Thursday, May 8, 2008

Heath Ledger Portrait Wins Australian Art Prize

A portrait of Hollywood actor, Heath Ledger, painted shortly before the Australian actor died in January, was voted the most popular painting in Australia's top art prize for portraiture on Thursday.
Ledger, 28, best known for his role as a conflicted gay cowboy in the 2005 movie "Brokeback Mountain," died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs in New York on January 22.

Artist Vincent Fantauzzo, 29, had been friends with Ledger for many years and painted his work in Ledger's hometown of Perth late last year. Fantauzzo has refused offers to buy the painting, and said he had spoken to Ledger's family, who decided the painting would be donated to the New South Wales Gallery in Sydney.

More than 32,000 people who view the Gallery's Archibald exhibition voted the painting for the people's choice award, and the painting also drew record crowds to the exhibition.

Ledger starred in 18 movies in Australia and Hollywood. He will appear as the Joker in the latest "Batman" movie, "Dark Knight," set for release in July.

Related post:
Edison Chen in Batman "The Dark Knight" Movie

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