Skip to main content
/entertainment

I-Reporters recall meeting kind, handsome Heath Ledger

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- CNN.com reader Kristy O'Connor took a prenatal yoga class with Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams and says she was "in awe of his devotion and attention to Michelle." Reader Dena Michnowih says she came across Ledger in Brooklyn, New York, teaching his young daughter Matilda her right from her left, and was enchanted.

art.zarate.group.irpt.jpg

Heath Ledger is pictured with crew of the 2005 film "Lords of Dogtown" and members of the Zephyr skating team.

CNN.com asked readers to share their memories of Ledger, who was found dead in a New York apartment Tuesday, January 22. Famous for his roles in the films, "The Patriot" and "Lords of Dogtown," Ledger was widely acclaimed for his portrayal of the homosexual cowboy Ennis del Mar in 2005's "Brokeback Mountain."

CNN.com readers describe meeting Ledger in person, and call him humble and kind. Below are a selection of their responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity.

Donal Logue, actor, of Los Angeles, California
I met Heath eight years ago while working on "The Patriot." He became a star while we were sequestered away in a small town in South Carolina based on the strength of the dailies going back to Los Angeles. Heath was a fantastically kind and sweet young man. He surrounded himself with his friends from Australia and never forgot any of us he ever worked with. I last saw him in Australia when he called my name on a Melbourne street and introduced me to Michelle, his (then) pregnant [girlfriend].

Showbiz Tonight
Watch complete coverage of the investigation into the sudden death of Heath Ledger.
Tonight, 11 ET/PT on Headline News

I have great memories of going for runs with him or watching a bootleg copy of a Parker and Stone's musical called "Cannibal! The Musical of the Donner Party Tragedy." Heath must have been in a place of great pain and sadness to be split from his wife and child. He was sensitive and unfairly victimized in his native country by the unfortunate Australian custom called the "tall poppy syndrome" in which an Australian, the second he or she achieves global success, is immediately and arbitrarily accused of losing all of their humanity. Not true. He was a sweet person, and less importantly, an unbelievably talented actor. Maybe the best of his generation.

Dan Bova of Larchmont, New York
Once when I was driving in Brooklyn, I got a flat tire. As I was jacking up my car, this deep voice from behind me said, "Need a hand?" It was Heath Ledger. I couldn't believe it. He helped jack up my car and change the tire. He was really good with tools!

R. of Perth, Western Australia
I grew up with Heath around the speedway racing circuit. I remember the night he was a little boy and his Dad was racing speed cars at Claremont Speedway (my dad was in the race, too). His dad was coming 3rd then in the final corner, the two lead cars spun out and Heath's dad Kim took the lead and won the State Title race. Heath was standing a couple of rows in front of me with his mum and sister and they were all so excited, jumping up and down and cheering. He was about as happy as a little boy could be watching his dad become a champion. I remember that night because in the years that followed, I saw his parents marriage break up and it was like there was this moment in his childhood of pure joy that I witnessed.

Later Heath would pit crew for Graham Jones, and I crewed for my dad and brother. Heath and I were both the youngest on our crews so that meant our job was to take the fiberglass bonnets over to the hoses and wash the mud off after each race really dirty work but he managed to stay cleaner than the rest of us.

Crystal Davis of Toronto, Ontario
I met Heath in L.A. at a mall a year or so ago. I was staring at him working up the nerve to ask for an autograph. He saw me, started laughing and walked towards me. He said I was white as an "egg" and asked if he could do anything. I said, No thanks ... yes I forgot to ask for the autograph. He touched my shoulder and told me to take it easy and walked away. He looked back several times and smiled. What a great memory I have of him. My prayers go out to his family and friends.

Dena Michnowich of Glen Cove, New York
I was walking in the lower east side of Manhattan one day and I noticed a really cute man holding his little daughter on his shoulders. She looked just like him. He told her that they had to make a right and asked her to point them in the right direction, which she did. I soon realized that it was Heath Ledger and I got really excited. I was walking right up to them as they were waiting to cross the street. When I got close, I waved and he smiled at me. He was so handsome I got the chills. I could also sense that he had a very sweet spirit. It was a very special moment for me. I'm so sad to hear that he died.

