Heath Ledger’s Co-stars Gave His Then 2-Year-Old Daughter Their Salaries as He Did Not Include Her in His Will

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Heath Ledger was widely recognized for his portrayal of The Joker, a psychopathic criminal mastermind with a twisted sense of humor, in the superhero film “The Dark Knight.”

He had a diverse career, with roles in movies like “Lords of Dogtown” and “I’m Not There.” During the filming of “Brokeback Mountain” in 2004, Ledger met and fell in love with Michelle Williams. A year later, they welcomed their daughter, Matilda Rose Ledger.

Their relationship ended in 2007, but Ledger’s love for his daughter remained unwavering. Director Terry Gilliam recalled how Ledger would carry Matilda in a backpack, taking the subway to discuss a film they were working on.

Tragically, in 2008, Ledger passed away at his New York apartment when Matilda was just two years old. She struggled to understand her father’s sudden absence and repeatedly asked her mother:

“Where’s my daddy?”

Before his untimely death, Ledger was working on the film “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.” When he passed away, director Terry Gilliam faced the decision of scrapping the film or finding a way to complete it. With encouragement from Ledger’s daughter, he chose the latter. Hollywood A-listers Jude Law, Johnny Depp, and Colin Farrell replaced Ledger in the film, not taking any pay for themselves but donating it all to Matilda. This act of generosity was prompted by the fact that Ledger had not included his daughter in his will.

Ledger’s estate, valued at $118,000, was originally intended for his parents and sisters per his old will. However, a year after his death, Ledger’s father, Kim Ledger, announced that the family would not claim any part of Heath’s wealth and would gift it all to Matilda. This decision sparked a dispute among Kim and his brothers, with some questioning his suitability as the executor due to past issues. An Australian executor of Ledger’s will, Robert John Collins, defended Kim, dismissing his brothers’ accusations.

Matilda, who bears a striking resemblance to her late father based on rare online photos, was only two when Heath Ledger passed away. She has since grown into a 17-year-old, inheriting not only her father’s physical traits but also mannerisms and boundless energy. Kim Ledger, her grandfather, notes the resemblance and praises her inquisitive nature, likening her energy to her father’s.

Matilda’s mother, Michelle Williams, has been dedicated to preserving Ledger’s memory for their daughter. She continually answers Matilda’s questions about her late father, ensuring she knows as much as possible about him.

Despite being the daughter of two celebrities, Matilda maintains a low profile. Photos of her are usually with her mother in various public places.

Heath Ledger’s family commends Michelle for her remarkable job raising Matilda on her own, keeping Ledger’s memory alive. Kate Ledger, the actor’s sister, describes Michelle as grounded and notes the striking similarities between Matilda and her late brother. She shares stories of Ledger’s childhood with Matilda and how he would play with a cricket bat.

In her everyday actions, Matilda often reflects her father’s mannerisms, making the family feel that Ledger’s spirit lives on through her.