Brokeback Mountain stars now – co-star split, sudden death and legal issues

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Director Ang Lee's heart-wrenching film Brokeback Mountain certainly broke the mould when it was first released in December 2005.

The Neo-Western drama focused on the lives of two young men – a ranch-hand and a rodeo cowboy – who meet in the summer of 1963 and unexpectedly forge a lifelong romantic connection.

However, the two men's relationship causes controversy and turmoil that leads to heartbreaking consequences.

Brokeback Mountain received universal acclaim, in particular for Lee's direction, its screenplay, and the performances from all actors involved.

Grossing an incredible $178 million worldwide against its $14 million budget the film has become a fan favourite amongst movie-goers worldwide.

So to celebrate its release, Daily Star has taken a look at where the stars are now.

Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack Twist

American actor Jake Gyllenhaal was already an established performer in Hollywood and was known for his roles in Donny Darko and The Day After Tomorrow.

However, appearing as Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain certainly catapulted him into a new level of stardom.

Following the success of the film, Jake expressed mixed feelings about the experience of being directed by Ang Lee however he generally had more praise than criticism regarding his directorial style.

Jake has continued to have a successful acting career and has starred in several films, which include Demolition, Everest, Stonger and many others.

Away from the limelight, Jake has often stayed in the headlines due to his relationship with other famous celebrities.

In 2009, Jake admitted that actress Reese Witherspoon "broke his heart" after their three-year courtship.

However, a source told the publication US at the time that "no one cheated, there was no drama."

The Nightcrawler star then went on to date singer Taylor Swift in late 2010, however, though their romance quickly fizzled out just before New Year's.

Taylor went on to write songs about their whirlwind relationship and released All Too Well and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.

According to reports, Jake is currently dating model Jeanne Cadieu.

Heath Ledger as Ennis Del Mar

Heath Ledger played the role of Ennis Del Mar, a Wyoming sheepherder who develops a deep emotional relationship with his colleague Jack.

Heath's performance was highly rated and he went on to receive Best Actor of 2005 awards from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for his role in Brokeback.

He also received an Academy Award for Best Actor for this performance, which made him the eight-youngest nominee in the category the at age 26.

Following on from his performance in Brokeback Mountain, the star went on to appear in The Dark Knight playing the role of Joker in 2008.

Heath's adaptation of the famous Joker had several fans in awe and he received high praise for his dark portryal of the character.

On 4 November 2007, Heath talked about his health condition and said he often could not sleep when taking on roles like the joker which caused him to have insomnia:

Speaking to The New York Times, the Hollywood icon said: "Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. … I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going."

Although the actor's career was going from strength to strength, things took an unexpected turn when Heath was found dead on the floor of his rented apartment in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.

The star died of a heart attack brought on by prescription drug intoxication. He was 28-years-old at the time.

Anne Hathaway as Lureen Newsome Twist

Actress Anne Hathaway played the role of Lureen Newsome Twist who is Jack's wife.

Since appearing in Brokeback Mountain, Anne has certainly been booked and busy and hasn't stopped working.

Following on from the release of Brokeback Mountain, the star has appeared in several other big-budget films which include The Devil Wears Prada, Les Misérables, The Dark Knight Rises and several others.

The star has also been the recipient of many awards throughout her career.

Anne has often played rememberable and well loved characters and her persona off-screen also seems to embody this.

Speaking about the star in more detail, John Hiscock of The Daily Telegraph wrote in 2014 that she is a "well-grounded, friendly young woman with a good sense of humour, a wide smile and an easy-going attitude."

In September 2012, Anne married businessman Adam Shulman in a traditional Jewish ceremony. The happy couple welcomed their son Jonathan together in 2016.

Michelle Williams as Alma Beers Del Ma

Dawson Creek's star Michelle Williams took on the role of Ennis' wife Alma Beers Del Mar in the naughties classic.

During the time the movie was being filmed, Michelle and her co-star Heath were a real-life couple. But they unfortunately split in 2007.

The star has continued to appear in movies and starred in films Blue Valentine, Shutter Island, My Week With Marilyn and plenty more.

Away from the cameras, Michelle was known for her high-profile relationships with Cary Joji Fukunaga, Jason Segel, Dustin Yellin, Jonathan Safran Foer and Andrew Youmans.

However, the star secretly tied the knot to Phil Elverum in 2018.

One of Michelle's most recent credits was in the 2021 film Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Randy Quaid as Joe Aguirre

Actor Randy Quaid played Joe Aguirre who hired the two cowboys to herd his sheep through the summer on Brokeback Mountain but once he finds out their "secret" he refuses to give them any more work.

The already established actor, whose brother is Dennis Quaid, went on to star in other films such as Real Time, Star Whackers and All You Can Eat in 2018.

However, the star was often embroiled in legal issues and in September 2010, Randy and his wife were charged with burglary after they spent five days occupying a guest house in a vacant home they once owned in Santa Barbara.

The following month, the actor and his wife moved to Canada, where they sought asylum protections under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as feared for their lives in the United States

Although they may have has a reasonable case, border authorities arrested the couple for their outstanding warrants while in the U.S.

Randy's acting work appeared to be far and few between throughout the years and now at the of 71, he hasn't appeared in anything substantial since 2018.

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  • Hollywood

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