His being the joker or Heath? The Joker --- you need not ask!!!!!!!!!!!! HENCE NO ONE ANSWERING IN LIKE FOREVER. As for Heath, he was a great actor and by far I have not seen all of his work; thus I cannot say. His range was incredible and we lost somebody in the film industry who may never be replaced (at least in this generation).
I have not seen all of his films, but in my opinion there is not a better, more memorable character portrayal in a comic book or science fiction film than Heath's Joker. Darth Vader is a close second, but still second. Heath will be missed.
He was a fine Joker, but he was certainly no Mark Hamill. For a character named the Joker I want my actor to make him a fun obsessed psychopath, not some sad goth boy who is more Crow than Joker. Sure the Joker is a murderer and crazy, Heath nailed that, but he lacked the dramatic comic flare. You know who would have been a better Joker, Joel Mchale.
I'll give you a straight answer. I wasn't one of those guys freaking out because Ledger died. He's just another person to me, although I did enjoy him in A Knight's Tale. The answer is yes, he did an excellent job playing the Joker. He got a lot of the Joker's mannerisms down pretty good, added a couple I didn't care for, and definitely had the macabre "feel" of the Joker that they comics had. He did FAR better than Jack Nicholson did in playing the role.
In my honest opinion, Heath Ledger was a great actor. While I, too, have not see all his films..I will say, every movie that I have ever seen him in, he's never acted the same in (as say someone like Nic Cage). I felt his performance as The Joker was one of the best I've ever seen. His portrayal was quite disturbing and realistic, which is why I think people took to his version best.
As to who is the best Joker overall? Everyone who has played The Joker in recent memory(Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill, Kevin Michael Richardson, John DiMaggio) have added their own touch to what The Joker is and I really couldn't say. I think they all rule.
His performance was nothing like Jack's. Compeltely different voice and laugh and mannerisms. You seriously need to watch TDK again. Jack's joker never had those twiches and lip licking and the hunched over posture.
Should learn your movie history. Jack was one of the few who wholeheartedly believed in the first Batman movie and took his character very seriously because of it. Yes he shows himself within the role but it works perfectly. Nothing against heath, but jack did indeed immerse himself within the joker and the performances are on par for me. One could also mindlessly say that heath just ripped off the crow and tom waits.
You're not understanding the depths of acting. Jack did a good job as he always does, but he didn't bother to change his voice or his mannerisms. Watch the animated series or read the comics. Jack was not fully immersed. Full immersion is considered changing everything about yourself for a role. Other than makeup, nothing about Ledger's performance had anything to do with The Crow. Not the voice. Not the mannerisms.