I just heard on CNN that Heath Ledger has been found dead in his Manhattan home. He was 28.
Ledger will be known forever as one half of the famous Brokeback Mountain love story. Ledger credited his uncle, Neil Bell, as his inspiration for the role as a closeted gay man.
Ledger said his uncle's difficult early life and tough personal experiences helped him forge what is being acclaimed as one of the strongest and most emotionally powerful performances in recent cinema history.
"His father approached him when he was 20 and said: 'Are you gay?'," Ledger said. "He was about to deny it, because his dad was very Victorian, very stern. But he said 'yes'. "Two weeks later, his father came back to him and said, 'I believe you're ill, and I want you to go to hospital and get fixed. If you don't go, I want you to leave the family'."