Friends and colleagues — including Tom Cruise, Sienna Miller, Ellen DeGeneres and director Todd Haynes — gathered at a private ceremony in Los Angeles to remember Heath Ledger on Saturday on Saturday, according to People.com. The actor died in New York on January 22 .
The ceremony, which took place at the Sony lot, included industry figures and people connected to CAA (the agency that represented Ledger), including Cruise, the site reported. On Monday (February 4), UsMagazine.com reported that Ledger’s ex-fiancee, Michelle Williams, attended, and that Ben Harper, with whom Ledger founded a record label last year, performed.
Saturday’s service reportedly began around noon on the lot, which is closed to the public. Attendees included Miller, who co-starred with Ledger in “Casanova,” and speakers included Haynes, who directed him in last year’s Bob Dylan film “I’m Not There.”
Last Saturday, relatives and close friends — including Naomi Watts — paid tribute to the 28-year-old actor at a smaller service at a Los Angeles cemetery, and a memorial was also held in New York. People.com reported that a small group of black-dressed mourners, including Watts, was seen in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday evening; Australia’s Channel 7 reported that a 30-minute service was also held at Westwood Village Memorial Park, during which Watts was “visibly upset.”
Earlier that day, a message from the actor’s father, Kim Ledger, was read by Australian Consul-General John Olsen to approximately 1,000 guests at an event in New York, according to Melbourne, Australia-based newspaper The Age.
“Heath did not become an actor for the fame or fortune. He loved his craft and he loved helping his friends. He loved chess and skateboarding too,” said the letter, which was read at an event celebrating the end of the two-week G’Day USA/ Australia Week festival. “My image of Heath in New York is him with his skateboard, a canvas bag and his beanie. That was Heath to me.
“Heath is, and always will be, an Australian.”
For more on Heath Ledger’s tragic passing, read reactions from his peers and other admirers , as well as casting directors he worked with. Also, watch Ledger talk about his evolution as an actor in a 2005 interview with MTV News .
[This story was originally published at 9:22 p.m. ET on 02.02.08]