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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 02:48 GMT
In pictures: Heath Ledger's life

Heath Ledger and fiancÚ Michelle Williams at the 2006 Academy Awards

Australian actor Heath Ledger has been found dead aged 28. He was engaged to actress Michelle Williams, with whom he had a daughter, but they were reported to have split.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain

Ledger (right) received acclaim for his role opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain in 2005, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor.

Heath Ledger in I'm Not There

He has recently been seen in I'm Not There, in which he played one aspect of the life of Bob Dylan. The film also featured actors including Cate Blanchett and Richard Gere.

Heath Ledger in 2001

Ledger grew up in Perth, Australia, and appeared in TV soap opera Home and Away. He made his name in films including 10 Things I Hate About You and Two Hands in the late 1990s.

Heath Ledger in 2001

Ledger was in the middle of filming a new Terry Gilliam movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, when his dead body was discovered in a New York flat.

Heath Ledger in 2006

Ledger's performances in such titles as Monster's Ball and Brokeback Mountain won him industry awards as well as the respect of his peers.

Heath Ledger in costume as The Joker in The Dark Knight

Accolades for his performance in Brokeback Mountain had won Ledger blockbuster parts. He had just finished playing The Joker in the new Batman film The Dark Knight.

Heath Ledger as Jake Grimm in The Brothers Grimm, 2005

Earlier roles included parts in Mel Gibson's The Patriot in 2000. Ledger played one of The Brothers Grimm (above) alongside Matt Damon in 2005.

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