Oscar-Winning Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead at Age 46
A shocking tragedy has struck this afternoon as actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Oscar-winning actor of Capote, was found dead in his New York City apartment. The actor was only 46 years old, and Wall Street Journal says a cause of death is likely a drug overdose. The actor was just seen at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival as the star of Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man and John Slattery's God's Pocket. In addition, Hoffman had just brought to life a pivotal character in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire last year. The actor also had several gestating projects that are now up in the air in the wake of the terrible news.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was originally defined as a "character actor", but few character actors had the charisma, screen presence and raw talent that he displayed in every single role. Whether it was early, minor work in Scent of a Woman, or his lead actor work in P.T. Anderon's The Master, Hoffman poured every bit of himself into each performance. From goofy, wild characters like Dusty in Twister to the intimidating bad guy Owen Davian in Mission: Impossible III. Hoffman was a treasure, giving definition to every character he played, no matter how small. Here's a 26-minute Q&A with Hoffman on his career and acting:
Hoffman's most impressive work came from the frequent collaborations with acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, including a breakthrough performance in Hard Eight in 1996, and memorable turns in Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love. But never was a Hoffman performance stale, no matter who the director or what kind of film. Whether it was the intense, sloppy Sandy Lyle in Along Came Polly in 2004, or pencil-pushing, cleancut characters like Brandt and Mitch in The Big Lebowski and Patch Adams, respectively, both films from 1998.
More recently, Hoffman's work truly showed why he was always destined to be more than a character actor with amazing performances in Doubt, Pirate Radio, The Savages, Charlie Wilson's War, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, The Ides of March, and his first turn as a director with Jack Goes Boating. Hoffman leaves behind a legacy that was cut short far too soon, and this is a loss that will resonate for years to come. The late actor was truly one of the best of his generation, and arguably the best working actor today. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family. Rest in peace.
Update: The early word from officials (via NY Times) is that Philip Seymour Hoffman was found with a needle in his arm at his apartment, hinting at a likely drug overdose. Stay tuned for more details.