( Contactmusic ) - Actor Wes Bentley has joined the band of Hollywood stars paying tribute to Heath Ledger after his tragic death last week.
The Brokeback Mountain star was found dead in his Manhattan apartment last week, with the cause of his unfortunate passing still to be established.
Family and friends recently held a memorial service for the 28-year-old actor and Hollywood greats have since paid tribute to the sad loss of a major acting talent.
American Beauty star Bentley, who co-starred with Ledger in 2002's Four Feathers, has described Ledger as "a vibrant man, a brave actor, a passionate father and a friend forever" in his public statement.
"Heath was an essential piece of my life," he wrote. "At one point we were as close as two people could get without being blood. That closeness came from sharing a similar, life-altering experience in life at a young age where very few could relate and those who could often were pre-occupied with competition."
Ledger had recently completed production as the Joker in Batman sequel The Dark Knight and had been in London filming Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus before returning to New York City.
In a piece for Newsweek, Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan - the last person to complete a movie with the actor - talked of the passion that fuelled Ledger's career.
"He once told me that he liked to wait between jobs until he was creatively hungry. Until he needed it again," Nolan wrote. "He brought that attitude to our set every day. There aren't many actors who can make you feel ashamed of how often you complain about doing the best job in the world. Heath was one of them."
He went on: "I would visualise the screening where we'd have to show him the finished film - sitting three or four rows behind him, watching the movements of his head for clues to what he was thinking about what we'd done with all that he'd given us.
"Now that screening will never be real. I see him every day in my edit suite. I study his face, his voice. And I miss him terribly."