OBITUARIES

Oscar-Winning Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead at Age 46

by
February 2, 2014
Source: WSJ

Philip Seymour Hoffman

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.

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  • Chris Purdy
    a terrible loss.
  • Avi
    dammit! I will miss him! RIP buddy!
  • Neuromancer
    Way too soon, no words...
  • http://www.roamandthink.com/ Quanah
    Wow. I'm stunned. Another incredible actor gone from this world. Terrible news.
  • grimjob
    Unbelievable. I've watched him make a fantastic career for himself since I first saw him in The Getaway. Goddamn shame. RIP
    • son_et_lumiere
      it is hard to take in. an absolute firebrand on screen, you knew that in every single role he would deliver an outstanding performance. his heartbreaking role in Magnolia, the way he stole Charlie Wilson's War completely as soon as he came on, the barely suppressed rage beneath the manufactured surface in The Master, the genuinely nasty streak to his MI: 3 role, and on, and on. 46 - he had so much time to wow us again and again. no more. just awful. RIP.
  • Reznik
    This is insane.
  • BreakingChad
    RIP
  • Xerxexx
    Wow...this tragic...RIP. Hope its not drug related...but odds are.
  • ikkf
    This really sucks. R.I.P., Philip.
  • Quynh Truong
    true talented actor RIP Philip
  • Bo
    Man, I just don't get it. I just don't. I've been clean and sober for 29 yrs. now and know all about this addiction stuff. So did Hoffman. He'd been to rehab, exposed to what addiction is all about. Still, he's found with a needle still sticking in his arm and an bag of H. near-by. Why some of us 'get it' and stay sober and others don't still eludes me. I've seen this so many times in my 29 yrs. It's with a heavy heart when I say I don't understand it. I know the pain, I know the suffering. We all know where sticking a needle in your arm leads...yet here it is again. It just blows my mind. Such a talented and sensitive man and his demons finally took him down. It's just too heavy; him all alone in his bathroom with needle in arm. Too heavy! His war is over. Now his family has to recover and continue on. This is heavy, painful stuff and I hope others who are fighting their demons learn to make that phone call before you put the needle into your arm. It'll save you life.
    • DAVIDPD
      I acknowledge that every one is an individual. Addiction is something that manifests itself differently in everyone it affects. From what I have heard from recovering addicts, it takes hitting rock bottom to realize one's life is not better with drugs in it. Unfortunately, for Mr. Hoffman, bottoming out came at the cost of his own life.
      • Zichago
        I have struggled with Depression for many years now, and it certainly took 'rock bottom' to bring me back up. Not quite the same situation, but very similar. His family will hopefully get plenty of support. He was one of those actors/directors that defined a whole generation of talent.
  • Nash
    He was flawless. And I am speechless. What a tragedy.
  • Guy who comments on things
    Great actor.
  • Ehsan Davodi
    My stomach cringes ... My nerve collapses ... My eyes popping ... My breath takes away ... My fever getting high ... My soul dying ... My ears burning ... My comment sucking "Fuck the Luck"
  • DAVIDPD
    This is the first shocking death I have about in a while. I had no idea Hoffman had this bad of a drug problem. Such a talented actor.
    • son_et_lumiere
      likewise. i saw this on a few newsfeeds and was so shocked i just refused to believe it.
  • OfficialJab
    I'll remember him most from Capote and Red Dragon.
  • maytheforce
    Such sad news truly sad... What a talented man. If the alledged heroin overdose turns out to be true it would just show us one more time that it is so difficult to really know what goes on in someone's life. He had a family and was considered as one of the best actors out there but hey it just wasn't enough.
  • Nathan Williams
    This simply sucks plain and simple. I can't believe this. I refuse to and yet here it is. Prayers are with his family.
  • ali3000
    He's 46, yet looks much, much older. A great actor who let lethal drugs take over his life. What a shame.
  • cabo
    sad day, sad days ... RIP ...
  • Brian Sleider
    Massive bummer.
  • lars
    not again ,not again first Paul Walker, now this, and philip was truly one of the great actors of our generation. RIP.
  • Nielsen700
    Fucking sucks.
  • Simon Dark
    Before the Devil knows youre dead, my fav film of his, terrible news
  • Rock n Rollllll
    Heartbreaking news! Loved watching this guy's movies and his incredible acting ability. You will be missed.
  • avconsumer2
    Yeah, no good. Will miss his "all in" acting. Stupid heroin / depression. Everything in moderation folks. (though heroin in moderation is like running an Atlas rocket on 1/4 throttle I understand)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7YGEVuJ4mM Carpola
    He was a great actor, don't think he was bad in any of the films I saw him in, even if I didn't like the film, his acting was always on point.

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