A few days after hearing the tragic news and talking with my friend Don about the death, I am more excited than ever to see ‘The Dark Knight.’ I just know that Heath Ledger’s performance will be remembered forever.

The news hit hard. Harder than any other of the tragic celebrity or athlete deaths of my life. This one hit really close to home. Not only had I been looking forward to ‘The Dark Knight’ more than any other movie in my life, it seemed as if I was the only one to fully embrace the news that Heath Ledger would be playing the famous Joker. Sure people came around after they heard good things about it, but the second I heard it I knew he would pull it off. If only because I understood his greatness as an actor after seeing ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ I just knew he wouldn’t disappoint. I knew that he would give a performance of a lifetime.

When ‘The Dark Knight’ is released on July 18th of this year the anticipation will be unfathomable. At first it would have been simply that was a new Batman movie, now unfortunately there is a whole new element surrounding the film. In his last completed movie role Ledger went for broke. He threw himself out there and went for it all with the Joker. He looks truly frightening. The extremely small sample that we have all seen from the trailer gives this Batman fanatic the confidence that he not only pulled it off, but made it his.

I feel that this is going to be one of those performances that truly goes down in Hollywood legend. The final bow of a phenomenal actor. The goodbye to all his fans. His performance as the Joker will be remembered for lifetimes far beyond ours. In his final role Heath Ledger will show us what it means to be an actor in this business. In his final role Heath Ledger will give us something that we won’t ever forget. I just know he will. And for that, and all the hard work he put into making this character one that the die-hard Batman fans would appreciate, I say thank you.