While accepting his award as outstanding male actor in a leading role – for There Will Be Blood
– Daniel Day-Lewis gave a moving tribute to Heath Ledger
, who was also honored in the annual "In Memoriam" montage.
Recalling several of Ledger's most iconic roles, Day-Lewis called the late actor an inspiration and "unique," before dedicating the trophy to Ledger.
"Of course, in Brokeback Mountain
he was unique," Day-Lewis said. "He was perfect. And that scene in the trailer at the end of the film is as moving as anything I have ever seen."
Asked backstage why he'd decided to dedicate the award to Ledger, he said, "I suppose that's all I've been thinking about for the last few days. I never met him. I thought he was beautiful. I just have a very strong feeling that I would have liked him very much as a man. ...I admired him very much." (See a list of the winners.
– Brian Orloff and Marla Lehner