Posted on January 12, 2015
Michelle Williams will always be associated with Heath Ledger but she is an incredibly talented actress who should be viewed in her own right. Here’s our Michelle Williams timeline.
Sept. 9, 1980
Born Michelle Ingrid Williams in Kalispell, Montana to Carla and Larry Williams. She is the youngest of five children.
Emancipates herself from her parents, graduates early from high school, and takes up acting.
Appears in her first film, Species, alongside Natasha Henstridge and Ben Kingsley.
Wins the Robbins World Cup Trading Championship after she turns $10,000 into $110,000 in a one year period. Her father, a well-known stock and commodities trader, won the same championship in 1987.
Appears alongist Jessica Lange and Michelle Pfeiffer in A Thousand Acres, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1991 novel by Jane Smiley.
Appears in Halloween: H20
Wins the role of Jen Lindley on Dawson’s Creek and remains with the show for six seasons.
Stars in the film Dick alongside Kirsten Dunst.
Appears in HBO’s If These Walls Could Talk 2 alongside Chloe Sevigny.
Appears in Prozac Nation alongside Christina Ricci. The film is based on the novel by Elizabeth Wurtzel.
Appears in The United States of Leland alongside Ryan Gosling, Don Cheadle, Chris Klein, Jena Malone, Lena Olin, and Kevin Spacey.
Stars in The Station Agent alongside Pete Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, and Paul Benjamin. The entire cast is nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for Best Acting Ensemble.
Appears in Imaginary Heroes with Sigourney Weaver.
Meets Heath Ledger on the set of Brokeback Mountain and the two become an item. He says, “She’s my soul mate and we couldn’t love each other any more than we do already. We’re like two peas in a pod.”
Sept. 2, 2005
Brokeback Mountain is released, directed by Ang Lee and based on the short story by E. Annie Proulx. Williams stars alongside Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. For her role in the film, she is nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA award and won the Critic’s Choice Award.
Oct. 28, 2005
Gives birth in New York City to her daughter with Ledger, Matilda Rose. Ledger says, “Matilda is adorable, and beautifully observant and wise. Michelle and I love her so much. Becoming a father exceeds all my expectations. It’s the most remarkable experience I’ve ever had – it’s marvelous.”
Ledger asks Jake Gyllenhaal to be Matilda’s godfather.
March 5, 2006
She and Ledger are nominated for Academy Awards for their roles in Brokeback Mountain but neither of them takes home the statue on the big night.
Production begins on I’m Not There, inspired by the life of Bob Dylan. Heath Ledger is one of six actors (the others are Marcus Carl Franklin, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Ben Wishaw, and Cate Blanchett) who portray different stages of Dylan’s life. Williams also has a role in the film.
US Weekly reports that Ledger and Williams’ relationship has come to an end, though the couple does not confirm it.
Sept. 4, 2007
Williams’ father Larry tells the Sydney Daily Telegraph that his daughter and Ledger have split, confirming the US Weekly report. He says: “We’ve known about their troubles for a while but it’s always a very difficult thing in life when these things happen. I know Heath and Michelle still care about each other deeply and are very committed to being great parents to their daughter. They are both very talented artists and they live with their hearts. I feel tremendously for her and for him and hope they will find what they want in life. I have a great respect for Heath and I know he cares tremendously for Michelle.”
Jan. 22, 2008
Ledger is found dead in his Manhattan apartment. A bottle of sleeping pills is found on the nightstand and he is reported to have been suffering from pneumonia. The media swirls with rumors of previous drug abuse problems. Officials declare the death a probable accidental overdose rather than foul play or suicide, though an investigation is still ongoing.
Williams is devastated by Ledger’s death and immediately takes a flight with daughter Matilda from Sweden, where she has been filming, to New York.