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Heath Ledger( Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images / January 23, 2008 )
By Susan King, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Heath Ledger had finished his work as the Joker in the upcoming The Dark Knight before his death this week at the age of 28. Knight is set for release in July. But there is no word on the fate of his last film, Terry Gilliams The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which Ledger was working on in London last week and was due for release next year.
Once the shock of an actor's death has passed, producers and studios must decide how to cope with the loss. Sometimes the answer is bringing in a double, using footage from other movies, recasting, retooling the story or scrapping the project. Heres a look at other performers whose deaths altered the course of their films.