Naomi Watts Pays Tribute to Heath Ledger on 10th Anniversary of His Death

Naomi Watts posted a heartbreaking tribute to Heath Ledger, her ex-boyfriend, on the ten-year anniversary of his death.

Ledger passed away on Jan. 22, 2008. On Monday, Watts posted a loving tribute to Ledger, whom she dated from 2002 to 2004, on Instagram.

"Thinking about this beautiful soul today. 10 years ago he left this world. He was a true original. Heart always on his sleeve, with the most powerful charisma, strength, humor and talent. I will never forget his gentle spirit," Watts wrote.

She spoke about Ledger in an interview with More Magazine in 2011.

"We had a beautiful relationship, only a couple of years, but he was a man who was completely full of joy, and there was a lot of laughing and affection," Watts said. "He was really a very special soul and made a great impact on my life. And a great actor, but I know there was so much more to come."

Ledger's death came as a shock to the entertainment industry, who saw the then 28-year-old actor as a genius on the rise. The cause of his death was ruled to be cardiac arrest brought on by prescription drug use.

Ten years after his passing, Ledger continues to have a profound effect on Hollywood and the people he worked with. His penultimate performance on film as The Joker in The Dark Knight earned him the first posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor every given out.

Jake Gyllenhaal has said that his time with Ledger on the set of Brokeback Mountain shaped his career as an actor.

"I think losing Heath and being a part of a family that was something like the movie, the movie we all made together, makes you see that, makes you appreciate that and hopefully moves you away from the things that really don't matter to the things that do," he told NPR in 2015.

"I'm trying to have relationships that are as real as they possibly can be on a movie set, be close to people because I know that it's precious," Gyllenhaal added.

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Fans spent the anniversary of Ledger's death commemorating the actor's life and art on social media, with their favorite clips from his films and poignant moments from his interviews.