Intense Trailer For 'What Killed Heath Ledger?' Special Will Haunt You

by Anna Menta
Warner Bros.

As we approach the 10-year anniversary of actor Heath Ledger's death, it doesn't seem that the world is anywhere close to forgetting about this legend.

Just a week before "I Am Heath Ledger" premieres at Tribeca Film Festival, the cable network HLN is premiering its own, separate special on the "Dark Knight" actor.

The hour-long episode is titled "What Killed Heath Ledger?" and is part of the TV series “How It Really Happened with Hill Harper."

It will air Friday, April 14 at 9 pm ET on CNN's spinoff network, HLN.

The special is not related to the feature-length documentary, "I Am Heath Ledger," that will be airing on Spike in May as well as in select movie theaters.

A press release for "What Killed Heath Ledger?" described the episode as,

A one-hour look at the star's Oscar-worthy performance of the Joker ('The Dark Knight') and the puzzling clues found at the scene of his death, including a diary Ledger created detailing his immersion of the Joker persona. In the episode, HLN will investigate whether this dark role impacted his real life and examine his connection to Mary-Kate Olsen.

Ledger was found dead in his Soho apartment on January 22, 2008. An autopsy revealed he died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs for pain, anxiety and sleep.

The trailer features archival footage of Ledger at awards shows, red carpets and interviews, seeming to imply the rise of Ledger's fame is what drove him to his overdose.

In particular, the episode will focus on Ledger's role as the Joker in "The Dark Knight" films, which many have speculated motivated his drug abuse, and possible suicide.

Warner Bros.

Harper will get into details from a diary Ledger created when he immersed himself in the role.

Finally, the trailer brings in actress Mary-Kate Olsen, a close friend of Ledger who was rumored to have provided Ledger with the drugs that killed him.


A 2008 DEA investigation of Ledger's death closed without pressing any charges against Olsen.

One wonders what Hill Harper and his dramatic music will find that a federal investigation could not.