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Heath Ledger, Audrey Hepburn and More Stars Who Won Awards Posthumously

A lasting impression. Heath Ledger, Audrey Hepburn, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Fisher and more stars left legacies that were rewarded even after their deaths. The celebrities went on to win Grammys, Oscars, Emmys and other awards for their indelible work.

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Heath Ledger, Audrey Hepburn and More Stars Who Won Awards Posthumously
Heath Ledger and Audrey Hepburn Jim Spellman/WireImage; Maureen Donaldson/Getty Images

Heath Ledger

The actor was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight. His family accepted the Best Supporting Actor statue on his behalf in February 2009 following his January 2008 death of an accidental drug overdose at age 28.

“Bittersweet is probably the best way I can describe that night. It was only a year and a month since his passing,” his father, Kim Ledger, told The Hollywood Reporter in February 2016. “We hadn’t got our heads around the tragedy of losing him, but at the same time, he was receiving such accolades for what he knew was his best work.”

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The family promised the award to Heath’s now 13-year-old daughter, Matilda, whom he shared with ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams.

Audrey Hepburn

The Breakfast at Tiffany’s actress received several awards after her death in January 1993 at age 63 from cancer. A 1994 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children and a 1993 Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement – Informational Programming helped her become the first posthumous EGOT winner.

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Amy Winehouse

The songstress died of alcohol poisoning in July 2011 at age 27. Already a four-time Grammy winner, she received a posthumous award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in February 2012. Her recording of “Body and Soul” with Tony Bennett bested the category.

Carrie Fisher

The Star Wars actress won her first Grammy Award in January 2018 for Best Spoken Word Album. Her recording of her 2016 memoir, The Princess Diarist, was honored more than a year after her death in December 2016 from sleep apnea and other undetermined factors at age 60.

Christine McVie

The Fleetwood Mac pianist, who died in November 2022 at the age of 79, won a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals at the 2023 ceremony for her work arranging Vince Mendoza’s “Songbird (Orchestral Version).”

Her former bandmate Mick Fleetwood later organized a memorial tribute during the live CBS broadcast. Fleetwood, Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt will sing a live rendition of “Songbird.”

“I think all of us are here representing Christine, what she meant as a person, in Fleetwood Mac, and of course what she meant personally to me and the band members,” Fleetwood told E! News on the red carpet in February 2023. “It’s an accolade in honor of a hugely talented, lovely, unsuspecting lady known as Christine McVie. … We’re really happy to be making a fuss out of her.”

Watch the video above to see more stars who received posthumous awards.

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