EXCLUSIVE: Heath Ledger’s grown-up daughter Matilda may be coming home to Australia

''Matilda wants to learn more about her dad as a kid.''
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It’s hard to believe that it’s been 14 years since Matilda Ledger, a sweet two-year-old clutching a bunny for comfort, touched down in Perth ahead of her father’s funeral.

Since then, it’s believed that she hasn’t returned to Heath’s home town, where her grandparents, Kim Ledger and Sally Bell, and Auntie Kate Ledger live.

But sources close to the tight-knit family say Matilda, who’ll turn 17 next October, is determined to return to her roots – much to the delight of her Aussie clan.

According to Kim, he and his ex-wife would make the gruelling trip to Brooklyn – where Matilda lives with her mum Michelle Williams, her director stepdad Thomas Kail, and a one-year-old half-sibling – to see their “Little New Yorker” at least once a year.

Michelle Williams photographed with Matilda in 2013.


“But with COVID and WA’s strict lockdowns, they haven’t seen Matilda for more than two years,” says a source.

“It’s heartbreaking for the Ledgers, they’re missing so much. But Matilda is a strong-willed young thing, just like her dad, and she’s informed Michelle that she wants to go to Perth.

“Michelle is extremely protective of Matilda and has tried so hard to shelter her from public life, but she has accepted Matilda’s wishes.”

An insider close to the actress says she “always knew this day would come, and that she can’t keep Matilda in bubble wrap forever.

The fact that she has baby number two to focus on helps keep her mind off anxieties for Matilda.”

Sources say the teenager is “fully informed” about her dad’s passing on January 22, 2008 from a drug overdose.

“As soon as she was old enough, Michelle told her the full story about Heath’s complicated final years of life,” says the insider.

“She knows how Heath died, and how much he loved her. Not to mention how much his family loves her and that she always has a home with them.”

Heath Ledger leaves Sydney with Michelle Williams and daughter Matilda in 2006.


Our source says Matilda “can’t wait” to spend an Aussie summer on Cottesloe Beach – her dad’s favourite place in the world – and spend time with Sally and Kim, and their kids from subsequent marriages.

“Most of all she’s excited to get to know her Auntie Kate a little more,” says a source.

“She knows how close Kate and Heath were growing up, and Matilda wants to learn more about her dad as a kid.”

While our insider says Matilda has her heart set on making the 25-hour journey halfway around the world, the Aussie Ledgers “are reticent to get their hopes up”.

WATCH: Kate opens up about the ‘I am Heath Ledger’ doco. Story continues after video.

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“A lot can change between now and then,” says a source.

“They dearly love Matilda – she is growing into a mini version of the man they lost, which is a comfort to them. They’d do anything to get her over.”

When Heath died, he hadn’t updated his will to include the birth of his daughter, leaving

his $20 million to his family – who promptly signed it over to the toddler.

“They got 28 precious years with Heath, while Matilda only got two years that she barely remembers,” says the source.

“They feel she deserves every part of him, and that also includes a close bond with his family as she enters adulthood.”

Matilda’s H&A starring role

Heath got his start on Home And Away.


As rumours that Heath’s girl is coming home gain steam, TV industry insiders will finally get their chance to make a long-held pipe dream come true.

“With Matilda growing up looking more and more like Heath, someone’s idea of getting her on Home And Away for an episode or two, in tribute to her dad, who got his own acting start on the show, has snowballed,” says a source.

“If she was back in Oz, there would be no doubt casting bosses would get in touch.”

Little is known about Matilda’s life in Brooklyn, but one close source confirms, “With parents like hers, there’s no doubt she’s inherited the acting bug.

“It’s just whether her mum would let her get into the industry that may well have proved the undoing of her father.”

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