Celebrities

Clutching onto the arm of Heath's elder sister Kate, actress Michelle Williams, the mother of the late star's daughter Matilda, arrives at the Perth memorial
Photo: Getty Images
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Oscar-winner Cate read a eulogy revealing her memories of her I'm Not There co-star
Photo: Getty Images

Family and friends say an emotional farewell to actor Heath

9 FEBRUARY 2008
A host of Hollywood stars gathered in Australia this weekend to say farewell to acclaimed actor Heath Ledger at a private memorial service in his home town.

More than 500 guests attended the Perth service, which came ahead of a small funeral for the 28-year-old who died of an accidental prescription drug overdose last month.

Wearing dark glasses, Michelle Williams, the Brokeback Mountain star's former fiance and mother of his two-year-old daughter, Matilda, arrived clutching the arm of his older sister, Kate.

Australian actors Cate Blanchett, who starred with Heath in the Dylan bio-pic I'm Not There, and Bryan Brown were also among the mourners, along with Heath's ex-girlfriend, supermodel Gemma Ward.

During the 75-minute memorial service, Oscar-winner Cate read a eulogy to the actor which remembered the times they had shared in New York and Los Angeles.

After the moving service, which included a video tribute showing Heath with his young daughter, the family and some of the actor's closest friends attended a funeral in nearby Fremantle. An emotional Michelle is reported to have read the Shakespearean sonnet Shall I Compare Thee To A Summers Day? to the small group.

"It's a pretty sad time and we are finding it difficult to cope by ourselves, let alone cope with everybody around the world," Heath's dad, Kim, revealed, before adding: "We do really appreciate the outpouring and the emotional support from all over the world."

The day ended with a sunset wake in a restaurant overlooking Cottesloe beach in Perth, one of the actor's favourite spots. As the daylight faded, a group of fans - and Michelle - splashed into the waves in a joyous celebration of Heath's life.


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