By Susan Jenkins
HOLLYWOOD, CA (RushPRnewsHollywood Today) 2/22/09 â€“ In a night filled with guarded anticipation, Kim and Sally, Heath Ledgerâ€™s father and mother and his sister, Kate accepted the Best Supporting Actor award for the late Heath Ledger. Heath Ledgerâ€™s father, Kim said he wanted to thank the Academy for â€œrecognizing our sonâ€™s amazing work.â€ His mother, Sally stated she was â€œoverwhelmed by the â€œhonor and respectâ€ given to Heath and his sister, Kate, said, â€œwe proudly accept on behalf of your beautiful Matilda.â€
Heath Ledger, the youngest actor to ever play the role of the Joker in a Batman film, captured the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor tonight for the â€˜Dark Knight.â€™ Ledger is the first actor to win an Oscar for playing the role of Joker and the first to win a nomination for a â€˜Batmanâ€™ movie. This win also makes it the first posthumous Oscar award (in acting) since 1976 when Peter Finch won for â€˜The Networkâ€™ and only the second posthumous Oscar ever awarded for acting.
Having already won several awards, including a Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA for Batman, his last released film, the Oscar win culminates Ledgerâ€™s short-lived career. The Joker was Ledgerâ€™s favorite role and many have called it Ledgerâ€™s finest performance, even exceeding his Oscar nominated performance in â€˜Brokeback Mountain.â€™ Ledger said that playing the Joker was the most fun he had had with any character. â€œHeâ€™s just out of control- no empathy, heâ€™s a sociopath, a psychotic, a mass-murdering clown,â€ said the late star of his Joker role. He further said that he â€œthoroughly enjoying itâ€ and that â€œitâ€™s just exceeded any expectation of what the experience would be like.â€
Ledgerâ€™s portrayal of the Joker has been called â€œbrilliant, menacing, chilling, a stunnerâ€ and the list goes on. Many have discussed this as being a â€œdarkâ€ role, a role in the â€œshadows.â€ As underscored by his Oscar win, he nailed the role and certainly deserved every award and accolade for it.
Ledger was born April 4th, 1979 in Perth, West Australia and named Heathcliff Andrew Ledger. The late star is succeeded by his daughter, Matilda Rose Ledger from former fiancÃ©e, Michelle Williams. He said his daughter was â€œadorable, beautifully observant and wiseâ€ and that being a father was the most remarkable experience he had ever had. Heath Ledgerâ€™s Oscar will eventually belong to his daughter, Matilda, when she turns eighteen.
Ledger loved acting, saying that he only did it because he was having fun and said that if he ever stopped having fun with acting he would walk away from it.
Some compare Ledger to James Dean, another brilliant actor with a brief, but memorable career. Dean also received two posthumous Oscar nominations after his death, one for his role in â€˜East of Eden.â€™ Both were young, good looking and at the height of their careers when taken. Dean died from a fatal car crash at age 24 and on January 22, 2008, 28 year old Ledger was
found dead in his apartment from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.
Ledger once said, â€œWhen I die- my movies will live on- for people to judge what I was as a person.â€ These were certainly prophetic words because his performance as the Joker was breathtaking and will long be treasured as the villain of all times.