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Heath Ledger's Death: 'Dark Knight' Actor Remembered 5 Years Later

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Heath Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on January 22, 2008.
Heath Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on January 22, 2008.

It's hard to believe that Heath Ledger died five years ago today, at age 28, having overdosed accidentally on a cocktail of prescription drugs in his apartment in Manhattan's SoHo.

The Australian talent had only reached the cusp of what looked to be a startlingly promising career, with breakthrough performances in "Brokeback Mountain" and "The Dark Knight." They were performances that compelled Daniel Day-Lewis to commemorate his life on Oprah and Christian Bale to break down onstage as recently as last year when remembering his co-star.

Ledger left behind daughter Matilda, now 7, with ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams, and a bevy of bittersweet memories. “I cut it for the one straight man who has ever liked short hair and I wear it in memorial of somebody who really loved it,” Williams explained in 2011 about her close-cropped hairdo, in reference to Ledger. And old flame Naomi Watts, who dated Ledger from 2002 to 2004, opened up a bit more: "He was a man who was completely full of joy, and there was a lot of laughing and affection," she told More magazine. "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. And it's a tragedy for his little daughter."

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