Academy Award winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found dead in his apartment. The New York Post reports the actor was found with a needle in his arm. He was
Hoffman, who won and Oscar for his portrayal of Truman Capote in the 2005 film Capote, had been sober for 23 years before relapsing on prescription pain medication in 2012. After a week of snorting heroin, he checked into rehab.
Not a traditional leading man, the pale and plump Hoffman was a thinking person’ sex symbol: Smart, talented, and sensitive he brought intelligence and naturalism to his roles. Along with his Oscar win for Capote, he was nominated for three Supporting Actor Oscars (Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, and The Master, and three Tony nominations (two for Best Leading Actor in True West and Death of a Salesman, and one for Best Featured Actor in Long Day’s Journey into Night). His role as Truman Capote during the writing of In Cold Blood also won him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, as well Best Actor by at least ten film critic associations, including the National Board of Review, Toronto Film Critics, and Los Angeles Film Critics.
As a theatrical director, Hoffman received two Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Director of a Play: one for Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train in 2001; another for Our Lady of 121st Street in 2003
Hoffman’s first acting role was as a defendant on the original Law & Order, 23 years ago. From there he began to score roles in feature films, eventually working with directors Todd Solondz, the Coen Brothers, Spike Lee, Cameron Crowe, David Mamet, Robert Benton, Anthony Minghella and Paul Thomas Anderson. Anderson directed Hoffman in five of six of his films, including his most recent The Master, where Hoffman played a fictionalized version of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, opposite Joaquin Phoenix.
The characters he played were always slightly off-kilter, and Hoffman brought complex layers and nuances to the performances making even the most evil villain have subtle vulnerabilities.
Two films starring Hoffman premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival: the espionage thriller A Most Wanted Man, directed by Anton Corbijn, and God’s Pocket, the directorial debut of John Slattery.
Hoffman, who recently appeared as Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire had been shooting The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 and was in post-production for the Showtime series Happyish at the time of his death. My favorite roles: the murderous sibling in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, the hospice nurse in Magnolia, the CIA operative in Charlie Wilson’s War, and Freddy Miles in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
He was found on the his bathroom floor by his personal assistant in Greenwich Village apartment he had rented just a few blocks from the multi-million dollar apartment he shared with his longtime companion costume designer Mimi O’Donnell and their three children.
Photo: George Biard, via Wikipedia, Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Paris premiere of “The Ides of March”