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R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)

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by Kevin Jagernauth
February 2, 2014 2:18 PM
24 Comments
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Philip Seymour Hoffman

It's hard to know where to start with Philip Seymour Hoffman — the plethora of filmmakers he worked with? The countless accolades and acclaim that came his way? His indescribable abilities? — but he was one of acting's greatest talents, and he's sadly passed away today at the far too young age of 46.

A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Hoffman made his way to the stage — where he continued to return routinely both as actor and director — but it was on the big screen where he would make his mark. Breaking out in "Scent Of A Woman," Hoffman soon came to the attention of top tier filmmakers who would tap his enormous breadth of skill, which found him easily bouncing between the comic and dramatic (often landing in the middle) with great ease, and refusing to be pigeonholed.

He was a regular collaborator with Paul Thomas Anderson, featuring in five of the director's seven films to date. And the roster of filmmakers who dialed him up, and the resulting work, speaks for itself: Sidney Lumet ("Before The Devil Knows You're Dead"), Bennett Miller ("Moneyball," "Capote"), Charlie Kaufman ("Synecdoche, New York"), Anthony Minghella ("Cold Mountain," "The Talented Mr. Ripley"), Spike Lee ("25th Hour"), Mike Nichols ("Charlie Wilson's War"), George Clooney ("Ides Of March"), the Coen Brothers ("The Big Lebowski"), Todd Solondz ("Happiness") and so much more. And Hoffman also dipped his toes in blockbuster fare from time to time, appearing in "Mission: Impossible III" and, more recently, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (that status of his role, which would've found him appearing in the "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay" sequels, is unclear for now).

Upcoming, Hoffman was slated to step into the world of television with "Happyish" on Showtime co-starring Kathryn Hahn, and had recently landed Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams (a frequent co-star and friend) for his next directorial effort "Ezekiel Moss." The actor had also appeared in two recently completed films that premiered at Sundance: "A Most Wanted Man" (review here) and "God's Pocket" (review here).

Hoffman was nominated four times for an Oscar, winning his first time out for Best Actor for "Capote" (for which he also won a Golden Globe). In his private life, he was married with three children, and had dealt with drug and alcohol addiction shortly after he finished school. Last year, it was widely reported he had relapsed, prompting another visit to rehab. The NYPost is reporting that Hoffman has died of an overdose.

Hoffman's death is a devastating loss to the film community and theater world. There is no understating Hoffman's immense abilities, and his importance to his colleagues and friends. Our thoughts are with his family.

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24 Comments

  • David Hollingsworth | February 3, 2014 7:35 PMReply

    Film history lost a truly remarkable man.

    It's like another brilliant person I'll never get to meet, and that makes me so angry, but at least he left behind of a very unparalleled legacy.

    He will forever remain one of our truly finest actors.

  • Glass | February 3, 2014 9:53 AMReply

    The clip of him winning at the Oscars is so touching. It's great to see how much impact his work had, and he was a true living legend. And he's not even the kind of acting legend you'd expect - he wasn't like a Brando or a Bogart type. He was an amazingly sympathetic, normal-looking dude, who connected with us all.

    I'm still thrown off by his death. It's so sad.

  • jingmei | February 3, 2014 7:48 AMReply

    Extremely sad. One the greatest talented actor, a humble man. We will never get the chance of your works. R.I.P. Mr. Hoffman.

  • Warren | February 3, 2014 6:59 AMReply

    RIP - great character actor, to beat out the calibre of actors to that Oscar says so much about his abilities.

  • Sean | February 3, 2014 3:10 AMReply

    RIP FOREVER MR. PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN.

    The art world has lost 1 of the absolute greatest to ever live. There is no doubt he is 1 of the best actors that ever walked the Earth.

    U will be forever missed. And never forgotten.
    My condolences to your family & friends.

