In perhaps the most emotional moment in Oscar history, the family of the late Heath Ledger gathered onstage on Sunday night to accept his award for Best Supporting Actor.

"First of all, I have to say this is ever so humbling," explained Heath’s dad, Kim Ledger, as he took the podium with the actor’s mother, Sally Bell, and his sister, Kate Ledger. "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."

His mother described her son as a "compassionate and generous soul who added so much excitement and inspiration to our lives." And rather than turn the evening into a memorial for the actor, Sally declared, "Tonight, we are choosing to celebrate and be happy for what he has achieved.

Speaking directly to the spirit of her brother, Kate said, "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."

Sound off in the comments below!

Join the conversation