CELEBRITY

Heath Ledger’s daughter Matilda: Where is she now?

It's been 16 years since the Aussie acting legend died.
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The hearts of Australians and Hollywood’s acting ring collectively broke when Heath Ledger suddenly passed away in New York City on January 22nd, 2008.

WATCH NOW: Kim Ledger says granddaughter Matilda is just like her father. Article continues after video.

Heath left behind not only an acting legacy but a two-year-old daughter named Matilda Rose whom he shared with ex-girlfriend and fellow actress Michelle Williams. 

For Heath, who tragically died when he was just 28 from acute drug intoxicationbecoming a father was a turning point in his life.

Heath Ledger Michelle Williams
Heath left behind not only an acting legacy, but a two-year-old daughter named Matilda Rose whom he shared with ex-girlfriend and fellow actress Michelle Williams. (Credit: Getty)
Michelle Williams
Since Heath’s passing, Michelle has managed to raise Matilda almost entirely out of the public eye. (Credit: Getty)

When Matilda was a baby, the family-of-three was frequently spotted in their Brooklyn neighbourhood. 

But little is known about Matilda, who is now 18, and the spitting image of her superstar parents.

Since Heath’s passing, Michelle has managed to raise Matilda almost entirely out of the public eye.

The Shutter Island actress took a hiatus from the spotlight and moved with Matilda out of New York City in the wake of Heath’s death.

The mother-daughter duo moved to a farmhouse in upstate New York where she sought a “a sane home environment” away from the limelight.

Michelle Williams
The mother-daughter duo moved to a farmhouse in upstate New York where she sought a “a sane home environment” away from the limelight. (Credit: Getty)

“We moved—we left Brooklyn and lived in the country for six years because it was an intolerable state of existence,” she told the New York Post in June 2016, referring to the barrage of paparazzi following Heath’s death.

Matilda remains largely mysterious due to her notoriously private mother opting to keep a tight lid on her own private life.

Michelle, now 43, also avoids social media to keep her daughter off the radar of the prying press. 

In 2015, Heath’s sister Kate Ledger said Michelle “keeps things real” for Matilda, who was 10 at the time. 

“And her existence, although different from most, is as normal as possible in an abnormal world,” she told the UK’s Sunday Telegraph

She also later added that Michelle provided a “wonderful environment for Matilda to grow up in.”

“Especially in the sort of industry that she’s in.”

Michelle Williams Matilda Ledger
Matilda remains largely mysterious due to her notoriously private mother opting to keep a tight lid on her own private life. (Credit: Getty)

Heath’s father Kim Ledger gushed that his granddaughter had his son’s infectious energy in her early years.

“Heath never slept from when he was two and Matilda’s like that. She’s just got this ball of energy and she radiates this little aura,” he said.

“She’s got an enormous number of his mannerisms. She’s very inquisitive.”

Heath’s mother Sally added: “Matilda is indeed very much like her dad – she has long limbs and similar features. However, she also possesses the beauty of her mamma – lucky girl.”

Heath Ledger Michelle Williams
Matilda is even carrying on Heath’s legacy by taking up an interest in chess – a game the Ten Things I Hate About You star was enamoured by. (Credit: Getty)

Though Matilda was just two years old when her father died, Michelle admitted she sees Heath in her.

Every time I really miss him and wonder where he’s gone, I just look at her,” the Annette actress said in 2009. 

Michelle has also made sure that she keeps the memory of Matilda’s late father alive.

“I always say to Matilda, ‘Your dad loved me before anybody thought I was talented, or pretty, or had nice clothes,’” she told Vanity Fair in 2018.

“When you’re a single parent, and that element of provider and protection is missing, it’s scary,” she said of raising Matilda after Heath’s death.

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Matilda is now 18 years old – where has the time gone? (Credit: Supplied)

Matilda is even carrying on Heath’s legacy by taking up an interest in chess – a game the Ten Things I Hate About You star was enamoured by.

“Heath was obsessed with chess, and now Matilda is getting quite good at it,” a source told our sister publication WHO in 2022.

“She even has her dad’s old chessboard.”

Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger
Michelle and Heath fell in love on the set of the critically acclaimed 2005 drama Brokeback Mountain, but split in September 2007 – just four months before his death. (Credit: Getty)

In 2012, Michelle opened up to GQ about the prospect of having more children and giving Matilda siblings. 

“I really wanted, and I really expected or imagined, that Matilda would have siblings that were close to her age. I wanted that for her. But I couldn’t make that happen,” she said.

“And now that she’s 6 that isn’t even a possibility anymore. So something that was making me feel impatient, that’s been removed. For whatever reason, that’s not our luck or our path.”

michelle-williams-cannes-film-festival-red-carpet
Michelle Williams pregnant with her third child at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2022. (Credit: Getty)

The My Week With Marilyn star has since moved on and found her happy ending with theatre director Thomas Kail.

In 2020 the couple tied the knot and welcomed a baby boy, giving only child Matilda a long-awaited little brother. Then in 2022, the couple welcome another child together. 

As a (now) older sister to two, Matilda maintains her privacy.

The family-of-five now lives a relatively quiet life in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Red Hook.

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