First Heath Ledger Scholarship Winner Announced

May 04, 2009

First Heath Ledger Scholarship Winner Announced First Heath Ledger Scholarship Winner Announced

In recognition of Heath Ledger’s acting legacy, his family (with the help of Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, and Michelle Williams) has created the Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship for rising Australian actors. The scholarship gives rising Australian actors the chance to head to Hollywood for international acting opportunities.

Oliver Ackland was the first-ever recipient of the Heath Ledger Scholarship in the amount of $10,000. He was presented the award at an Oscar party for Australian nominees in February at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont Hotel. Of the honor, Ackland said, “The fact that it is in his name means the world. I admired Heath and I admired the work that he chose, the path he created for himself. It shows a lot of integrity on his behalf.”

Ackland was one of 150 who had applied for the award. Judges for the award included Australian actress Rachel Griffiths and Australian director Gregor Jordan. “Ackland is a great actor and he’s really likeable,” Jordan told PEOPLE. “He’s got a sort of Jude Law look. Maybe he’s an Aussie Jude Law, who knows?”

Applications for the Heath Ledger Scholarship 2010 will become available in the Fall of 2009.

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