Gone too soon. Michelle Williams, Lea Michele and more stars have opened up about dealing with their grief following unexpected deaths in their personal lives.
The Dawson’s Creek alum met Heath Ledger after they played husband and wife in Brokeback Mountain in 2004. The couple welcomed daughter Matilda the following year. Williams and Ledger called it quits in 2007, just months before the actor died of an accidental overdose at 28 years old.
Williams later reflected on dealing with the Australia native’s passing and how her daughter has kept her going.
“Every time I really miss him and wonder where he’s gone, I just look at her. I can talk about grief, because that’s mine, about single parenting, about trying to balance work and kids. But what I don’t have to talk about is what happened between Heath and me in our relationship,” she told Vogue in September 2009. “Brokeback Mountain was an unrepeatable moment in time, a very charmed time in my life. I was in love. I was in a movie I was proud to be a part of and with a beautiful, brand new baby. Everything was good in that moment.”
The Golden Globe winner also explained how Ledger’s death affected her. “Now, my life, our life, has a kind of repaired itself. [Ledger’s death has] changed how I see the world and how I interact on a daily basis,” she shared with the magazine in 2011. “It’s changed the parent I am. It’s changed the friend I am. It’s changed the kind of work that I really want to do. It’s become the lens through which I see life — that it’s all impermanent.”
Williams moved on with Phil Elverum when they secretly tied the knot in 2018 — calling it quits less than one year later. After working with Thomas Kail on Fosse/Verdon, the pair got engaged and welcomed son Hart in June 2020. The Montana native confirmed that she was expecting their second child in May 2022.
Michele, for her part, also formed a connection with costar Cory Monteith after they starred in Glee together. Following his tragic passing in 2013, the Scream Queens alum praised the time they got to spend with one another.
“We talked about a lot of things. We talked about children and what we would look like when we grew old, and who would be fat and how we would stay thin,” she told Glamour UK in 2014. “We talked about where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. We were done. We were it.”
The Broadway star added: “When you’re at that place in your life with someone, you talk about everything. But today I feel like I was given the best part of Cory, and I’m thankful for that.”
The New Jersey native moved on with Zandy Reich. They announced their engagement in 2018 and exchanged vows one year later. The duo’s first child, son Ever, was born in August 2020.
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