The Real Connection Between Joaquin Phoenix and Heath Ledger

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When he accepted his SAG Award for Joker on Sunday, Joaquin Phoenix praised his fellow nominees before paying tribute to Heath Ledger. The late actor famously played the Joker as well, but do Ledger and Phoenix have any connection other than both playing the famous comic-book villain? As it turns out, the pair crossed paths before, in large part thanks to award season several years ago.

Back in 2006, both Ledger and Phoenix were nominated (and competing against each other) for the Oscar for best actor. Ledger had received his first-ever Oscar nomination for his role in Brokeback Mountain, while Phoenix was nominated for the second time, that year for playing music legend Johnny Cash in the musical biopic Walk the Line. Ultimately, both men walked away without the win; Philip Seymour Hoffman won the best actor trophy that year for Capote.

Over the course of the award circuit that year,
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