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Heath Ledger struck me as a guy who had it all figured out when I met up with him at NYC’s Regency Hotel on November 11.

He was found dead today at the age of 28.

Nursing a cold and chewing gum, the Oscar nominee was there to talk about his film I’m Not There, in which he played Bob Dylan.

I asked him how he related to his role as a dad, considering there’s a – spoiler alert! – scene in which he leaves his child and his wife. (He announced his split from Michelle Williams, who is the mother of their 2-year-old daughter Matilda, in September.)

“The same as if I wasn’t a dad – no? OK,” he jokes before giving me a real answer. “I guess just like anyone in this industry, it’s a fairly gypsy-esque lifestyle and I can relate to struggling with keeping consistency with family life, social life and your professional life. It’s both an annoyance and an addiction. I could definitely relate to it.”

Heath livened up the movie talk when he caught my pal nodding off in the front row during the press conference. (He was really embarrassed when it wound up in the New York Post’s Page Six.)

“Wake up! I know I’m boring, but give me a break,” Heath says.

I saw Heath a few more times, and I remember thinking he’d make a good boyfriend. He seemed pretty stable, and protective of whomever he was with, such as Helena Christensen. He was always taking his dates out for fun nights on the town.

Sadly, he is gone. Rest in peace, Heath. You will be sorely missed.

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