Hollywood's Leading Men Made An Incredible Gesture To Heath Ledger's Daughter Following His Death
It's hard to believe it's been 11 years since Heath Ledger passed away.
Before he was taken in 2008 after an accidental intoxication from prescription drugs, the actor had a bright future ahead of him and much to do and see in life. But the most important thing he never got to do is watch his daughter grow up.
However, while Matilda - who was just two years old when he died - never got to know her biological father, she still had plenty of people watching over her: three of these people being Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell.
In August 2008, the incredible gesture these stars made to Heath's daughter was revealed by director Terry Gilliam.
Before his untimely death, the Australian actor was in the middle of filming The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, a film which follows a travelling theatre troupe whose leader, having made a bet with the Devil, takes audience members through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations.
Production was almost cancelled when the 28-year-old's death was announced, but the role ended up being recast with Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell portraying transformations of his character as he travels through a dream world.
After Heath's sudden and unexpected passing, it was reported that the last will he wrote was signed on April 12, 2003, two years before Matilda was born, so all of his fortunes was to go to his parents and three sisters.
Concerned that Heath's daughter would not inherit anything, the three actors who had replaced him decided to give the money they had earned from the movie to Matilda.
After filming was completed, Gilliam spoke out about their generous action, stating: "They didn't take money - it goes to Heath's daughter. That's extraordinary. And wonderful and when you're part of that, you think, 'Ah, this is maybe why I went into the movies in the beginning. I thought it would be full of wonderful people.' And we've got a movie full of wonderful people who did extraordinary things to help."
Thankfully, in the end, Matilda ended up being given every penny of her father's fortune.
It was reportedly expected that Heath's former fiancee, Michelle Williams, would lodge a claim on the will on behalf of their daughter, but this action would prove needless, as Heath's father, Kim confirmed that the family had decided to give everything to Matilda.
"There is no claim," he told Australia's Herald Sun. "Our family has gifted everything to Matilda."
Matilda is now 13 years old and said to know all about Heath, with his memory kept alive every day by her mother Michelle.
Speaking to Vanity Fair in 2018, the Brokeback Mountain actress said: "I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes.’"