Ledger, Heath: Theater Named After Him

July 9, 2008–The Australian hometown of Heath Ledger named a theater in his honor last Tuesday for his commitment to his craft. The $87 million, 575-seat Heath Ledger Theater in Perth is a tribute to Ledger, who was known for his support of other actors. Ledger died at 28 of an accidental prescription drug overdose in New York January 22. Kim Ledger, the actor’s father, called the tribute a pleasant surprise.

“Heath Ledger was totally dedicated to the craft of being an actor and that’s what made him successful,” Alan Carpenter said in the ceremony. “What we’re doing is continuing that support for young people who want to make a career in the arts and acting, stage and in film, whatever it happens to be.”

“He was such a giver to the arts right across the board. I really feel that there’s not a lot of things he’d put his name to, but he’d put his name to that,” said Kim Ledger, who attended Tuesday’s ceremony.

Kim Ledger said family members would travel to New York later this month to attend a screening of The Dark Knight, which opnes July 18. Heath Ledger plays the Joker in the movie, his final full film role. The actor’s performance has already been lauded by critics and there’s Oscar buzz about it. As expected, the high-profile film has made the grieving more public for his family.

In 2005, Ledger received Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role in Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain.”