In 2008, actor Heath Ledger (pictured) barely manages to survive a dangerous drug overdose at his SoHo-based apartment in Manhattan. Gotham Dawn by Gerry Shannon
That afternoon, Ledger had been found by his housekeeper in bed in a semi-conscious state and with a burning fever, and she then hurriedly dialled 911. The emergency room team who treated the actor found his condition was a result of an abuse of his precription medications that were for treating his headaches and his insomnia. (The actor often talked to his friends of his difficulties with sleeping).
During his recovery, Ledger released a statement warning his fans of not being properly informed as to the dangers of drugs - both legal and otherwise. It was this experience that would have the usually reclusive Ledger become a prominent anti-drugs activist in the intervening decades, often lobbying the US Senate for tougher measures and togrant greater powers to law enforcement agencies.
Nearly a year later to the day, he would be nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the super-villain, the Joker, in the Batman sequel, The Dark Knight. Ledger's subsequent win was unique for a starring role in a big-budget genre production. He would reprise his role in the 2011 sequel, Gotham Dawn, which would briefly reunite him with his Brokeback Mountain co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal as the Riddler during the film's climax that sees a mass breakout from Arkham Asylum.