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Ledger's family 'proud and excited' by Oscar nomination

HEATH Ledger's family said today they were "proud and excited" by his posthumous Academy Award nomination, but that it could not heal the pain caused by his untimely death.

Exactly one year after he died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, Ledger was nominated for best supporting actor for his portrayal of deranged criminal mastermind the Joker in the Batman movie "The Dark Knight."

"To us ... it seems like merely yesterday and we are all still nursing broken hearts," Kate Ledger, the actor's sister, said today.

She and Ledger's two other sisters, Ashleigh Bell and Olivia Ledger, read from a prepared statement today before a throng of reporters at one of the actor's favorite places, picturesque Cottesloe Beach near his hometown of Perth.

"Although we would love to have him here with us, we are so proud and so excited on his behalf," Bell said.

"In Heath's words, he had the time of his life portraying The Joker and said that it was the most fun he'd ever had working on a film," Bell said.

Ledger, who was 28 when he died, was nominated along with Josh Brolin for "Milk," Robert Downey Jr. for "Tropic Thunder," Philip Seymour Hoffman for "Doubt" and Michael Shannon for "Revolutionary Road."

Many expect Ledger to win when the awards are handed out February 22. If he does he would become only the second actor to posthumously win an Oscar, following Peter Finch for 1976's "Network."


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