Depp, Farrel, & Law donated their pay on Heath’s last movie to his daughter

Heath Ledger on the set of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus on 1/18/08. Credit:

When Heath Ledger died he left his final role in Terry Gilliam’s film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus incomplete. Actors Johnny Depp, Colin Farrel, and Jude Law were hired to take over Heath’s role. It’s a fantasy film set in a carnival and the actors will play different versions of Heath’s character as he is transported through other dimensions.

Heath’s will left all of his money to his father as it was made out before he had daughter Matilda, now nearly three, with Michelle Williams. Heath’s father, Kim Ledger, has said that “Matilda will be provided for,” but there’s some controversy over his control of the funds. Kim’s brothers accuse him of squandering over a million dollars when he was running their late father’s estate and question his ability to manage Heath’s money. Matilda’s mom Michelle is certainly doing well for herself as a Hollywood actress and Matilda will probably never want for anything in her life. Now Heath’s three co-actors have ensured that the little girl will definitely have part of her father’s legacy – they’ve donated their entire salaries from the Imaginarium film to the toddler:

TERRY GILLIAM: The great thing about it is that when Heath died, and we have a character that wasn’t finished in the movie, those three actors [Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell] came along and saved the day. And so the character is now basically four actors creating one character. And that’s . . . it’s very interesting, and maybe even more interesting than it would have been with one actor going all the way through. I’m still not the best judge, because I have in my head what the film was going to be with Heath all the way through, and now there’s a different film there. But all I know is, it’s very funny.

Gilliam sounded proud of his film and genuinely awed by the generosity of the actors who came forward to save the picture and ensure its completion. Despite their high profiles, Depp, Law, and Farrell took no compensation for their work; instead, they donated their salaries to Heath Ledger’s two-year-old daughter, Matilda:

TERRY GILLIAM: The three actors were totally heroic coming in. This doesn’t happen very often . . . where there’s a tragedy like this, and very famous, very successful actors suddenly say, “Okay, we’ll do whatever it takes to help.” They came; they did the work; they allowed the movie to be finished; they didn’t take money–the money goes to Heath’s daughter. That’s extraordinary! And wonderful . . . and when you’re part of that, you think, “Ah, this is maybe why I went into the movies, in the beginning. I thought it would be full of wonderful people. And in our case, we’ve got a movie full of wonderful people, who did extraordinary things to help.

[From video interview on and published on via ONTD]

That’s really nice to hear and is a wonderful gesture on the part of those three actors. It’s especially gracious of Jude Law, because he hasn’t had a lot of work lately and is said to be struggling financially relative to some of his millionaire peers. I like Law and would like to see him gain back some of the classic movie star luster he had when he was playing in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is due out in 2009.

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79 Responses to “Depp, Farrel, & Law donated their pay on Heath’s last movie to his daughter”

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  1. daisy424 says:


  2. xiaoecho says:

    Bravo too!
    Can’t wait to see it now

  3. geronimo says:

    That is the sweetest gesture. Kudos to Johnny, Jude and Colin.

  4. MamaFogle says:

    I think that this is a really kind thing to do for Health’s little girl. If memory serves me right, don’t all three of them have daughters of their own?

  5. vdantev says:

    Think I have something in my eye.

  6. Lauri says:

    Such generosity! I’m not surprised about Depp, though—he’s long had a reputation for being thoughtful, kind and generous. Never liked the other 2 much, but they have definitely gone way up in my estimation…good karma for them! 😆

  7. geronimo says:

    Colin’s a great dad too, and a really decent, generous guy. Just pretty low key about things.

  8. MISSY says:


  9. Nan says:

    Sweet. F’ing sweet!

  10. Nan says:

    Heath’s apartment was right near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. I’ll never forget going by there & seeing all the memorial flowers still left a/he passed. There were tons of flowers & candles. I thought this so sweet & teared up a bit. People can be so horrible but also so kind.

  11. dae says:

    another reason to fall in love with johnny depp.

  12. Mrs.Ezc says:

    Very impressive .. it’s nice to hear something nice like this in a world full of greed.

  13. Kaiser says:

    Damn, that is sweet. Good boys.

  14. RAN says:

    These guys display true class – that’s a wonderful gesture.

  15. Syko says:

    Stop making me cry at work!

    This is a wonderful thing these three men have done.

  16. SolitaryAngel says:

    I have great respect for these guys now–and I ALWAYS had respect for J Depp; will somebody pass the Kleenex, please? Thanks.

  17. KateDFW says:

    Finally, a nice heartwarming story to come out of Hollywood. These 3 men have just risen to a new height in my book! Well done Johnny, Jude and Colin!

