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Heath Ledger Honored with Hometown Theater

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Jul. 1 2008, Published 5:00 a.m. ET

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Heath Ledger will have a theater named in his honor in his Perth, Australia hometown as a tribute to his acting legacy and commitment, the AP reports.

"Heath Ledger was totally dedicated to the craft of being an actor and that's what made him successful," Western Australia state Premier Alan Carpenter said at the dedication ceremony. "I think what we're doing is continuing that support for young people who want to make a career in the arts and acting, stage and in film, whatever it happens to be."

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The $87 million Heath Ledger Theater will feature 575 seats and is an appropriate way for Perth honor its most famous son, who passed away Jan. 22, as he was an ardent supporter of the arts and fellow young actors, Alan said.

Present for the ceremony was Heath's dad, Kim, who was humbled by the tribute.

"He was such a giver to the arts right across the board," Kim said. "I really feel that there's not a lot of things he'd put his name to, but he'd put his name to that."

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The whole Ledger clan plans to attend the July 14 premiere of Heath's final completed film, The Dark Knight, in New York City. Critics across the board have been raving over the late actor's macabre Joker portrayal, some even saying he's deserving of a posthumous Oscar. While honored by the praise, Kim admits the verbal accolades have been a little hard to swallow for the family.

"It's just been a little more public and the films make it a little more public as well," he said. "It's been a little bit hard, but we've always been extremely proud of his work and that hasn't changed."

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