Jan 23, 2008 07:10 AM ET
- by Ken Fox
Heath Ledger in Candy courtesy THINKFilm
Not long before 3:35 pm on January 22, 2008, the short life and promising career of actor Heath Ledger came to a sudden, tragic end. It was around this time that Ledger's housekeeper and his masseuse discovered the body of the Australian-born actor in the bedroom of the Broome Street apartment he'd been renting in lower Manhattan. Ledger was not yet 29 years old.News of Ledger's death came as a terrible shock to nearly everyone, even though it now seems the low-key, Oscar-nominated actor had been privately battling his own demons for quite some time. His passing is the terrible surprise ending no one saw coming, an abrupt finale to a life and career that seemed to be all about the unexpected.Born and raised in Perth, Australia, and named after the darkly romantic anti-hero from Wuthering Heights (he has a sister named Katherine), Ledger left school at the age of 17 to pursue a career in acting. He eventually landed a role in Blackrock, a small independent feature about teen rape, fo...