  18. NicoleB. says:

    Kind of renewing my faith in mankind. Damn…. just when I had given up on people, Johnny Depp and the others remind me why I shouldn’t be so jaded.

  19. Bodhi says:

    Wow, that really is amazing. All three are wonderful fathers & I’m sure that all they want is for thier friend’s child to be provided for. I’m sure Michelle is far richer than I’ll ever be, but that isn’t the point.

  20. jaundicemachine says:

    How selfless and wonderful! Kudos!

  21. Whitey Fisk says:

    Very cool.

  22. notprfect says:

    Aaaaw! It’s nice to have some positive gossip on here, once in a while. I don’t like having to type something mean ALL the time! 😆

    Way to go, guys! You’ve reminded me that there are still SOME celebs out there who aren’t only concerned about themselves and what everyone else can do for them.

  23. Enonymous says:

    So how much money is that exactly? Properly a lot of millions. Good on them.

  24. Cleo says:

    Thank you Depp, Farrel, & Law. well done. There are still kind people in the world who do kind things ♥

  25. CB Rawks says:

    Oh my. That’s just beautiful. Yep, I have something in my eye too.

  26. czarina says:

    Do you think people will go see the movie as a final goodbye to Heath? Gilliam’s productions are usually not big box office hits, but it would nice to see Ledger one last time, and given what a wonderful thing the other actors are doing, I would go to show support for their efforts.

  27. Ron says:

    Truly a class act. Well done.

  28. jami says:

    another reason to love JUDE LAW!

  29. Blackalicious says:

    Depp always impressed me. He’s in his own class. And any man who wears muddy boots to a premiers, F*$*NG AWESOME! I think Law is great too. He has range and is a lot more than the stupid fling with Sienna Miller. And Farrell is surprisingly growing on me. He has been candid about his son with a disability and seems like a loving parent. It’s so nice to see people doing something so selfless.

  30. anna says:

    very respectable of them

  31. anna says:


  32. whatever says:

    i think the amount is still not that much according to Hollywood standard.

    It’s not like they make the movie, they are more like wrapping it up, so i doubt they will get like 20 millions…

    but it’s a very sweet gesture

  33. dolorescraeg says:

    it’s an incredible gesture…jude’s been in two films this year. sleuth with michael caine and my blueberry nights with nora jones, natalie portman and rachel weisz. it’s not that he can’t have loads more work. he spends all his non working time with his kids. he has another film called repossession mambo with forrest whitaker which will be out in 2009. i just wanted to clear up the fact that he hasn’t been working. he certainly has. again bravo to all these gentlemen.

  34. Brave One says:

    Yes, kudos to Depp, Farrell and Law.

    Take notice how neither of them ran to the media to say “look what I did!” The director brought it up himself. That’s something to think about as well.

    I enjoy flicks by all three men. I can’t wait to see this! Depp is, well, freakin’ Johnny Depp! I’ve missed seeing Law around. And my boy Farrell sometimes gets a bad rap, but there’s so much more to him – trust me. Many haven’t a clue about his charity work that flies under the radar, they only know about the gossip/rumors. He’s changed and is growing as an actor.

  35. Abi says:

    OMG that’s sooo sweet of them really! I’m in tears now 🙁 Colin Farrel Johnny Depp and Jude Law I Love You Sooo Freaking Much! R.I.P Heath Ledger I will forever miss you!!!!! :'(

  36. I choose me says:

    What a wonderful gesture. I’m always touched by kindness, gives me the warm fuzzies. Colin and Depp, you rock and its nice to hear something about Law that doesn’t involve him hooking up with random women or nannies or what have you. Just goes to show that there are many facets to people’s personalities.

  37. Sheryl says:

    It’s a great gesture by ALL three of them…I don’t think any one of them has cornered the market on generosity and kindness. It’s obvious that all three are very proud and conscientious fathers, and they are all involved in charity work.

    To “Choose Me”…what you call “hooking up with random women” is otherwise called dating, which IS what single men and women do. All three have had their share of “hookups,” whether past or present, and I’m sure they all would have liked the tabs to stay out of it as they’ve all made it clear at one time or another that they don’t court the paps.

  38. Wil in Mpls says:

    They are all dad’s so I am sure they all thought .. “What if??” Pretty great thing for them to do .. very selfless and charitable. Wonderful guys .. good on them.

  39. lulu says:

    I always have respect for colin farrell for his charity work & now this unbelievably kind gesture it gives me a warm feeling inside, Kudos to colin farrell, Jude Law & Johny Depp, three extremely kind men I solute you & i can’t wait to see the movie.

