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Bella Heathcote Receives Heath Ledger's Acting Scholarship

May 15, 2010 (4:42 am) GMT
Selected by the late actor's friends and colleagues, the aspiring actress will be flown to Los Angeles to meet talent agents.

A scholarship established in the name of late actor has been awarded to up-and-coming actress . The $10,000 fund, set up by Ledger's ex-fiancee and friends following his death in 2008, was given to Heathcote at the sixth annual Australians in Film Breakthrough Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday, May 13 night.

She was hand-picked from a pool of applicants by "" star's pals and colleagues, including , who presented the honor. Ledger's sister Kate and his mother, Sally Bell, were on hand to witness the prize-giving, and admit they are touched his memory can help others realize their dreams of acting.

Kate tells People.com, "It is very special. It's honoring our boy so we couldn't be prouder and we think it is an amazing scholarship that is going to give so many opportunities." His mother added, "He had a huge passion for acting. That was the most important thing for him. It wasn't about the money. He had such a passion that just showed through regardless of how big the role was."

The inaugural scholarship, which includes flights to Los Angeles and introductions to agents and casting directors, was awarded last year to Australian performer Oliver Ackland.

Ledger died from an accidental overdose in January 2008.

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