Leanne Scorzoni of Staten Island, New York
I worked as a nanny for a number of years in Manhattan, and I ended up having a toddler class with my charge and Heath, Michelle and baby Matilda. The couple was so polite and laid back at first I didn't recognize who they were. They were genuinely interested in their child, her development, and treating the rest of us (including staff) with respect. He will be sorely missed.

Michael Williams of Perth, Western Australia
I met Heath Ledger many years ago while I was working at a local fast food outlet here in Perth Western Australia. He came through to order and I was amazed at how polite, kind and friendly he was. He stopped to sign autographs while he waited knowing that to the people asking him he was somewhat of a hero. He did all this with the great Australian attitude that he had and a smile on his face, he was one superstar that took stardom well and in his stride, I for one feel thankful that I have met this great person.

I send my deepest sympathy to his family and say to them that you do not mourn his passing alone; the people of Perth share your grief.

Tracy Kimball of Rock Hill, South Carolina
I met Heath Ledger in 1999 while he was filming "The Patriot" in South Carolina. I was a reporter for a daily newspaper there and he was at a press conference about the movie at Historic Brattonsville, a Revolutionary-era plantation. He was so very kind and was more than happy to sign my newspaper. The media was flocking around Mel Gibson, but seeing a new young and dashingly gorgeous guy standing off to himself, I approached him and asked for his autograph. He flashed that smile, grabbed my pen and used my back to sign the newspaper I was holding.

We had a conversation, but I don't remember it because I was so enamored. I had never heard of him before because the only American movie he had filmed was "Ten Things I Hate About You," which I had not yet seen. I went back to the paper where I worked and wrote a story about the new hot Aussie star that would surely become hugely successful in America. His death really saddens me. He was such a talented actor and a new dad. Having a child the same age as his daughter, it makes me even sadder to think of her missing her father.

Amanda Olmstead of Penticton, British Columbia
I met Heath when he was filming "Brokeback Mountain" in my hometown of Fort Macleod. He was a down to earth man with amazing talent. His portrayal of Ennis del Mar was life-changing for many of my friends. I am truly saddened by his death.

Kristy O'Connor of Sydney, Australia
My heart goes out to Heath's family and little Matilda, I met Heath one time at a prenatal yoga class in Sydney with Michelle and was in awe of his devotion and attention to her. He was a true gentleman and I'm sure an amazing father. To make assumptions as to how or why he died is to bring more pain to an already devastated family.

Adrian K. of Perth, Western Australia
I met Heath one night on the town in Perth. The one-degree of separation rule in Perth made him a friend of a friend. We had a brief and quiet chat. What struck me was his calm in the face of his monstrous burgeoning celebrity. With both of his feet planted firmly on the ground, he seemed to be facing the publicity with stoic resolve. Goodnight, Heath. You were a good bloke.

"A sad fan" in Chicago, Illinois
I was an extra in the movie "Dark Knight," which filmed in Chicago this past summer. I spend an entire weekend on set with Heath. He was rather quiet most of the time between takes, but seemed to be a nice, likeable guy. It was great to watch him work, as he was very committed to his craft. His death is a great loss.

Kelly Fishburne of West Palm Beach, Florida
I met Heath Ledger while working in Atlanta. We both were taking a CNN tour. He was silly, smiling all the time and we spoke about horses and riding lessons. He was also talking about the movie the Patriot he filmed with Mel Gibson. He had to do lots of riding. He was down to earth and so very talkative. Just a normal guy, hanging out. A real gentleman.

advertisement

Jessi Lee of Central, South Carolina
I really enjoyed Heath's acting. His best movie was my favorite movie of 2005, "Lords Of Dogtown." Heath played the somewhat obnoxious Skip Engblom, but thinking of all the other actors who could have taken the roll, I don't think anyone could have done it better.

Even two of the original Zephyr shop boys themselves. Tony Alva & Stacy Peralta, said when Heath came in & did the voice he would use in the film, it was like hearing Skip from the past. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print
Quick Job Search
keyword(s):
enter city:
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.