    Today is a sad sad sad day for all of us fans.
    One of my personal favorite actors I have ever seen.... :'(

    Thank you for everything

  • Kathy | February 3, 2014 12:05 AMReply

    A decent and very creative man with a family of 3 beautiful children has died. Get over yourselves peple.

    "...performances he still had in him..." sheesh!

  • MicoY | February 2, 2014 9:00 PMReply

    NOOOOOOOOOO................

  • Reverse Reverend | February 2, 2014 6:24 PMReply

    Just think how Phil was blessed with such an amazing talent. Can you imagine having a child that gifted? And to think about his own children now without a father.

    RIP.

  • josh | February 2, 2014 5:37 PMReply

    I actually gasped when I saw the news, unquestionably one of the greatest actors to have ever lived in my opinion. Such a brilliant actor of enormous charisma and versatility, it really hurts now to watch those wonderful clips of him at the peak of his abilities. To think of all the performances he still had in him that we'll never see now really makes me sad. RIP Sir.

  • Connor | February 2, 2014 5:12 PMReply

    Will miss him forever cinema will never be the same again.

  • droop | February 2, 2014 3:58 PMReply

    more noteworthy than his golden globe win was the sag award, rewarded to him by his peers, that he won for the same performance.

  • KEVIN | February 2, 2014 3:40 PMReply

    One of my favorite actors. It's difficult to fathom a world without his talent. R.I.P.

  • ben | February 2, 2014 3:27 PMReply

    RIP - You truly were THE MASTER

  • Jimmiescoffee | February 2, 2014 3:18 PMReply

    Stunned and very sad. Synecdoche ny > Super Bowl.

    Love you Phil Parma. You'll be missed.

  • hg | February 2, 2014 3:03 PMReply

    he probably fell off the wagon

    he had past heroine addiction

  • JJ | February 2, 2014 3:00 PMReply

    One of the best actors there was. Always loved him.

  • RIP PHIL | February 2, 2014 2:44 PMReply

    We lost Heath Ledger.
    We lost Cory Monteith.
    We lost Paul Walker.
    We lost Philip Seymour Hoffman.
    But at least we still have Bieber.

  • Glass | February 3, 2014 9:46 AM

    @Heather - Trying not to sound pretentious here, but great acting involves living in the borderlands of human behavior. You live an emotionally intense life, because you need to stay sensitized to everything (suffering included). It's a tough way to live. You can't just shut off and let the work day go by, then watch some TV and fall asleep.

    To some, it's too much to bear, and drugs are seen as a solution to that intense experience. They're not dumb people (well some are), they're just suffering.

  • Heather | February 2, 2014 5:24 PM

    Of the 4, 3 died from drug overdose. Like jesus man, what's with actors and drugs? Are drugs like the secret to talent? Come on. Who else are heroine/prescription drug addicts? They need to be keep an eye on.

    If bieber ever dies, can't imagine the number if teen/pre-teen girls flipping out. Hope that doesn't happen.

  • Mass | February 2, 2014 2:44 PMReply

    God****it Phil, you selfish son of a bi***. You had all the money in the world, three children, and a fu***** wife, and you decided to throw it all away for a god**** what? I'm going to miss you, the enter cinema screen is going to miss you. One of the best actors to ever exist, and that's not the over-exaggerated flattery of someone saddened by your death, but that's the absolute truth that I've preached for years. The "I'm an Idiot" scene from Boogie Nights is not only one of my favorite scenes from you, but it is also entirely relevant right here.

  • Joao | February 2, 2014 2:35 PMReply

    I can't believe it... How sad.

  • Ella | February 2, 2014 2:25 PMReply

    I'm in total shock!!! One of the greatest, one of my absolute favorites... :( Christ, I feel awful for his young family.

    RIP

  • bohmer | February 2, 2014 2:22 PMReply

    awful awful news...

  • Dale | February 2, 2014 2:21 PMReply

    Genuinely devastated. I felt like brick had hit me in the chest the second I heard. I've only recently re-watched Magnolia. What a stunning, talented and brilliant actor.

    R.I.P.

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