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Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay mourns sad loss of co-star following tough battle

The actress starred alongside Ned since they started the show over 20 years ago

Mariska Hargitay, star of Law & Order: SVU, has shared a devastating tribute to friend and co-star Ned Eisenberg, who died aged 65 on Sunday.

READ: Law and Order star Ned Eisenberg dies aged 65 - details

Mariska and Ned both first appeared in the hit US drama in 1999 and on Wednesday, the 58-year-old actress took to Instagram to share the news to her 2.4 million followers, along with a touching and heartfelt message remembering her colleague.

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"My heart is so full of sadness over the loss of our dear, dear Ned Eisenberg," she wrote, before adding: "What a light and what a love. And such a first-rate actor, which pales next to him as a first-rate human.

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"We will remember him always, with his bright mischievous smile and his open-wide heart. We love and miss you sweet Ned."

Mariska Hargitay's heartfelt post to her colleague Ned Eisenberg

Fans of the beloved actor flocked to offer their condolences on Mariska's post. One wrote: "He was truly an amazing actor on the show and forever will be missed." Another weighed in: "I love him so much in SVU. So sorry for your loss!"

Crediting Ned's wonderful talent, one fan commented: "Oh my! I loved him! I’ve watched him for so long, and he played his character so well, you’d never think he was the wonderful man you speak of here. Now THAT'S a great actor. So sorry for your loss. May his soul Rest In Peace."

Mariska also shared a close-up photo of Ned in her post.

Hollywood actress Viola Davis took to Twitter to share a tribute, she wrote: "RIP Ned Eisenberg!! Nice man and an awesome talent!! Condolences to your wife and son! Godspeed."

Ned passed over the weekend at his home in New York. His wife Patricia paid tribute to him before revealing he "bravely fought" his two cancer diagnoses.

In a statement to PEOPLE, she said: "As Ned would say, he was attacked by two very rare assassins — cholangiocarcinoma and ocular melanoma.

"Over the course of two years, he bravely fought the cancers in private while continuing to work in show business to ensure that his medical coverage paid for himself and his family."

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