  40. fee says:

    Thats such a lovely thing for them to do in memory of Heath – I think i need to thanks them all personally hahaha…….

  41. Athena says:

    This really made me tear up!!!! It’s so generous of them!

  42. Phyllis says:

    Heath did provide for Matilda. In 2005 when she was born, Heath took over the management of his own money and planned for Michelle & Matilda by setting up a trust fund. It is called the Thank you for the Trust Trust. LOL (He had a sense of humor.)

    Everything he owned, including salaries, residuals, real-estate, and investment companies all are in the trust, which is not open to probate or public records, so the press could not get the information.

    When he tragically passed away, the trustees became owners of everything in the trust. Heath’s father is a trustee, but Michelle & Matilda are also trustees. He took care of them all.

    It is touching that these actors loved Heath so much that they donated their salaries. His daughter was his life and biggest love. I have felt so grateful to Terry, and all the actors who stepped in that they did not let Heath’s final footage be lost in the back of a vault somewhere. Heath would want his work seen. Thanks to all of them.

  43. Suzy says:

    Nice in theory…but come on. The child is already well taken care of. The money should have been donated to someone/something that really needs it, such as a charity that Heath supported.

  44. Anne says:

    Farrel was fabulous In Brughes, he was funny and gorgeous, great movie. Not surprised he’s done this, nor the other two.

  45. Snowblood says:

    @ Anne – ” Farrel was fabulous In Brughes, he was funny and gorgeous, great movie ” YES! Yes, he WAS!! (Snowblood tries hard to restrain herself from too much ebullient internet excitement – and fails.) Wasn’t he, though?? I lOVED that film!

    You guys, rent “In Bruges” at your loal DVD place or Netflix or however it is you all rent stuff, ’cause I quite seriously guarantee you, if you’ve never cared for Colin Farrell before, which I myself didn’t (Alexander left a FOUL taste of suspicious disdain in my mouth for the guy’s acting ability,) everything’ll change once you see this awesome little indie flick. (I’ll blame Alexander on Oliver Stone. Idiot genius. Yes, you can be both.)

    I am dead serious. You will LOVE Colin Farrell in In Bruges, and you’ll love the film & the story it tells, too, and if you don’t, well then something’s probably wrong with you. 😆 I’m serious!

    Anyway, this was beautiful, what these three men did for matilda’s future. I’m going to guess that it was all Depp’s idea to begin with, and Farrell was on board immediately after Depp told him his idea.

    Law is too much of a natural-born turkey-brain to have come up with this kind of idea upon his own, I rather think. Farrell’s a lovely father, and an awesome guy, but really, I sense this was all J. Depp’s idea from the getty-up. One more of about a thousand bloody reasons to have a major star-crush on the living legend Johnny freakin’ Depp. God, GOD I love him. LOVE!!!!

  46. Jazz says:

    I can’t beleive what people say about others when they don’t really know them that much.

    So you don’t believe Jude came up with the idea himself. From what I know, he was the first actor that Gilliam approached for the role. Also, do you know that Jude singlehandedly spearheaded a campaign to raise funds in London so that the theater that was left 11M in a hole could be renovated? They needed 11M and he raised the funds by approaching all his friends and acquaintances and then gave the $2M and more of his own money so that it could be finished.

    He did it so that the theater can continue giving free tickets to children and other people at prices they can afford. He never seek any glory for this too.

    Also, he is very involved in a charity with children with terminal diseases. I read that he even picks them up personally to take them to see movies and events. Just because he does not seek the limelight when doing some charities does not give you the right to demean him.

  47. Jazz says:

    And just to clarify: Jude is also involved in a lot of charities in the UK also serving as an HRH Ambassador to Prince Charles charity for kids. He is also chair of the Music for Tomorrow which raise funds for victims of Katrina in New Orleans.

  48. lulu says:

    to : snowblood

    I’m going to guess that it was all Depp’s idea to begin.


    what you’re doing is just guessing, stop guessing, the fact is i read colin farrell & jude law were the ones who approached TERRY GILLIAM for doing this for matilda when you are not aware of the facts then you better keep your mouth sh*t & stop guessing, what matters is the good deed these three kind & generous men did & stop being hateful it’s not good for your health.

