Heath Ledger's family are ensuring that his memory is being kept alive for his nine-year-old daughter Matilda. The late actor's sister Kate Ledger has spoken out about how she tells his only child stories about their upbringing in Australia and praised the youngster's mother Michelle Williams for the way she is being raised.
"Michelle really does keep things real for her," publicist-turned-author Kate told the Australian The Herald Sun. "And her existence, although different from most, is as normal as possible in an abnormal world."
Kate, who accepted her younger brother's posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2009 along with his parents Sally and Kim, went on to explain that she enjoys helping Matilda get a picture of what her father's early life in Perth was like.
"I love telling [Matilda] stories about her daddy and how he grew up," she said. "I think it's so important for her to have a good sense of where she comes from in order for her to get to know herself."
While Kate says that she is keen to remind Mathilda about her dad, however, the siblings' own father recently said how much he feels his granddaughter herself keeps Heath's spirit alive. "She's got his energy," Kim Ledger told Australian news channel, Channel 10's The Project. "Heath never slept from when he was two and Matilda's like that. She's just got this ball of energy and she radiates this little aura, Heath was kind of like that. So it’s fabulous really."
Michelle, who was in a relationship with Heath for three years, has also acknowledged how similar her daughter is to the Brokeback Mountain star. "Every time I really miss him and wonder where he's gone, I just look at her," she told Vogue in 2013.
In another recent interview, Kate recalled how enthusiastic her brother was about lending fellow actors a helping hand. "Heath loved to help others," she told Confidential. "He did everything he could to support his Australian mates in their careers and would offer his house, car or anything to help them."
"We used to laugh at the number of random people at any one time living in his LA home," she added. "And you would often see him introducing himself to them in his own hallway: 'Hi, I'm Heath... yeah this is my house.'"
Heath tragically died as the result of an accidental overdose of prescribed medication on January 22, 2008. The 10 Things I Hate About You actor was found unconscious in his Manhattan apartment by his housekeeper and masseuse.
Paramedics arrived on the scene but were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead less than an hour after he was first found.