It’s been almost a decade since Heath Ledger‘s death. The actor, who died from an accidental mixture of prescription drugs in 2008, would have been 38.
Despite having led a short life, the Australian actor and aspiring director accomplished plenty in his career, which consisted of coveted Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations and subsequent wins.
He may have preferred a quieter life to the bustle of Hollywood, but fans will soon get an intimate, closer look at Ledger with the release of Spike TV’s I Am Heath Ledger — set to debut on April 23 — which promises never-before-seen footage of the Oscar winner and interviews with close friends and family.
Before diving into the emotional documentary later this month, we’re taking a look back at the actor’s most memorable film roles through his career.
10 Things I Hate About You — 1999
The actor’s breakout turn in 10 Things I Hate About You, a teen take on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew in which he played a high school student vying for his classmate’s (Julia Stiles) love, is one of his more popular performances. Even more so? His rendition of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”
The Patriot — 2000
Following his experience as a TV actor in his native Australia, the actor consistently landed supporting roles stateside. In 2000, Ledger took on the part of Mel Gibson’s character’s son in The Patriot.
A Knight’s Tale — 2001
If 10 Things I Hate About You wasn’t enough proof that Ledger had plenty of charisma and star power, A Knight’s Tale cemented his status as a leading man.
The Brothers Grimm — 2005
Ledger and costar Matt Damon took on the roles of The Brothers Grimm in this film, which told the story of two con artists who face supernatural events.
Brokeback Mountain — 2005
Ledger earned his first Oscar nomination for his performance in the groundbreaking film, which told the story of two gay cowboys (Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal) entangled in a passionate love affair. “We were super young,” Gyllenhaal said of making Brokeback Mountain, which also featured Anne Hathaway and Ledger’s ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams in supporting roles. “We had no idea what the movie was going to become.”
The Dark Knight — 2008
The Dark Knight was Ledger’s final completed film — following his death he also appeared in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, though he only got to film half of his scenes — and it earned him a bevy of awards, including a posthumous Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for his role as The Joker.