Discover the man behind the camera


The tormented Ennis del Mar, the exuberant ‘bad boy’ Patrick Verona, the legendary bushranger Ned Kelly, the ultimate interpretation of Batman’s archenemy The Joker – these are only some of the Heath Ledger roles which left an indelible mark on those who saw them. From 10 August, Australian audiences will be able to discover the man behind the camera in the NFSA’s new exhibition Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures. It is the ultimate celebration of Heath’s life, career and passions – from chess to motorbikes, from photography to directing.

The exhibition was developed by the Western Australian Museum in Heath’s native Perth, and curated in collaboration with his family. We are proud to bring it to Australia’s east coast for a six-month season, from 10 August 2018 to 10 February 2019. Entry is free, but bookings are essential. 

To mark the opening of the exhibition at our Canberra headquarters, we’ve published a curated collection with clips from his earliest television performances (as a gay cyclist in Sweat and a rebellious teen in Home and Away) and his Australian films. We’ve included interviews with Heath himself, as well as testimonials from those who worked closely with him – such as Two Hands and Ned Kelly director Gregor Jordan, and Two Hands co-star Bryan Brown.

We also have a comprehensive article reflecting on Heath’s achievements. Author Graham Shirley writes, ‘Ledger’s rapid rise was due to a combination of his talent, determination, looks, voice and a resolve to embrace the diversity of that most durable of performers, the character actor.’ You can read it here.

If you’re coming to Canberra for the exhibition, check out our events program. We have scheduled a season of films starring Heath and related to his career, as well as talks about and inspired by the exhibition. The Heath Ledger season runs until February and details of the first month of events are now online. It all starts with a screening of Ned Kelly on 11 August, introduced by exhibition curator Alison Holland.

We hope you'll enjoy Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures. We’d love to hear your comments; tag us on social media using #LedgerNFSA