Heath Ledger’s father reveals the actor’s final words to his family
Kim Ledger addressed the actor’s accidental overdose in 2008 at the age of 28, describing the tragedy as “totally” the actor’s fault.
“It was totally his fault. It was no one else’s. He reached for them. He put them in his system. You can’t blame anyone else in that situation,” Kim said. “That’s hard to accept because I loved him so much and was so proud of him.”
The Australian actor died in his New York City apartment after having wrapped shooting on The Dark Knight, the film that would earn him his posthumous Oscar for his performance as The Joker.
The actor was in the middle of filming The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus at the time of his death, and the strenuous shooting schedule left him drained.
“There’s so much pressure on them to perform so even though your body is telling you that it’s not good and needs time, it’s like ‘just take these painkillers and keep going,'” Kim said. “That was the case with Heath. He had to be back on set to finish [the next day]. They were doing night shoots in the freezing cold and he had a weak chest anyway. He’d caught this [cough] and just couldn’t shake it but he thought he had to because he wanted to get the movie done.”
Kim also said that Ledger’s sister spoke to Heath the night before his overdose and warned him not to mix drugs.
“Katie, Katie, I’m fine. I know what I’m doing,” said the actor in his last words to his sister.
Ledger’s toxicology report revealed a cocktail of oxycodone, temazepam, diazepam, hydrocodone, alprazolam and doxylamine were found in his system.
Eight years after Heath’s death, his father is now working to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse.
Research carried out by ScriptWise, the not-for-profit organization Mr. Ledger leads, found that almost half of Australians would not admit to a painkiller addiction for fear of being judged.
Heath Ledger left behind one daughter, Matilda, now 10, with actress Michelle Williams.
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.