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Monday, December 8, 2008

Heath Ledger wins top Australian acting award for role in 'The Dark Knight'

Heath Ledger has posthumously won the Australian Film Institute's international award for best actor, the country's top acting award, for his role in 'The Dark Knight.' Corkery/News

Heath Ledger has posthumously won the Australian Film Institute's international award for best actor, the country's top acting award, for his role in 'The Dark Knight.'

MELBOURNE, Australia - The late actor Heath Ledger was awarded one of his country's most prestigious film awards Saturday for his final role as the Joker in the Batman movie "The Dark Knight."

Ledger, 28, who died of an accidental overdose of painkillers and other medicines in his New York apartment 11 months ago, was posthumously awarded the Australian Film Institute's international award for best actor.

Guests at a packed awards ceremony in Melbourne's Princess Theatre rose to their feet clapping, but with some in tears, to pay tribute.

"It has been without a doubt the most difficult year, losing such a loved family member," said his sister Kate, fighting back tears. "We are so proud of him and humbly accept this award on behalf of his beautiful daughter [Matilda], whom we will cherish forever."

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