WE WILL MISS the talented Heath Ledger (at left, in Brokeback Mountain), the 28-year-old Australian actor who died today in New York City. Heath made a big impression on me and my memories of the Big Sky country of the American West. I passed through my late teens in lands where he made Brokeback Mountain and I respect his portrayal of the rugged mountain personalities that frequent those spaces, I also knew a kind and gentle side of several outdoorsmen who had to cloak their personalities in ways that would not compromise their military careers. And like the storyline of Brokeback Mountain, some of the guys I knew in college rode off into the sunsets of their careers carrying a capacity for love and a respect for others that serves as a guiding inspiration for me today. I felt Heath Ledger brought many of these convictions to the screen with him because he pushed the faces of the guys from years ago across my mind as I watched Brokeback Mountain play out before me. "Sundown, you better take care." Heath Ledger, RIP.
Wikipedia entry on Heath Ledger.
James McInerney -- "Heath Ledger Dies January 22nd"
Sarah Lyall -- "Portrait of a restless young spirit" in The Observer, 28 January 2008.
The Global Stage Orchestra -- "The Wings"[3:36 MP3 file]