8. Heath Ledger
Born Heath Andrew Ledger on 4 April 1979, he was an immensely talented young actor who, like many Australians, rose to prominence on a soap opera, in this case, Home and Away. He got noticed in Hollywood after starring in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You but was quick and eager to move away from the image of a pretty boy actor. It was clear early on in his career that he would take more challenging roles. Most famously as the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker, in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
He had just wrapped up shooting just a few months earlier before being found unconscious in his bed by his housekeeper, Diana Wolozin. Wolozin called Ledger’s friend, actress Mary-Kate Olsen, who then called a private security firm while Wolozin went on to call 911. The autopsy revealed that he had accidentally overdosed due to the combined effects of 6 different medications, one of which was oxycodone. Ledger also received numerous posthumous awards for his work, most notably, the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He was just 28 years old.