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Ledger's Family Reacts to Oscar Nom

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Jan 23, 2009 | 4:54am EST

This time last year Heath Ledger’s family was reacting to his shocking and untimely death; now the occasion is a happier one, albeit bittersweet.

Ledger was nominated on Thursday for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar (click here for the full list of nominations) for his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, and while his family members are proud of the honor, they're still just trying to cope with the loss.

As part of a prepared statement, Ledger’s sister Kate had this to say: “To us … it seems like merely yesterday, and we are still nursing broken hearts.”

“Although we would love to have him here with us, we are so proud and so excited on his behalf,” said Ledger’s other sister Ashleigh Bell, who along with the actor’s third sister, Olivia, held a memorial lunch at their brother’s favorite restaurant in his hometown of Perth, Australia, yesterday.

After all, Thursday marked one year to the day that Ledger passed away in his New York City apartment.

He will go up against Josh Brolin, Robert Downey Jr.Philip Seymour Hoffman and Michael Shannon in the category.

Most Oscar prognosticators expect Ledger to win for portraying the Joker -- which Bell said “was the most fun he’d ever had working on a film” -- and if he does, Ledger would become only the second actor to posthumously win an Oscar (Peter Finch won for 1976’s Network).

The Academy Awards ceremony will be held on Feb. 22.

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