As the public still reels from the heartbreaking shooting deaths of at least a dozen Dark Knight Rises fans this morning in Aurora, Colorado, we look back at the tragic loss of Dark Knight star Heath Ledger, who passed away just months prior to the film's theatrical release in 2008.
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The late actor, who played the Joker in the first movie of the trilogy, was found dead in his New York apartment on January 22, 2008. Ledger's passing was ruled as an accident, stemming from an overdose from taking a combination of prescription drugs.
Ledger was nominated for, and won, an Oscar posthumously a year later. The honor was bittersweet for Ledger's family, who accepted the statue on his behalf.
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Just 28, the actor left behind one daughter Matilda, whose mother was ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams.