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Leave it to famed gay photographer Bruce Weber to highlight actor Heath Ledger around statues with penises. In other words, the way gay men might like to imagine the actor, who died in January 2008.

Vanity Fair combed through its archives of a Weber shoot in 2000 to come up with some published and some never seen before images of Ledger to accompany a new cover story about his stardom and what happened at the end of his life. It’s all packed into the August issue of the magazine, which hits the streets next week.

Ledger’s apathy for stardom
• Ledger’s friend and agent, Steven Alexander, tells Biskind that Heath “was always hesitant to be in a summer blockbuster, with the dolls and action figures and everything else that comes with one of those movies. He was afraid it would define him and limit his choices.” According to friends of Ledger’s, one of the reasons he agreed to do Dark Knight was that the unusually long shoot would give him an excuse to turn down other offers.

Enjoy more of Weber’s photos at Vanity Fair’s gallery.

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