Not quite sure where to put this, so I'll put it here. If any mods have more clarity, feel free to move it.
I've recently been giving some thought to Heath Ledger and the reaction his death generated. I know I had always wanted him to do well as a likeable-seeming Australian actor, but I'd never considered myself a fan of his per se. So when I heard the news of his death I was very surprised by the amount of shock and even grief I felt. Neither did I seem to be the only one affected in this way - in the days following his death many people I encountered expressed shock and regret. "It's hard to believe" was a common refrain. I had considered it a reaction probably localized to Australia until an American friend emailed me to tell me that when she heard of his death she'd actually cried, even though she wasn't someone who normally cared about the lives of celebrities.
So I have a few questions.
1. How did the news of Heath's death affect you personally? Did you care?
2. He's been referred to in places as the James Dean of his generation. Do you agree with this, or do you think it was, in retrospect, an overstatement?
3. What do you think it was about his death which affected people the way it did?
* Okay, it may be a little longer than a year, but it's a catchier title than "18 months on".