It seems inconceivable, but Phillip Seymour Hoffman is gone. One of America’s finest actors for over 20 years, Hoffman was found today by police deceased in his apartment. No official cause of death has been given, but the immediate assumption given Hoffman’s revelation that he was battling heroin addiction last year is that his death is in some way related to that most vicious of drugs. Below is the official obituary from Variety, brief because this literally happened within the last two hours:
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment on Sunday. He was 46.
Law enforcement officials said Hoffman died at his apartment in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. No cause of death has been determined but officials suspect the actor may have overdosed on drugs. The New York Post reported the actor was found with a needle in his arm.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the actor was found in his bathroom around 11:15 a.m. by a screenwriter, who called 911, the official said.
He was also shooting the “Hunger Games” follow-ups “Mockingjay Part 1″ and “Part 2″ in Atlanta, reprising his role as Plutarch Heavensbee from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Hoffman was only 46. He was a peerless actor and an absolute chameleon on the screen, able to portray characters as varied as Truman Capote and…well anyone who isn’t Truman Capote. He joined the star-studded ensemble adapting The Hunger Games novels with Catching Fire and his character, Plutarch Heavensbee, has a significant role in the series two-part finale: Mockingjay. Shooting is still very much ongoing for those films and given how early this is, there’s no word on how much of his role was shot, but unless most of his scenes were already complete, it would seem the role would have to recast. It’s a very small concern on a day when we’re still comprehending that there will be no more new performances from Hoffman, but it’s a practical one that people are out there considering.
For only being 46, Hoffman made or was in the process of making 63 films in his career. He started making films when he was 24, so that’s roughly three a year for the 22 years of his film career. I’m very saddened by this. Another brilliant career has been shortened by drugs. My favorite Hoffman performance was as the jaded rock journalist Lester Bangs in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous. As a way of closing this obit, so early after his passing, these were my favorite ten Hoffman films in no particular order: Almost Famous, Doubt, Scent of a Woman, Magnolia, Capote, The Big Lebowski, Charlie Wilson’s War, MIssion Impossible III, The Ides of March and Moneyball.