Posts tagged #Hollywood

Happy 40th Birthday, Heath Ledger!

Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger

April 4, 2019 would have been actor Heath Ledger’s 40th birthday. His tragic death left a huge scar on the film industry, and many were left wondering just how career would have progressed had things been different. Ledger was just becoming recognized for his talents in a significant way: his performance as 'The Joker in The Dark Night was all the buzz in Hollywood in the months leading up to his death, and the Aussie heartthrob even earned a posthumous Oscar as Best Supporting Actor that year.

But while we may never know what could have been, we can still take a look back on a few most memorable films that earned him such a place in all our hearts and celebrate the man who went from teen idol to a major source of inspo for many actors.

10 Things I Hate About You

Oh, Patrick Verona. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. 10 Things I Hate About You is a modern take on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and Ledger’s first real breakout role. His bad boy charm won over hearts everywhere, and tweens and teens taped-up poster inserts from Seventeen magazine all over their rooms just to catch a glimpse of that perfect smile whenever they wanted.

The Patriot

Ledger plays a defiant son who just wants to fight in the American War of Independence. He and his father, played by Mel Gibson, eventually team up as rebels in this epic film that had entire audiences sobbing in their seats. It was the first time Ledger had showed us what he could do when cast in a more serious role.

Lords of Dogtown

In Lords of Dogtown, Ledger plays Skip Engblom, a mentor to a group of young and rebellious Santa Monica skater bros. After his death, a journalist wrote of Ledger’s performance:  “He’s almost eerie in how precisely he nailed not only the mannerisms, cadence and physical presence of Skip, but also how he raises Skip’s spirit.”

The Dark Knight

2008 brought us the highly-anticipated blockbuster The Dark Knight, a film for which truly no one was prepared. Ledger went above and beyond preparing for that role, blurring the lines between himself and the character of the Joker a little too closely perhaps. Whatever he did, it worked, and earned him an Oscar even after he’d left us.

It speaks to the type of actor he was— the type of person, father, and human being we grew to know — that we still rave about him to this day, eleven years later. It seemed he made an impact on everyone he worked with, and I think we can all be in agreement that had he never passed away, we’d still be watching him on the big screen and applauding when he won awards.

So once again, Happy Birthday, Heath Ledger. We were lucky as heck to have you in our lives as long as we did.

5 Actors Who Came From Nothing

One of the most discouraging Hollywood tropes is that you have to know someone to get somewhere. As you grow and develop your skills as an actor, you will likely often hear the phrase, "It's all about who you know," or hear that dreaded yet necessary-in-this-industry word: "networking." What that phrase and that word means is that you have to put yourself out there - and no matter how many classes or workshops you take or networking events you attend, you may not advance in your acting career. Sometimes, it really is all about who you know

That's not to say it's impossible to make it in this industry as a "nobody" - quite the opposite, in fact! Don't believe us? Read on to discover this list of celebs that came from nothing to join the A-list (or, close to A-list) ranks in Hollywood.

Leighton Meester

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Before this Gossip Girl made it big with the hit CW show in 2007, she was dealing with the least ideal circumstances - Meester was actually born in a hospital in Texas, with her mother going to jail shortly thereafter. As a newborn, she was allowed to spend 12 weeks in a halfway house with her mother before moving in with her grandmother in Florida until her mother was released 16 months later. Now, the star is worth an estimated $5 million.

Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah - yes, the Oprah - was raised by her grandmother in middle-of-nowhere Mississippi. Born into poverty, Winfrey had a pretty hard life, losing a baby at the age of 14. Once she was sent to live with her dad in Tennessee, she started working in news journalism at age 19, and went on to be fired from her first reporting job at 23. But that led to her having her first talk show, and today, Winfrey is worth $2.8 billion.

Sarah Jessica Parker

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Parker was the youngest of four kids, until her parents divorced, and her mother remarried, subsequently having four more kids. Parker was born in Ohio in a "coal-mining town" and grew up poor, her mother being a housewife and her stepfather being a truck driver.

However, Parker landed her first Broadway role at age 11, and got her first TV role at age 16 in "Square Pegs". Now, Parker is worth $100 million.

Leonardo DiCaprio

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DiCaprio didn't always live the life of glamour and fame that we know he lives today, what with the pap shots of him partying with supermodels on yachts; no, DiCaprio actually grew up pretty disadvantaged. He grew up in a very poor, rundown Los Angeles neighborhood, where drugs and prostitution ran rampant - in fact, the actor claims that seeing what drugs did to people made him never touch them as he grew up. He was also bullied in public school, but had a strong mother who supported his dreams and put him in acting classes - the rest is history. DiCaprio is now worth $245 million.

Jennifer Lopez

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This woman has done it all: fashion, perfume, clothing, singing, acting, dancing, and so much more. Lopez's looks defy time, and so does her seemingly endless energy. With the singer/actress now worth an estimated $380 million dollars, it's hard to be envious when you know her backstory. Lopez had it tough in the beginning, having disagreements with her mother about her career path (Lopez chose a career as a dancer over going to college), and became homeless at 18, sleeping on a coat in a dance studio. A year later, she got her first major job, but she didn't get her first big break until she was 28 years old, landing the titular role in the major motion picture Selena in 1997.

Sometimes, all it takes is hearing about the thespians, singers, models, and stars that came before you to encourage you to keep on keepin' on with your dreams! Which celeb has your favorite rags-to-riches tale? Let us know in the comments!