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February 22, 2009

Heath Ledger makes history


Just because it wasn't a surprise doesn't make it any less historic or emotional. 

Heath Ledger has become only the second actor to receive a posthumous Oscar, for his daring performance as the sociopathic arch-villain The Joker in "The Dark Knight."

His family -- father, mother and sister -- accepted the best supporting actor trophy "on behalf of his beautiful Matilda," his 3-year-old daughter with former love Michelle Williams. Matilda will inherit the Little Gold Man when she turns 18.

"It would've humbly validated Heath's quiet determination to be accepted by all you here, his peers, in an industry he so loved," said his dad, Kim Ledger.

And as a reminder to a room full of Hollywood stars and perhaps a lot of viewers tearing up, Ledger's mother said, "We are choosing to celebrate and be happy for what he has achieved." In other words, this isn't a funeral, it's a wake.

Lovely. Simply lovely.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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