  49. Snowblood says:

    @ Jazz – ” I can’t beleive what people say about others when they don’t really know them that much. ” 😆

    Are you actually for real? It’s called GOSSIP, there Jazz, idle celebrity pop gossip. How are we all going to personally “really know” Ledger, Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell? And Terry Gilliam, and Matilda, and all the rest? 😆 Oh, YOU know all these men well and personally? Oh WELL then, by all means, I defer to you, Most Rightoeus One! And that goes for your little alter ego LuLu, too. 🙄 😆

    It’s all fun & games ’til somebody loses a perspective, around here. Remember that, you two, just try to keep it in mind. Or not! 😛

    And oh, by the way, Lulu, “hateful” isn’t my thing around here. I’m one of the loving ones, but I’m not gonna sit around and blow fake smoke up people’s asses just to keep up appearances. You’ve really gotten apesh*t about me idly speculating about who might’ve had a nice idea first, which is fine, chimp it up if that’s what gets you off, but you should know, I am far, far far from a hateful person; however, your unfairly abusive words to me, unprovoked and over something so silly as this, showcase an unkind and hateful tendency within yourself.

    Just out of curiosity,Lulu/Jazz, why’d you decide to pick upon me this evening, here in this nice thread? Are you one of those sketchy HaterTrolls who is always hiding your identity behind your 20th screenname this week? 😆

  50. MINAS says:


  51. Didi says:

    Snowblood and Whatever you are both douche bags. It was a wonderful act and that is what the focus should be.

  52. Nan says:

    Hey Snowy & other Americans…please fill in the blank.

    It’s all fun & games ’til ________________________.

  53. Kaiser says:

    @Nan – “…until someone goes bat$hit crazy and starts attacking Snowblood?”

    *puts blanket over head*
    Leave Snowblood alone!

  54. Nan says:

    Kaiser, what do you mean leave Snowblood alone? She’s fun! Fill in the blank…yo mamma told you this phrase a zillion times while growing up.

  55. daisy424 says:

    …..someone loses an eye
    …..someone calls Daddy a pervert

    …..someone attacks a BADette

    Kaiser, love the icon, who is it?

  56. Nan says:

    Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. Daisy! I would like to hear the equivalent of this phrase from our counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic.

  57. Kaiser says:

    @Daisy – My icon is either Ava Gardner or total blackness. I was f–king with it Friday and I can’t see a difference.

    It’s all fun & games ’til …

    …someone gets pregnant.
    …someone gets brainwashed.
    …someone has to be institutionalized.

  58. Donna West says:

    Omigod, are little Matilda and her mama now charity cases? They just want the “heroic” publicity.

  59. mali says:

    oh please! He was great as the joker, but this isn’t the unexpected tragedy everyone is making it out to be. Brad Renfro died around the same time and no one gave a damn. It isn’t like he dies accidently from a gunshot while filming -though he gets comparisons to Brandon Lee, he didn’t die of a terminal illness, or an unlucky plane crash. He died because he was a f****** DRUG ADDICT and OVERDOSED!
    He may have done an astounding job as the joker, but that doesn’t change reality. 🙄
    As for donating the money to his little girl? Her mother is an actress; she will have more money than 90% of the kids in the WORLD because of her mother; it’s not like they’ll be on welfare. If they really wanted to help, they should have donated the money to a drug abuse support program for addicts or the families of addicts. Stupid hollywood.

  60. g says:

    wow! You 3 are amazing! I have a new found respect for you!

  61. daisy424 says:

    @Mali; Direct quote from CB;

    “It wasn’t an overdose. It was a drug interaction. Media outlets are saying “overdose,” but that is technically incorrect. You can believe whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean it’s accurate.”

  62. Becky Leach says:

    Awesome that the actors have agreed to pull together, finish the project and, last but not least, donate funds to Ledger’s daughter.. this is the entertainment industry at it’s best!!!

  63. jdcx3 says:

    I’ll bet you wont hear about this kind of greatness in the magezines or on the prime time news, and that is sad, because if people would react to this and shut the bad off maybe we can get this country turned around, thanks boy’s for your wonderful generosity, I will be better for reading this and so will my kids…

  64. ferb.bhe says:

    There is a post in this link, that makes clear it was colin’s idea. Although, he is now over 30 million pounds rich and this low budget movie money would mean nothing to him. Still it is a very kind gesture.
    Here is a small part to those that doesn’t want to follow the link.
    Colin’s generous donation has also spurred other actors to follow suit.

    His co-stars Johnny Depp and Jude Law — who all played different versions of Heath’s character Tim in fantasy epic, The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus — all joined the Dublin actor in donating their fees for the movie to little Matilda.

