Matilda Ledger to Receive Oscar For Heath?
If the deceased Heath Ledger wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor this Sunday evening, his three-year-old daughter Matilda will eventually come to own the trophy.
Matilda, Heath’s daughter with actress Michelle Williams, will acquire the statuette when she turns 18. That is, if she files the appropriate paperwork, according to the Associated Press.
Ledger is nominated for his performance as the villainous Joker in The Dark Knight. He has already won a posthumous Golden Globe for the role.
The legalities and ceremony behind Heath’s possible win are complex, says Bruce Davis, executive director of the academy.
“It’s complicated, because there are two different questions that have to be answered,” Davis explains. “First, we have to decide who gets the job of accepting the award onstage on the night of the ceremony. And then there’s the question of the eventual disposition of the posthumous statuette, which may not stay with the person who accepts it.”
If the winner of the Oscar is deceased (Ledger died last year of a prescription drug overdose), the statuette goes to his spouse or oldest living child.
Ledger and Williams were broken up at the time of his death, so the Oscar would go to little Matilda. The decision was reached after some careful thought.
“In the event that Heath Ledger should be selected as the supporting actor recipient, the statuette will be held in trust for his daughter by her mother, Michelle Williams, until Matilda reaches the age of 18,” says Davis. “At that point, she may execute what we call an heir’s agreement and keep the statuette forever—or, if she chooses not to do that, it will return to us.”
Producers haven’t revealed who has been chosen to accept the award if Heath wins.