Heath Ledger's Dad Reveals Where He Keeps the 'Dark Knight' Oscar

Heath Ledger - H 2016
Sharyn Cairns

Heath's daughter will ultimately receive the statuette, which is currently part of a collection at the Western Australian Museum in Perth that spotlights the late actor: "At the end of the day, everything is there for Matilda, and when she can take possession of it, it's all hers."

This story first appeared in the March 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Eight years after Heath Ledger's death at age 28 from accidental prescription-drug intoxication, his father, Kim Ledger — who accepted a posthumous acting award for The Dark Knight on his son's behalf (one of only eight times ever) at the 2009 Academy Awards — reflects from his home in Western Australia: "Bittersweet is probably the best way I can describe that night," says Ledger, 66. "It was only a year and a month since his passing. We hadn't got our heads around the tragedy of losing him, but at the same time, he was receiving such accolades for what he knew was his best work."

The best supporting actor statuette for Heath's role as the Joker has been temporarily retrieved from the Western Australian Museum in Perth (also where Heath's sister, Kate, and his mother, Sally, from whom Kim is divorced, live), where it will return to a collection that includes the star's Dark Knight costume, letters, diaries and self-penned scripts, all destined for permanent exhibition. Says Ledger, an owner of automotive businesses, of the most esteemed of the 98 awards that his son received over a decadelong career: "It was peer recognition that was important to Heath and the Oscar was the epitome of that." Ultimately, the award will go to Heath's now-10-year-old daughter, Matilda, who lives in Brooklyn with her mother, Michelle Williams. "Michelle is aware the Oscar remains secured with the museum. At the end of the day, everything is there for Matilda, and when she can take possession of it, it's all hers," says Ledger, who is a patron of both ScriptWise, which promotes the dangers of prescription drug abuse, and the Heath Ledger Scholarship, awarded annually to a young Australian actor. "One way or another, we are always in contact with our New York girls."