Why so serious? Ledger’s Joker was the most anticipated film character in history following his early, tragic death in January 2008. By the time July rolled around, film fanatics were chomping at the bit to see the late, prolific actor’s last full performance and he didn’t disappoint. Ledger’s anarchist, psychotic Joker dazzled audiences and dominated pop culture. He won a posthumous Academy Award for his unforgettable performance.