With his role as the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” the late Heath Ledger masterfully portrayed a dangerously unpredictable criminal, worthy of Batman’s attention. However, his posthumous win at Sunday night’s Academy Awards presentation for Best Supporting Actor was anything but unpredictable.
The odds-on favorite to win the coveted statuette, Ledger’s victory capped what can only be described as a historic awards season for the actor, who passed away last year.
Accepting the award on Ledger’s behalf was his father, Kim Ledger, his mother, Sally, and sister, Kate.
“This is ever so humbling,” said Kim Ledger. “We want to thank the Academy for recognizing our son’s amazing work, Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan in particular for allowing Heath the creative license to develop and explore this crazy Joker character.”
“We proudly accept this award on behalf of your beautiful [daughter] Matilda,” said Kate Ledger.
Backstage, the press corps was asked if they wanted Heath Ledger’s family to come in after accepting the Oscar on his behalf — of course, the answer was a resounding “Yes!”
“Obviously, it belongs to Matilda,” explained Kate, with Kim adding that the Oscar statue will be placed in a trust until Heath’s daughter is 18. “Whatever has to happen in the meantime, will happen. But I’m sure it will go somewhere secure, and then it will end up with Matilda.”
Asked if they knew they were raising an Oscar winner, Heath’s father Kim remembered, “[His sister] Kate was the actor originally, but Heath was ever the clown. All my kids watched films for some reason, and Heath was like that. He was always acting the fool and playing around like any kid does … the one thing that stuck out was that he was extremely talented. We didn’t know which way he was going to go, but he said he had a huge passion for this.”
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