Heath Ledger’s family accepts posthumous Best Actor Award

Heath at the Venice Film Festival on 9/4/07. Credit: WENN

Award season is coming fast. Pretty soon all this Academy Award speculation will turn into nominations, and one name that’s been on everyone’s mind since this summer is late actor Heath Ledger. His haunting performance in the summer smash “The Dark Knight” has just won its first award – an Australian Film Institute award for “Best Actor.” Ledger’s family attended the ceremony and accepted the statue on their late son’s behalf.

Nearly a year after his death, Heath Ledger won a Best Actor Award in Australia for his role in The Dark Knight.

Ledger’s father, Kim; mother, Sally and sister, Kate, tearfully accepted the Australian Film Institute’s prestigious international award on his behalf.

“It’s been without a doubt the most difficult year, losing such a loved family member,” said Kate Ledger while struggling to keep from crying.

“We are so proud of him and humbly accept this award on behalf of his beautiful daughter, who we will cherish forever,” she said, referencing Matilda, his 3-year-old child with Michelle Williams.

Ledger’s performance as Joker in the Batman flick could earn him a posthumous Academy Award for best supporting actor, the Associated Press reported.

“It was this swaggering, psychopathic clown that turned his career into a legacy and the name Heath Ledger into an ongoing inspiration to actors everywhere,” the Australian Film Institute said in a statement at the awards ceremony Saturday night in Melbourne.

[From Us Weekly]

Sadly, Heath didn’t live to see the excitement he brought to this role. I suppose there will always be a debate among naysayers, who’ll claim that the only reason this performance was so highly praised is because of Ledger’s death. I disagree- I tend to think this would have been his superstar-making part, because it was so different for him. I doubt there’s another actor of his generation who could have played the role the same way. But we will never really know, and that’s too bad.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

18 Responses to “Heath Ledger’s family accepts posthumous Best Actor Award”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Kaiser says:

    Yeah, I think that it still would have been a watershed career moment for Heath had he still been alive.

    Oscar bets, anyone? Who thinks he’ll get a posthumous Oscar nomination?

  2. Syko says:

    Oh, I’m fairly sure he will, and will probably win.

    I used to love awards shows until they started giving pity awards. I’m not saying that maybe Heath doesn’t deserve to win, he very well might deserve it, I have not seen the movie and probably won’t because I don’t really like those kinds of movies. But the pity will be a big part of the win if he gets it.

  3. Kaiser says:

    Syko, I feel the same way about actors who get the award because it’s their “turn” – like, Renee Zelleweger got her Oscar because that year was her turn. Not saying those actors hadn’t done Oscar-caliber work before, but sometimes I wonder if there should be another set of Oscar catagories – Best Mid-life Career, Best Comeback, etc.

  4. Dingles says:

    People were going crazy over his performance way before his death. The first time me and my friends saw the teaser trailers with him as the Joker, we smiled huge geek grins and said “Oh my God.” That laugh was all anyone needed to hear to know that he WAS The Joker.
    The fact that he died just made people appreciate it all the more.

    I hope he wins every award he is nominated for. He acted the f&*k out of that role and earned all the praise he’s been given.

  5. Val says:

    Whoever says that Heath does not deserve awards for this is just plain blind, dumb or both! Heath acted the sheeete out of that role. Forget Batman, it was all about The Joker! Please, what sympathy vote..there will NEVER be another Joker like that again! Who can feel Heath’s shoes, I mean you can see it in his eyes in that movie that he was 100% and more in that role. Isn’t that why he went freaking mental anyway???

  6. SeVen says:

    I think he deserves the Oscar and will win it, ofc having seen the movie several times I’m inclined to think he’d have won it even if he were still here. I agree with Syko and Kaiser though about award shows giving away pity awards. Britney Spears VMA anyone? She deserves a comeback if she wants it and mental health but she didnt put out any stellar work this year

  7. Syko says:

    Oh, I think he was no doubt one of the best young actors we had. I particularly loved him in A Knight’s Tale. Kaiser said it better than I did, though. In my mind it’s only someone’s “time” if they actually put forth an award-winning performance. He probably did. I can only go on hearsay since I just hate Batman, Spiderman and those sorts of movies and won’t be going to see it OR renting it. But so many do not. *coughbritneycough*

  8. Mairead says:

    Ledger did do a marvellous job in the part, he literally inhabited and breathed life into it. It was proper bone fide acting. His death gave it poignancy, but it was still good acting. It’d be a shame for him to win it on anything less than merit though.

    I know what you mean about people getting it because it’s their “turn” – I’ve always said that if Nicole Kidman were to have gotten the Oscar that year, it should have been for Dogville. And Cate Blanchett was robbed for Elizabeth, but giving it for Elizabeth – Redux was just silly.

    But what about the deserving who never got one? Remember a few years back Peter O’Toole was supposed to get a Life Time Achievement Oscar? He told them to keep it until they would give him a “proper” one. 😆

  9. Kristin says:

    He should have won for BBM, but he also deserves to win for TDK. I don’t understand anyone saying he shouldn’t win if they haven’t seen the movie yet. A couple people were talking about this in my sister’s class and saying he wasn’t that great and shouldn’t win, when they hadn’t even seen the movie yet.

  10. sol says:

    Matilda would cherish having a dad and not an award. 😐

  11. Ron says:

    This was without a doubt, a brilliant performance and I think he should be nominated for it. However, I do not think he should win. If he was living he would not have won for this role and that fact of the matter is, it will mean nothing to him. Give it to an actor who can appeciate the moment.

  12. rottenkitty says:

    To me the thing that seals the deal on his performance in “Dark Knight” is that, within a minute of him being on the screen, you completely forget his death and all the hysteria surrounding it.

    He so completely inhabits the character that he draws you in and you’re utterly transfixed. The downside: It’s as if Ledger is acting in one movie and everyone else is acting in different movie. (The movie he’s acting in is better.)

    And it’s clear that though the script writers started out writing “Dark Knight” they ended up falling in love with “The Killing Joke.”

  13. DLR in Canada says:

    I wonder if this is the first of a few posthumous awards? He was nominatoed across the board for Brokeback Mountain, and I would be surprised if he was not nominatoed for The Dark Knight. I mean look what happened with James Dean.

  14. Chantilly says:

    This was really a huge loss, I knew he would get awards and he will get the Oscar, but thats really not enough for his little girl daddy would have been better.

  15. geronimo says:

    Even if there is some degree of pity involved, this is a deserved award. Heath would have been lauded/won nominations for this role left, right and centre were he still alive so although there will be mutterings about it being ‘the right thing to do’, objectively it was a stunning performance and this award is 100% on merit.

    Kaiser – Know what you’re saying and it does happen but have to disagree re Zellweger – she stole every scene in Cold Mountain and more than deserved that Oscar!

  16. RAN says:

    Loved him… I agree with G, minor degrees of pity or not, if he deserves the win, then so be it.

  17. Kaiser says:

    Geronimo – I liked Renee in Cold Mountain, too, but for me it was just a good performance in a tedious movie. She was more deserving the year before, in “Chicago”. But that was the year that was designated Nicole Kidman’s “turn”.

  18. I Choose Me says:

    He was f’ing brilliant and if he is indeed nominated he should win. I still get chills when I see his performance as the Joker. I still can’t believe he’s not here. 🙁