I get it. He was found naked. Face down. In his bed. The words “drug overdose” are splashed all over the headlines this morning. As if we’ve never seen those words coupled with “tragic death” and “young star” before.
We watched on the news as his body was removed from his New York apartment on a gurney, in a body bag.
It’s Hollywood. It happens all too frequently.
But a man has died. A man with a daughter, a mother and father, a sister. A man with an amazing career now cut short. His most anticipated role, they say, is that of the Joker in The Dark Knight, a film yet to be released. Who will watch it now without a feeling of disbelief in the pits of their stomachs?
OK, probably many. But not me.
Was he troubled? Maybe. Did he battle substance abuse? Possibly. But does that diminish the shock of the news? No.
I don’t know why the death of Heath Ledger has shaken me the way it has. And why it is he died when washed up celebrities like Britney Spears continue a downward spiral, all the while flashing vagina all over town.
And continue living.
I realize headlines of his death are everywhere today. All the while, war rages on and presidential candidates continue bickering. Should we be so absorbed in the death of another Hollywood star?
Yes. It’s news. It’s tragic. Would we care as much, if at all, if he were just a man, not an actor? No. But the truth is, he was an actor. His films had impact. People care.
Don’t get me wrong, headlines stating: “Michelle Williams – ‘Devastated’” make me want to gouge out my eyes because, no shit, she’s devastated? Really? But these are the intimate details people are waiting for.
I’ll admit I’m absurdly absorbed in the media coverage. I’m also absurdly saddened by his death.
But I can’t shake the thought that he shouldn’t have died.