In times when I'm upset, I sometimes like to think of all the times that Heath Ledger was the ultimate early '00s crush. This might sound a little trivial, or even slightly ridiculous, but trust me, it works. And that's because, yes, Ledger was very easy on the eyes, and hella charismatic to boot, but it comes down to much more than that. It wasn't just that he was super dreamy, but also that his work ethic, creative ambition, and acting talent were truly admirable, as evident in all of Ledger's best movie performances.
It's easy to swoon over a pretty face, but ultimately, that can get kind of boring. If you're anything like me, then you truly crush on a person once you see that they possess something unique and substantial about them. And this was exactly what Ledger had. He was gorgeous, sure, but more importantly, he was interesting.
As his career progressed from being a dreamy pin-up star in teen movies, to a complex character actor receiving critical acclaim and Oscar nominations (and a posthumous win for his role in The Dark Knight), it was impossible to not feel completely enthralled by him. So when he died on Jan. 22, 2008, at just 28, it felt truly devastating to fans who knew his capacity for greatness. So, here are all the times Ledger truly won your heart in the early '00s.
1That Time He Sang "Can't Take My Eyes Off You"
And it immediately became your favorite song in the whole world
2That Time He Did This Move & You Were Like, "I Officially Love This Man"
Does this move have a name? If so, I want it renamed to "Heath Legging It."
3The Time That He Had Absolutely Zero Chill In 'A Knight's Tale'
What even is that face? Who cares. I'm into it.
4... But Still Became A Champion & Won The Heart Of The Princess
So much swoon, I can barely handle it.
5That Time That He Played Along With A Comedy Skit & It Was Absolutely Perfect
It was sweet, adorable, and hilarious.
6That Time He Played The Joker & His Performance Completely Blew You Away
And you were like, "I told you so..." to every one of your guy friends who doubted his acting capabilities when he was cast. And like, yeah, you still owe me $20, Tony.
7That Time You Realized That Nothing He Did Could Halt Your Feelings For Him
Be honest now. The Joker? Yeah, he was a psychopathic, homicidal terrorist, but Ledger's portrayal of the character (for better or worse) still totally gave you a thing for cute guys with green hair.
8That Time That His Charms Were Distinctly Overwhelming
And with the wink, the smile, and the general talk of nudity, you were like, "Yep. I'm obsessed."
9That Time He Attended A Riot Grrrl Rock Night To Impress A Woman
In navy PVC trousers, no less. He was basically a dream come true.
10That Time His Relationship With Michelle Williams Gave You New #CoupleGoals
They were always the classiest and the absolute cutest.
11Every Time You Saw His Friendship With Shannyn Sossamon On Screen
In A Knights Tale, The Sin Eater, and every behind-the-scenes glimpse that showed the two of them together, it was clear Sossamon and Ledger shared a sweet connection as friends.
12When His Performance Completely Broke Your Heart In 'Brokeback Mountain'
I'm still not over it, guys. He was incredible.
13... And He Made You Cry With A JACKET
This was the precise moment that my single tears turned into a full on bawl.
14Every Time He Smiled...
16That Time He Played Paintball & You Realized What A Perfect Date Looked Like
I still want to do all of this, including the skipping school and riding pedal boats part.
17That Time He Read Poetry In Bed & It Was Everything
There's having high standards in a relationship, and then there's Heath-Ledger-reading-poetry-in-bed kinds of standards.
18That Time You Realized That, Despite His Good Looks, He Was Truly A Chameleon
I mean, this varies from person to person, but I think all of us have enjoyed that moment with a particular Ledger movie where we've gone, "Damn, this man can really act and I barely even recognize him anymore."
To fans of the actor, Ledger will remain the ultimate crush, as well as one of the best actors of all time. And he will continue to be greatly missed.