Naomi Watts and Busy Philipps pay tribute to Heath Ledger on 10th anniversary of his death

Taryn Ryder
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger in October 2002 during the Hollywood Film Festival’s Hollywood Movie Awards. (Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since Heath Ledger died. The Dark Knight star’s death of an accidental overdose in 2008 rocked Hollywood and those close to him.

Naomi Watts — who dated her fellow Australian actor for two years — posted a tribute to Ledger on Instagram. “Thinking about this beautiful soul today,” she wrote. “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.”

Naomi Watts posts tribute to Heath Ledger. (Photo: Naomi Watts via Instagram)

Josh Brolin commented on the photo, “Hear! Hear! The little time that I spent with him was present, mischievous, lovely and true. I still feel the loss of such a unique, sensitive soul.” Reese Witherspoon also gave the photo a double tap.

Watts also shared some personal photos on her Instagram Story.

Naomi Watts shares photos of Heath Ledger. (Photo: Naomi Watts via Instagram)
More photos of Heath Ledger. (Photo: Naomi Watts via Instagram)

Ledger and Watts split in 2004. He went on to date his Brokeback Mountain co-star, Michelle Williams. They had one child, Matilda, now 12.

Williams’s BFF, Busy Philipps, was also close with Ledger. She posted an emotional Instagram Story reminiscing about the actor while listening to MGMT’s “Time to Pretend.”

“I was just driving and I was thinking about my friend, Heath, who died 10-years ago and this song came on, ‘Time to Pretend,'” she says in a series of clips. “It came out after he had passed away and I remember when it came out because I thought — it made me think of him. I just thought he would have liked this song, you know? For some reason, every time I hear this song — and I was just — it’s weird. That’s all.”

The actor’s older sister, Kate Ledger, spoke to Who magazine, saying her brother is “very much alive in our house.”

“We keep in constant contact with Michelle and Matilda and visit frequently,” Kate shared. “[Matilda] is an amazing girl and a source of delight to us all.”

Kate’s own children were young when their uncle died, but she says she talks about Heath with them frequently. “Heath is hugely important in the lives of my children,” she explained. “There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t share stories or talk about him.”

The actor was 28 years old when he died.

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