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Philip Seymour Hoffman Dies
He was 46

03 February 2014  |  Written by James White  

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Philip Seymour Hoffman Dies, Philip Seymour Hoffman InThe Master

“I didn't have any idea that I would be able to have a career in film,” Philip Seymour Hoffman once said. And yet that's exactly what this most brilliant and versatile of actors enjoyed, which makes it even harder to report that he has died at the age of 46.

Born in Rochester, New York, Hoffman was exposed to acting early in his life by his mother, a lawyer who enjoyed taking her son to local theatrical productions. Though he was more into athletics originally than acting, the bug bit after he was sidelined by a wrestling injury in his teens and he attended the New York State Summer School Of The Arts before continuing his education at New York University.

During his university studies, he founded the Bullstoi Ensemble alongside actor Steven Schub and director Bennett Miller, the latter of whom would go on to have a profound effect on his career.

Theatrical work became his passion, but in 1991 he got his first TV role in, like so many New York performers, a Law & Order episode. He won a few film roles, but his big breakthrough was 1992’s Scent Of A Woman. From there, he built a career from a wide variety of movies, including When A Man Loves A Woman, Nobody’s Fool, The Talented Mr. Ripley, 25th Hour and State And Main.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

More than one writer/director saw what he could do, and he worked with some of the best, including multiple stints with Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coen brothers and Anthony Minghella. He was nominated for several Oscars, and his old friend Bennett Miller directed him to a win for Best Actor for the title role in 2005’s Capote (above). Adept at comedy and drama, Hoffman played real people with conviction, portraying the likes of Lester Bangs in Almost Famous. He has some work still to be seen, including Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man, Sundance indie God’s Pocket and his return to the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Part 1 and Part 2.

Through his career, he battled doubts and depression, even as he won plaudits for his performances and directing. “Acting is so difficult for me that, unless the work is of a certain stature in my mind, unless I reach the expectations I have of myself, I'm unhappy,” he once said. "Then it's a miserable existence. I'm putting a piece of myself out there. If it doesn't do anything, I feel so ashamed. I'm afraid I'll be the kind of actor who thought he would make a difference and didn't. Right now, though, I feel like I made a little bit of difference.” You did, sir. You did.

He is survived by his long-term partner, costume designer Mimi O'Donnell, and their three children.

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Your Comments

RE: So tragic...
such an incredibly talented actor More

Posted by Mukeshkumar at 15:55 on 09 February 2014 | Report This Post

So tragic...
Difficult to comprehend his passing in this way. An immensely talented actor and seemed like such a nice bloke off screeen too. His work and memory will be treasured. More

Posted by mrjingles75 at 09:05 on 05 February 2014 | Report This Post

Dead? Oh jeez...
One of the great actors of his generation. A true artist who elevated his profession. More

Posted by RyanShanks at 15:02 on 04 February 2014 | Report This Post

Thanks Empire
I just want to remark that this is the only article I've read today that endeavored to celebrate his work rather than dwell on the circumstances of his tragic demise. In no way is that any of our business and it's tragic that the mainstream media seem to think it necessary to give everyone insight into the "full story". In the end, neither will we ever know what was on Hoffmans mind, nor should we care. This article to me seems to be the right way to approach a tragedy such as this. W More

Posted by Gumba23 at 23:33 on 03 February 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Sorry, but talented and selfish!
PSH's death is the worst I've felt following the death of an actor. He is my favourite actor by a mile hence my username. He is a truly outstanding actor and will be sorely missed on our screens. R.I.P! More

Posted by no1psh at 20:06 on 03 February 2014 | Report This Post

Sorry, but talented and selfish!
I really feel for this guys partner and kids, and how little he must have thought of them the moment he decided to 'shoot up'. He was such an incredibly talented actor, and yet with all that came with that recognition he still used drugs after 20 years clean. One has to ask WHY?? He could have afforded treatment at any time and would have got the support of the world but chose not too. He ow leaves 3 kids without their dad and a partner who has to explain why they will never see dad ag More

Posted by spamfiend at 19:27 on 03 February 2014 | Report This Post

All time great actor. Even when he had small roles he stole the show , such as Cold Mounatin and Punch Drunk Love. I was a massive fan. RIP. More

Posted by burtbondy at 17:48 on 03 February 2014 | Report This Post

Such a shame. Had that rare talen of being good even if he was in a bad movie. RIP More

Posted by LustForLeith at 12:39 on 03 February 2014 | Report This Post

Has really knocked me sideways this news, an absolute legend who has left us too soon. Never put a foot wrong even in a slightly iffy film, but produced performances of such depth and range, and manged to reach both the depths and heights of humanity. I have just been reading the tributes on BBC News. Like Steve Corgan said he raised the bar. Next thing I am doing is buying a range of papers with tributes and after that going stick on a couple of his films, only have Happiness and T More

Posted by ElephantBoy at 12:36 on 03 February 2014 | Report This Post

He was an incredible actor and dominated the screen. My thoughts to his family and friends............ More

Posted by Beaulieu at 07:01 on 03 February 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Philip Seymour Hoffman Dies
A proper actor amid the Hollywood 'stars'. Really shocking and sad news! More

Posted by Plodwyn at 02:41 on 03 February 2014 | Report This Post

a true talent
So sorry to here this absolutley loved him in mission impossible 3. More

Posted by mcgee at 23:35 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Philip Seymour Hoffman Dies
I'm shocked. This is so tragic and unexpected. He was phenomenally good in everything he was in. Very sad and too young. RIP More

Posted by Workshed at 23:22 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

RE: The one exception...
This is awful news. One of the very best actors in the world and he still had so much to offer. An amazing screen presence who could bring out huge emotions with a single glance, an extremely talented man. RIP. More

Posted by Coyleone at 22:17 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

RE: The one exception...
RIP Hoff! More

Posted by WolfofWallStreet at 21:51 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

RE: The one exception...
We've lost one of the great actors of our time, and we've lost him far too soon. RIP. More

Posted by cactusjon at 20:57 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

The one exception...
...where the title "genius" can truly be applied. RIP my friend, you will not be forgotten x More

Posted by The Watcher at 20:27 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

Horrible news, he was truly on of the greatest actors of this time.. More

Posted by Chronicle at 20:22 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

What a tragic, tragic loss. Massive condolences to his family. The film world will be worse off without him. Can not believe it. RIP. More

Posted by coomi77 at 20:18 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

what aloss
What a loss for anny movielover,for anny moviemaker,for his family! May he keep entertaining the world for centuries with his fantastic filmography,may he find the peace that escaped him in life! My suport to his family,friends an fans all over the world,you will be missed! More

Posted by peredebeeste at 19:59 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Hideous news
This has knocked me for six. He's one of my favourite screen actors and he came across well off -screen as well. The silver screen will be the poorer for him not being there. RIP. More

Posted by Filmfan 2 at 19:40 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Hideous news
Bloody hell, this is shocking news, unbelievable. More

Posted by Scruffybobby at 19:37 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

Hideous news
The last Philip Seymour Hoffman performance I saw was in PT Anderson's The Master. Watching PSH felt like a privilege on its own. Far, far too young. More

Posted by bleugh07 at 19:29 on 02 February 2014 | Report This Post

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