Actor Heath Ledger, Jan. 22 Heath Ledger, the Australian-born actor who received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a cowboy's tragic homosexual affair in Brokeback Mountain, was found dead at his home in New York City on Tuesday , Jan. 22, 2008. He was 28. Ledger's portrayal of the secret male relationship earned critical raves for the actor and made him an instant icon in the gay community. It was on the set of Brokeback that Ledger met Michelle Williams, who portrayed his on-screen wife. The two were engaged when their daughter, Matilda, was born in October 2005. The pair separated in 2007. Ledger's roles also include the suicidal son of Billy Bob Thornton in Monster's Ball," and he had starring roles in A Knight's Tale, The Patriot and 10 Things I Hate About You, a teen comedy reworking of The Taming of the Shrew. He was to appear as The Joker this year in The Dark Knight, a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins, which recently finished filming.