Heath Ledger Portrait Wins Australian Art Prize

INCO/ Fame Pictures

05/08/2008 AT 5:00 PM ET

A portrait of the late Heath Ledger won the people’s choice award at Australia’s Archibald Prize Exhibition on Thursday.

More than 32,000 people voted in the competition – considered one of Australia’s most prominent art prizes. The painting, called “Heath,” was created by Ledger’s friend, Vincent Fantauzzo, shortly before the actor’s death.

According to a spokesperson for the Art Gallery of NSW (where the prize was awarded), the Ledger family and the artist will donate the prize-winning piece – which features three images of Ledger – to the gallery.

Fantauzzo received a $2,500 and $1,000 gift certificate with his award.

The portrait was painted at Ledger’s Perth family home in December.

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