Good luck to Heath!!

Previous posthumous Oscar nominees
Peter “I’m mad as hell” Finch’s death didn’t stop him from collecting an Oscar for his turn in Network in 1977.
Based on merit, sentiment and even hype, the late Heath Ledger will be Oscar-nominated as best supporting actor for his unsettling but dazzling performance as The Joker.
There is no guarantee that the expected nom, due Thursday, will lead to an Oscar win for Ledger, who died Jan. 22 when director Christopher Nolan was still editing The Dark Knight. In the past, six performers were posthumously nominated in an acting category.
Only one — Peter Finch for Network (1976) — won. We often accuse Academy members of overwrought sentimentality, but their record in this unique category suggests otherwise. They can be cold-blooded. Ledger’s saga must play out.
However, it is ridiculously easy for audiences and voters to see how good Ledger is in complementing and completing Christian Bale’s Batman. The Dark Knight is widely available on DVD. Delving into the past is more challenging. One of the six is still missing on DVD and most of the DVDs that do exist are older releases, so you might have to scrounge.
Jeanne Eagels in The Letter (1929)
Somewhat paralleling Ledger, the tragic Eagels was a highstrung insomniac, sublimely talented and died in 1929, aged 35, of a probable accidental overdose of sedatives.
However, she was also an alcoholic and heroin abuser. Cause of death was controversial. In life, despite notorious diva behaviour, she gave electrifying performances on stage and in this film. Her Oscar nom as best actress was never announced.
For the 1930 Oscars — honouring films of 1929 — only winners were made public. But the nomination list was later revealed. Eagels lost to Canadian Mary Pickford, who seduced the voting committee with a high tea and won for Coquette. Voting rules then changed. Sadly, The Letter is not available on DVD, although the film survives.
James Dean in East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1956)
The legendary Hollywood rebel and cult icon starred in only three films. He was nominated best actor for two, both posthumously. He famously died in a car accident in 1955, aged 24.
East of Eden last came to DVD in 2005 as a two-disc special edition. It is also in the 2005 box set, The Complete James Dean Collection. Giant also returned to DVD in 2005 and, obviously, is part of the same collection.
Spencer Tracy in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
The beloved star died of a heart attack in 1967, aged 67. He was nominated best actor nine times, winning twice. His longtime lover and co-star, Katharine Hepburn, won best actress for this film but Tracy lost this time. The film most recently came to DVD last February as a splendid 40th anniversary edition. It is also in the Stanley Kramer Film Collection.
Peter Finch in Network (1976)
The hell-raising Finch died of a heart attack in 1977, aged 64. As a posthumous best actor winner, he left behind his still potent “I’m mad as hell …” speech. Network was last seen on DVD in a two-disc special edition from 2006.
Ralph Richardson in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
Richardson, a knighted legend of British stage and screen, died of a stroke in 1983, aged 80. The delightful eccentric played the sixth earl of Greystoke in this Tarzan, earning only his second Oscar nom, both as best supporting actor, 35 years after his first. This Tarzan, no classic but worth a look, last came to DVD in 2004.
Massimo Troisi in Il Postino/The Postman (1994)
Troisi, an Italian, died of a heart attack in 1994, aged 41. In addition to his best actor nom, he was nominated as co-writer of Michael Radford’s enchanting film. Il Postino was last seen alone on DVD in 2000. It is also in two different Miramax box sets released later.