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Illawarra Mercury

Legacy of Ledger for young star

Date: 29/06/2012
Words: 277
Source: ILL
          Publication: Illawarra Mercury
Section: News
Page: 14
YOUNG Australian star Anna McGahan has won the Heath Ledger Scholarship at a star-studded function in Los Angeles.

The 24-year-old actress who starred in Underbelly: Razor and Spirited was at the ceremony to collect the prize on Wednesday night.

"I was completely shocked. I had a minor heart attack," she said. "I was flown over [to the US] under the impression that I was on the short list; [it] was mind-blowing to hear the news."

McGahan will receive $10,000, a round-trip ticket from Australia to LA, a one-year scholarship to Stella Adler Studio of Acting in LA, a 10-day trip around California for two and a VIP casting package.

Brisbane-born McGahan was up against Aaron Jakubenko, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Andrew Hazzard, Brett Stiller, Kenji David Fitzgerald, Lachlan Buchanan, Meegan Warner, Michael Sheasby, Shari Lee Sebbens, Talia Zucker, Tim Pocock and Will Howarth.

Liam Hemsworth and Yvonne Strahovski were honoured for their work with the 2012 Australians in Film Breakthrough Award.

Hemsworth, who stars in the hit The Hunger Games, is filming Empire State.

Yvonne Strahovski's recent credits include the TV series Chuck and the film Killer Elite.

Also honoured at Wednesday night's function were Tropfest founder John Polson and US film producer Harvey Weinstein for their contributions to Australian film and television.

The scholarship fund was set up by the Los Angeles-based non-profit group Australians in Film in memory of Heath Ledger and is designed to help the winner develop towards a successful career in Hollywood.

Fund benefactors include Ledger's ex-fiancee Michelle Williams, ex-girlfriend Naomi Watts and actors and filmmakers Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness, Phil Noyce and Baz Luhrmann.

Ledger died, aged 28, of an accidental prescription drug overdose in 2008. AAP

 
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