)
alongside Rachel Griffiths, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando
Bloom, and Naomi Watts.