Heath Ledger-Directed Music Video Debuts

"Dark Knight" actor had a "brave and unapologetic" vision for vid

By Xana O'Neill
|  Tuesday, Aug 4, 2009  |  Updated 7:45 AM EDT
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Oscar nominated actor Heath Ledger was found dead from an accidental prescription drug overdose in New York City on January 2008. The Australian born actor was 28.

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Heath Ledger's final work is slated to be released today.

The "Dark Knight" actor, who posthumously won an Academy Award, directed an animated music video for indie rockers Modest Mouse before his shocking death in January 2008.

The video for the "King Rat" single -- unfinished at the time of Ledger's death -- is being released Tuesday, the same day as the band's new EP.

Ledger had a "brave and unapologetic" vision for the animated video that helped spotlight the plight of illegally hunted marine life, the band said on its MySpace page.

"Heath's intention was to raise awareness on modern whaling practices through a potent visual piece without having to say a word," the band said. 

The actor met band frontman Isaac Brock in his native Australia and the pair became fast friends.

Brock worked with Ledger on the concept for the video and "is supporting the completion of the video in honor of Heath's last piece of work as a director," a spokesman for the band said last March.

"Heath and I have a mutual friend and when we were in Australia," the frontman told VH1 in 2007.  "My fiance and some of us in the band went out on a boat with him and his family and friends and talked about the idea. The idea sort of dropped but then he sent me an email saying he wanted to do it." 

Proceeds from the iTunes downloads will go to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a group whose aim it is to preserve wildlife in the ocean, the band said.

Ledger had previously directed a music video for Ben Harper.

Ledger was found dead from an accidental prescription drug overdose in New York City on January 2008.  The Australian born actor was 28.

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