Every once in a while, we will be inevitably thrown by news of a young actor's death. It happens, but thankfully, not all the time. This month, however, just one shocking week apart, we lost two -- Heath Ledger and Brad Renfro. I don't want to weigh this down with discussions of their death, any pain they might have been dealing with, or the loved ones who mourn them. Instead, let's focus on the footprints they made in the world of film. I could cite the serious achievements of both -- Ledger's Brokeback Mountain or Renfro's Apt Pupil -- but we've had enough pain over the last 10 days. Instead, I want to focus on something happier. Tonight, in memory of two talented actors taken too soon, I give you: 10 Things I Hate About You and Ghost World.

10 Things I Hate About You

Sure, I have a soft spot for The Taming of the Shrew, but with or without Shakespeare's classic play, 10 Things I Hate About You hit the right spots and helped catapult Heath Ledger into stardom. He starred as Patrick Verona, a supposed bad boy who turns out to be the coolest guy in school...well, after he comes to his senses and realizes that a bribe isn't the way to a girl's heart. Nevertheless, he breaks through Kat Stratford's (Julia Stiles) tough exterior and steals her heart while her fluffy sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) tries to figure out if she wants Joey (Andrew Keegan) or Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt).

While all play their parts well, it was Heath who made the most impact. He made the hokey stuff seem less goofy, and he knew how to portray the cocky, irresistible sparks of the original Petruchio. He made paintball sexy, and over-the-top musical numbers seem devilish instead of desperate. Even Roger Ebert was charmed by Heath's performance.

Patrick Verona serenades Kat Stratford.

Poetry for Patrick.


I wanted to stick with Heath bits, but I can't resist the flick's beginning, with Allison Janney's sexy writing.