Winner: Heath Ledger
The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger's tragic death in January 2008 came just months after he completed filming The Dark Knight. In what has been called a triumphant performance, Heath's work as the Joker earned him a posthumous nomination—the second actor in history to earn one. His performance was also awarded with a Golden Globe® this year.
Heath earned his first Oscar® nomination for his work as Ennis Del Mar in 2005's Brokeback Mountain, though he was impressing critics long before then with roles in Monster's Ball, 10 Things I Hate About You and A Knight's Tale.