  65. maryknight says:

    It doesn´t matter who had the idea, the important thing is the lovely gesture of these 3 actors to little Matilda.
    My respects ❗

    PD: They have high salaries (specially depp)

  66. mo says:

    Celebraties are not necesarily selfish as a whole.Just because they don’t all land in the news for thier countless works of charity doesn;t mean it is not being done…How many of us average citizins donate our time and money in the percentage that alot of these celebraties do..and I feel that it is more the norm than the exception.

  67. Lisa says:

    that is the sweetest thing…i will see the movie. i love all 4 of the guys in the film and can’t wait. heath, johnny, jude and colin in one movie yum!!!!

  68. I choose me says:

    @Sheryl. I’m probably wasting my time responding at this late date but I was not trying to disparage Law. What I meant and what probably didn’t come across that well is that its nice that the media has reported something about Law that was positive instead of negative. Notice my post ended with the observation that there are different facets to people’s personalities. Another poster mentioned that he is quite involved in charity. This of course goes under the radar and is not reported but his personal romantic life is. So all I meant was, what you see in the media/tabs how a person is portrayed is not always what is. So peace k.

  69. Denise says:

    That’s so sweet!

  70. Susan says:

    That was a nice gesture however I wonder if I would feel a bit odd about it if I were a member of Heath Ledger’s family, it makes it appear that everyone believes that they won’t take care of their niece/grandaughter. Not to mention that mom is not exactly unemployable or poor. I don’t think she needs a public handout to take care of her daughter. Of course it was a very nice thing to do but I think it did not need to be public. Maybe it was supposed to be private but got leaked. But hopefully this will get people with children (MARRIED OR NOT) to Make Sure You Have a WILL!

  71. Judy says:

    God Bless these men, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrel for their act of kindness. Putting others “first”…For this, there is no “Oscar” reminder but will live in the hearts of people, to be spoken about for centuries to come….Thank you on behalf of a small child…

  72. Annmarie says:

    Amen.. BEAUTIFUL!!!

  73. Kelly says:

    God bless you guys!! That is so wonderful. I was so saddened by such a young talent to die young. I cried the same when River Phoenix died. Young talent wasted. The both of them together? Who only knows where their futures would have gone!? I am so glad Johnny Depp made a comeback from his friend because River was his own person and you cannot control other people. The only thing is it is so hard to see people who are addicted to prescribed meds and feel they have no problems because they are legal meds. However I will not totally condemn them either because if I ever feel as though I have an elephant standing on my chest or have mets cancer please just give me the relief I need. Call Dr. Kavorkian PLEASE!!?? You three guys are stand up fathers though, and it is good to see there are still good people in this world. You guys, are in my book, are all knights in shining armor! You have both humility, and enough pride in yourselves to know you can put another first and still do good in life and in your careers! Hats off to you three and Matilda is lucky to have you guys in her life, it be Uncles, friends, or family

  74. WILL says:

    I’m sick of everyone acting as though this actors death was such a tragedy. Let’s be realistic Heath Ledger over dosed on pain killer, and a mixture of other cocktail of pills.Taken on a night of partying, and a doctor rules it “and accident”.The Dark Knight only rocketed in the box office because of this drug addict. The Dark Knights plot, story line, and acting was poorly put together. It was long and drawn out. Iron man would have done better if Robert Downy went back into rehab. or passed. Then we have 3 actor praised for give their salaries to a little girl who lost her father. I’m sorry I can not cry with tears of happiness for such a gesture. There are children all across the world whose fathers are lost or even taken away do to real tragedies. There are less fortunate children living in inner cities across America who truly need those funds. You want to help some kid or kids start a foundation or community center, donate money to kids that are walking our streets bare feet, clothing torn, unable to eat a full course meal. We see some many actors spending money on cars, homes, and unnecessary means just to keep up with the Hollywood lifestyle. When will we see actors,athletes, political figures live as a poor/middle class person or family and use there salary or salaries to help the less and unfortunate. There are only select a few who would.

  75. marie says:

    You guys rock! I love you:) this is a great karma move, bless you!

  76. karen white says:

    Johnny Depp, I met in person and he was very warm and nice. To all 3 dads bless you for helping out. Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  77. karen white says:

    amazing Bravo 😀

  78. Mar y Rut says:

    Sentimos tanta tristeza por la muerte de Heat que cuando nos enteramos lloramos como si se hubiera muerto un amigo porque seguimos sus peliculas, sintiendonos identificados con Él por su juventud y valentía que demostró para triunfar.Esto que hicieron Johnny Depp, Jude Law y Colin Farrel es en extremo admirable esto se llama A M O R .Dios te bendiga Matilda tuviste un Papa Extraordinario.desde Argentina 1.000 Besos para vos.Cariños para tu mama y toda tu Familia.

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