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Film News: Oscar Winner Philip Seymour Hoffman Dies at 46

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NEW YORK CITY – Philip Seymour Hoffman, Best Actor Oscar Winner for ‘Capote,’ was found dead in his New York City apartment early Sunday morning. The 46-year-old Hoffman had struggled with heroin addiction, and police suspect an overdose, but the cause of his death is yet to be determined.

Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman in His Oscar Winning Role as ‘Capote’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Philip Seymour Hoffman was a consummate actor and performer, from the cult huckster Lancaster Dodd (“The Master”) to manic sound man Scotty J. (“Boogie Nights), through his Oscar winning portrayal of Truman Capote (“Capote”), Hoffman embraced his roles with a intuitive understanding that was second-to-none among his peers. He was almost unrecognizable as Oakland Athletics Manager Art Howe in “Moneyball,” but every scene he was in, the focus seemed all about him. He recently did a more mainstream role as Plutarch Heavensbee in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” and was in the midst of filming Part 2 at the time of his death.

Hoffman was born in Fairport, New York, in 1967. He worked in the Theater School in the New York State Summer School of the Arts in high school, and graduated with a BFA in drama in 1989 from New York University. After graduation, he went to his first rehab for drug and alcohol addiction, and had stayed clean until a relapse in May of 2013. His first role was as a defendant in a 1991 episode of TV’s “Law and Order.”

Hoffman made his reputation in film for playing idiosyncratic and particular character roles, on which he put his own distinct mark. He had become a stock player in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s films, besides doing “The Master” and “Boogie Nights” for Anderson, he also was in “Hard Eight,” “Magnolia” and “Punch-Drunk Love.” He cut his teeth in the mainstream with a memorable villain in “Mission Impossible III,” had a role in the cult classic “The Big Lebowski” and kept his independent film credibility in such films as “Love, LIza” (which he co-wrote with his sister), “Jack Goes Boating” (also directing), “The Savages” and “Synecdoche, New York.” He was nominated 54 times for various film awards, virtually sweeping every Best Actor honor for “Capote” in 2006.

Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman in ‘Owning Mahowny’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Philip Seymour Hoffman is survived by his longstanding partner, Mimi O’Donnell, and the couple had three children together.

The famously low-keyed actor did speak of his craft often, “To have that concentration to act well is like lugging things up staircases in your brain. I think that’s a thing people don’t understand. It is that exhausting. If you’re doing it well, if you’re concentrating the way you need to, if your will and your concentration and emotional and imagination and emotional life are all in tune, concentrated and working together in that role, that is just like lugging weights upstairs with your head..And I don’t think that should get any easier.”

Source material for this article came from Yahoo News, Wikipedia and imdb.com. Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Senior Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2014 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

Mr. Leland's picture

Goddamnit

What a bummer. So many great roles, especially Synecdoche, New York, a true masterpiece.

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