Australian actors hoping to follow in the career footsteps of Heath Ledger could benefit from a scholarship set up in the name of the late actor, and his ex, Michelle Williams, is the fund's first donor, People reports.
Williams has contributed to the Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship, which gives recipients up to $10,000, plus travel expenses from Australia to the United States so they can pursue acting.
“Broke Aussie actors in L.A. form a tradition that goes all the way back to Errol Flynn,” scholarship panel member and “Ned Kelly” director Gregor Jordan told the magazine. “Heath was definitely part of that tradition and this scholarship is something he would have been proud to have his name associated with.”
In addition to Williams, Ledger’s family has reportedly contributed an undisclosed amount to the fund.
“We as a family are pleased with the establishment and progress of the AIF scholarship award named in honor of our much loved and generous son, Heath,” Heath’s father Kim Ledger said. “As a result of this scholarship, a talented Australian actor will gain valuable assistance to support their personal goals, and an opportunity for recognition in the very tough U.S. film industry.”
Ledger was an ambassador for Australians in Film before his death. Fellow Australian stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Naomi Watts currently serve as ambassadors for the organization.
Aspiring Aussie actors can apply to the scholarship online through the AIF Web site from Oct. 1 to Nov. 28. The first recipient will be announced by mid-February 2009.