3. River Phoenix
I am convinced this man is a REAL LIFE ANGEL. Like most of the world, I first noticed him in Stand By Me (1986) playing teenage bad boy with a heart of gold Chris Chambers, and proceeded to fall hard for him. He made smoking look hot, which I was of course extremely ashamed about when I was 14. River went from strength to strength, picking up an Oscar nomination at the tender age of 18 for his stunning performance in Running on Empty (1988). Despite his obvious talent, he stayed humble and reserved, always saying how he truly wished to be a musician rather than an actor. River was also a dedicated activist, vegan and humanitarian. Although this all paints him as a well-behaved, class A citizen, it's difficult to judge his character completely, as he was very private and shy in interviews. To me, there's just something completely fascinating and captivating about him. Unfortunately, he died of a drug overdose when he was only 23 years old in 1993. Therefore, the majority of his thoughts, goals and aspirations will stay a mystery forever.
2. Jeff Buckley
My parents were the ones who recommended I listen to the masterpiece that is Grace by the one and only Jeff Buckley. I was completely blown away - every song is a new experience, more often than not one that is decidedly spine-tingling and goosebump-inducing. To call his rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah a 'cover version' would be insulting; to me, all other versions are a pale imitation. (Although if you're curious, my favourite song of his is Lilac Wine...yeah, another cover) Anyway, what my parents failed to mention was that Buckley only ever released one album, as he died before releasing his second. But by then it was too late. As well as being musically talented, he was also intelligent, funny, eloquent and critical towards the media - basically all my favourite traits in one person. So of course I needed more of his angelic unique voice!!! Thankfully by scouring the internet I've found many demos, live versions and reject songs of his. It's just extremely upsetting to know that's all there will ever be.
1. Heath Ledger
I had to save this one till last as sometimes I can burst into tears at the mere thought of Heath. It is a real problem. He earned a reputation as a heart-throb with little versatility in the Shakespeare-inspired teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) but spent the rest of his career proving the critics wrong, appearing in an incredible variety of roles throughout the next decade. He earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain (2005) and won one for his daring, ground-breaking performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight (2008), although devastatingly it was awarded after his death. I genuinely cannot watch the clip of his win without having an emotional breakdown. Although I'm a huge Marvel fan, for me TDK is my favourite superhero/comic book movie, perhaps of all time, and it's all thanks to Heath. But my favourite thing about him is how down-to-earth and...normal he seemed. It's hard to explain what's so charming about his casual attitude and humour, so just read this. From stuff like that, you can tell he would keep his head through the ridiculous fame he would undoubtedly have achieved - if only he had stayed with us longer.
So I'm gonna go cry for a while now. Hope you enjoyed me gushing for a while! I'm aware this post was very cheesy and typical of a white teenage girl...but I've got some empowering ideas for some other posts in the future, I promise! Keep an eye out!