Naomi Watts Pays Tribute to Her Late Ex-Boyfriend Heath Ledger on His 39th Birthday: ‘We Will Never Forget You’

Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger attend the 2002 GQ Men of the Year Awards in New York City.
Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger attend the 2002 GQ Men of the Year Awards in New York City. Kevin Mazur/WireImage

It’s been a decade since Heath Ledger died of an accidental drug overdose on January 22, 2008. Today, the actor, who passed away at age 28, is being celebrated on what would have been his 39th birthday. 

The Dark Knight star’s ex-girlfriend Naomi Watts remembered him with a sweet throwback photo from a 2004 red carpetin which they are holding hands.

“Happy birthday to this darling heart,” wrote the 49-year-old actress in her Wednesday, April 4, Instagram post. “We will never forget you . . . #heathledger #rip.” 

Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts attend the 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 22, 2004 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
Heath Ledger and Naomi Watts attend the 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 22, 2004 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

The former pair, who are both from Australia, dated between 2002 and 2004. “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,” she told More magazine in 2011. “He was a really very special soul and made a great impact on my life.”

Watts paid tribute to Ledger on the 10th anniversary of his death in January. “Thinking about this beautiful soul today,” she captioned a black and white photo of her former boyfriend. “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.”

Ledger went on to date Michelle Williams after they met on the set of 2005 Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain. They split in 2007, two years after the birth of their daughter,  Matilda, who is now 12.

Watts moved on with partner Liev Schreiber, but they announced they had ended their 11year relationship in September 2016. She and the Ray Donovan actor, 50, share sons Alexander, 10, and Samuel, 9.

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