It has been over 9 years since Heath Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan apartment. The Australian actor died from a cardiac arrest which was caused by an acute intoxication by a combination of prescription medication and sleeping pills.
It's still unclear how the young star got to that point, but one thing we do know for sure is that he loved his daughter, Matilda, unconditionally.
"Matilda is adorable, and beautifully observant and wise. Michelle and I love her so much. Becoming a father exceeds all my expectations. It's the most remarkable experience I've ever had—it's marvelous," Ledger told InTouch in 2005.
In fact, the late actor's friend and dialect coach, Gerry Grennell revealed to People that even in the final weeks of his life, Ledger always thought about his little girl.
“He missed his girl, he missed his family, he missed his little girl — he desperately wanted to see her and hold her and play with her,” Grennell said.
Matilda Rose Ledger was born on October 28, 2005, about a year after her father and mother, actress Michelle Williams began dating after meeting on the set of Brokeback Mountain.
In 2007, the pair decided to mutually end their 3-year relationship but remained friends until Ledger's untimely passing. At the time of the Batman actor's death, Matilda was only 2 years old, so her mother ensured she remained out of the public eye.
She released a statement after his death highlighting the devastating loss the family felt.
"Please respect our need to grieve privately. My heart is broken. I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father. All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day. His family and I watch Matilda as she whispers to trees, hugs animals, and takes steps two at a time, and we know that he is with us still. She will be brought up in the best memories of him."
In November 2016, Williams sat down with Net-A-Porter for a rare interview and opened up about raising Matilda without her father.
"In all honesty, for pretty much everything else, I feel like I'm a believer in not fighting circumstances, accepting where you are and where you've been. In pretty much all senses but one," Williams said. "I would be able to go totally down that line of thinking were it not for Matilda not having her dad. You know, that's just something that doesn't... I mean, it just won't ever be right.”
In the years that followed, Matilda was rarely seen mainly due to the fact that a number of media outlets implemented a protocol to stop publishing unauthorized photos of celebrity children.
"[The picture ban] has changed our lives," Williams told the Post.
Today, Matilda is a beautiful 11-years old who has her father's "energy." She was recently spotted on a rare outing with her mom and the resemblance to her father is uncanny.
Click on the next page to see what Matilda looks like now!