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Freeze Frame: How Heath Ledger’s romance with Michelle Williams and their daughter Matilda brightened his world


Though Heath Ledger’s quick however memorable life was marred by plenty of ache, the Aussie actor had two outstanding individuals in his orbit who brightened his darkish days.

It was the love he had for actress Michelle Williams, and the kid they shared collectively, a daughter named Matilda, that gave him objective and power.

The Dark Knight actor’s wrestle with melancholy and incapacity to manage with the pressures of fame forged a shadow over his profitable profession. But after he welcomed his child lady, Ledger had a brand new mild in his life.

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Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams met on the set of Brokeback Mountain in 2005. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Ledger, who started work as an actor within the ’90s, shot to fame after showing within the 1999 rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You.

The Perth-born star then started proving he had expertise as a critical actor, touchdown roles in movies together with Brokeback Mountain and, finally, because the Joker in The Dark Knight.

It was his casting within the 2005 Oscar-winning movie Brokeback Mountain as Ennis Del Mar that noticed Ledger meet and fall in love with his co-star, Williams.

The couple met on-set in 2004 and instantly started a whirlwind romance.

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“Our initial meeting, the circumstances of how we first met, were cosmic or something,” Williams would later recall in a GQ interview.

Even the couple’s co-stars stated Ledger and Williams’ chemistry was arduous to disclaim.

Jake Gyllenhaal, who performed Jack Twist within the movie, as soon as stated: “I remember being in rehearsal, and the two of them had googly eyes with each other.”

Dawson’s Creek alum Williams additionally remembered being on the set of the movie as a really “special” time.

Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger attend the Independent Feature Project's 15th Annual Gotham Awards in 2005 in New York City.
The couple dated for 3 years and welcomed a daughter, Matilda. (Getty)

“It will be forever special because of meeting Heath and having Matilda,” she advised The Sydney Morning Herald in 2008. 

“It is probably not often in your lifetime that you are part of a film that means so much to so many people.”

When the movie wrapped, Ledger and Williams had been formally an merchandise. And after lower than a 12 months of relationship, the Deception actress fell pregnant with the couple’s first baby.

In October 2005, Matilda Ledger was born. Ledger was so smitten with his daughter and he adored changing into a father, as he usually revealed to the press.

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“I’m so proud. I just fall deeper and deeper in love with both my girls,” People studies him as saying quickly after her delivery.

“Matilda is adorable, and beautifully observant and wise. Michelle and I love her so much. Becoming a father exceeds all my expectations. It’s the most remarkable experience I’ve ever had – it’s marvellous.”

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald in 2006, Ledger additionally acknowledged how a lot his position in Brokeback Mountain modified the trajectory of his private life.

“It’s a trip. It’s incredible to what level the film has changed my life,” he stated.

“I mean, it’s given me an incredible amount of synchronicity. I have these two girls that I fall deeper and deeper in love with daily and that is, hands down, the greatest gift that I’ve been given from this. I’ll forever be grateful.”

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Heath Ledger
Ledger died in 2008. (Getty)

Becoming mother and father, it appears, briefly made Williams and Ledger nearer than ever. Though it wasn’t to final, as in 2007 the couple cut up after three years collectively.

In her 2018 memoir This Will Only Hurt a Little, Williams’ finest good friend Busy Phillips opened up about her pal’s breakup and shed some mild on the rationale.

“They were so young and that baby was the light of both of their lives. They were just working all the time and it was complicated,” Phillips wrote.

“S— is always complicated. Especially when you’re 28. And movie stars. With a baby.”

Ledger’s time as a father was additionally tragically short-lived. 

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In 2008, when Matilda was simply aged two, Ledger was discovered lifeless in a NYC lodge room. His reason for loss of life was later listed as an unintended overdose.

“I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father,” Williams stated in an announcement to the media on the time.

“All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day.”

At the time of his loss of life, Ledger had simply completed filming his critically-acclaimed portrayal of the Joker within the 2008 movie.

Thomas Kail, left, and Michelle Williams arrive at the 80th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023
Michelle Williams with husband Thomas Kail. (Invision/AP/AAP)

He would later earn a Best Supporting Actor Oscar posthumously for the position.

And for the previous 16 years, the world has carefully adopted Williams as she raised her daughter Matilda alone.

Matilda is now a young person and her mum works arduous to maintain her late father alive in her reminiscence.

“I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes,'” Williams advised Vanity Fair in 2018.

“When you’re a single parent, and that element of provider and protection is missing, it’s scary.”

In 2020, it was introduced Williams was anticipating her second baby with her husband, director Thomas Kail. She welcomed the couple’s baby in June 2021.

Williams’ profession has additionally gone from power to power, with the actress nominated for a number of Oscars for her work in Manchester By the Sea and The Fabelmans.

“When my daughter was younger, I took more on-the-road jobs because she was so little,” Williams stated in a uncommon comment about her daughter in 2023.

“And then I think they reach an age when they need to embed themselves with their school, and their friends, and their activities.”

If you or somebody is in want of psychological well being assist contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. In the occasion of an emergency dial Triple Zero (000).

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