Year: 2008 (81st) Academy Awards
Category: Actor in a Supporting Role
Film Title: The Dark Knight
Winner: Heath Ledger (accepted by his father Kim Ledger, mother Sally Bell, and sister Kate Ledger)
Presenter: Alan Arkin, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Joel Grey, Kevin Kline, Christopher Walken
Date & Venue: February 22, 2009; Kodak Theatre
First of all, I have to say this is ever so humbling just being amongst such wonderful people and such a wonderful industry. Firstly, I'd like to thank the Academy for recognizing our son's amazing work. Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan in particular for allowing Heath the creative license to develop and explore this crazy "Joker" character. To Steve Alexander, Heath's mentor, special friend and agent for ten years; we love you, Steve. This award tonight would've humbly validated Heath's quiet determination to be truly accepted by you all here, his peers, within an industry he so loved. Thank you.
Heath was such a compassionate and generous soul who added so much excitement and inspiration to our lives. We have been truly overwhelmed by the honor and respect being bestowed upon him with this award. Tonight we are choosing to celebrate and be happy for what he has achieved.
Heath, we both knew what you had created in the "Joker" was extraordinarily special and had even talked about being here on this very day. We really wish you were, but we proudly accept this award on behalf of your beautiful Matilda. Thank you.
[Ed. note: Mr. Ledger passed away on 1/22/2008. He is the second performer to posthumously receive an Academy Award for acting.]
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]