BEVERLY HILLS , Calif., June 6 (UPI) -- A scholarship fund that will aid struggling Australian actors has been established in the late film star Heath Ledger's name, director Gregor Jordan announced.
Ledger, who was born and raised in Perth, Australia, died in January at the age of 28 from a lethal combination of prescription drugs.
People.com said Jordan, Ledger's friend, announced the formation of a Heath Ledger scholarship at Thursday night's Australians in Film 2008 Breakthrough Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. The first scholarship is to be awarded next year, Jordan said.
Jordan recalled how before Ledger became a successful film star he was just "your old, broke Aussie actor."
"(The scholarship is) going to involve a number of benefactors and there's been a lot of interest already," Jordan said. "I was talking to Michelle Williams, his partner and the mother of his child, today and Michelle has said she would be very proud and happy to be the first benefactor."
"We know that Heath would be proud of his attachment to this scholarship," Ledger's father Kim said in a letter that was read at the awards ceremony. "(It) does what Heath has done personally during the last 10 years ..., (supporting) Australian actors, singers, directors or writers who seek to supply their talents to the U.S.A."