Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Ash Knotek/Snappers/ZUMA Press
Heath Ledger's life was celebrated Wednesday night at the Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship dinner in Los Angeles.
The late actor's father, Kim Ledger, spoke exclusively with E! News about why it was important for the scholarship, in his son's honor, to provide talented Australians in the early stages of their careers the chance to travel to the U.S. in pursuit of further training and international opportunities.
"I've had actors come up to me and say, 'You know if it wasn't for Heath giving us two or three months free of charge in his home, we would have never gotten a foot in the place,'" Kim said. "It's one of those industries where everybody supports each other, since it's so hard to make a bite. Heath was subject to that when he first started in Sydney, then he repaid the favors tenfold."
As for Heath's personal life and Matilda, the daughter he left behind? "She's got daddy's eyes, and she's quite tall for her age," Kim said. "She's a beautiful child."
"She reminds me of Heath every time she opens her mouth," he went on. "Every time we chat with her she's got some of his nuances that gives us something to chuckle at....the way she dances around. Heath used to just break into dance for no reason, jump up on a wall, and just dance."
Kim also praised Matilda's mother, saying, "Michelle [Williams] does a great job. She protects her the way that she can. She protects her from too much exposure, sending her to a lovely school; she's growing into a polite, beautiful individual."
And while Matilda, 7, doesn't know about the Heath Ledger Scholarship just yet, Kim said, "She'll grow up with it," adding, "I'd love for her to be a part of it."
—Reporting by Lindsey Caldwell and Sharareh Drury