Young actors who play emotionally and morally difficult roles are not immune to painful reactions to these roles. Linda Blair, who played Regan, the possessed girl in "The Exorcist" went on to a series of disturbing roles, including the victim of a gang rape, and disappeared from the spotlight.
Is is possible that the emotional and moral dilmemma evoked by his role in "Brokeback Mountain" unearthed emotions which the young actor couldn't process? Watch this disturbing interview which Heath Ledger did after filming "Brokeback Mountain".
This is the elephant in the room which Hollywood doesn't want to discuss, since, as a whole, they have overcome their problems with homosexual behavior. They assume that the young Ledger had done the same.
Perhaps they were wrong.
HT Drudge Report