It sounds like a joke, but alas it is not. Heath Ledger was apparently found dead today in his Manhattan apartment after missing an appointment for a massage. It is believed that the death was drug-related, although details are still scarce at the moment.
As we all know, Ledger is starring as The Joker in the upcoming movie The Dark Knight, so who knows if this will be an obstacle to finishing the flick. It appears that production has wrapped, but it is unclear if they would need him for reshoots or additional dialogue recording (not to mention promoting the movie). Obviously it would be a problem for any future appearances of The Joker in forthcoming Batman movies. Crazy, crazy news. I guess after Brad Renfro’s death last week, it really is true that celebrity deaths come in pairs. We’ll have more on this story as it develops. (Thanks to Bryan for the heads up on this huge breaking news story.)
Update: A couple additional tidbits: it seems likely to have been an O.D. on over-the-counter sleeping pills (no hard drugs, at least), and the apartment in which he was living is owned by Mary-Kate Olsen!