A private memorial service was held at the G'Day USA Australia Day Ball in Manhattan and at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California on Saturday night, January 26 to remember the late actor Heath Ledger.
His parents, Kim Ledger and Sally Ledger Bell, and sister Kim Ledger were seen among some 1000 people attended the New York service. Heath's ex-girlfriend, Naomi Watts, was also among the mourners spotted in attendance at the service.
The service, which was a small gathering of close friends and family, was begun with a minute's silence before Australia's consul-general in New York, John Olsen then read a letter from Heath's father Kim, saying "Heath is and always will be an Australian. He adored his home. His last two weeks with us over Christmas in Perth were just bliss. Heath did not become an actor for the fame or fortune. He just loved his craft, and he loved helping his friends. He loved chess and skateboarding, too. My image of Heath in New York is him with his skateboard, a canvas bag and beanie. That was Heath."
A private viewing of Heath's remains was also reportedly held in New York the day before Friday, January 25 at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home. Heath's publicist has said there are no plans for a public memorial service for the star, either in the U.S. or Australia.
Following the private memorial service, Heath's body was taken to a celebrity mortuary in Los Angeles, the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary, where family members and friends paid their respects.
While it was not immediately clear if Heath's former fiancee Michelle Williams and their daughter Matilda Rose Ledger attended the Saturday service, the mother-daughter were expected to join the Ledger family in Perth for funeral services in the days ahead.