Tragic news this morning. World-class and award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has passed away at age 46. While the New York Police Department and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner have yet to determine the cause of death, Mr. Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment this morning. An unnamed friend called 911 after he found the actor dead in his bathroom, allegedly from an apparent drug overdose, as reported by the New York Times.
Hoffman had recently boosted his career with an appearance as Capitol Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in last year’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Hoffman was in the middle of shooting the next sequel Mockingjay – Part One at the time of his death, so it’s unclear if he has finished shooting the film or if he would be replaced with another actor. It’s most likely that he would be replaced considering the current length of production and the size of the role. Hoffman replaced actor Wes Bentley, who played the original Gamemaker Seneca Crane in the first Hunger Games movie.
Hoffman brought a certain weight and gravitas to The Hunger Games film franchise that wasn’t apparent in the first film in the series. He did what a great actor is supposed to do: he elevated the material and everyone’s performance. Until Catching Fire, you really couldn’t take the film series as something serious, but with Hoffman’s addition — along with Jenna Malone and Jeffery Wright — audiences and critics can now see The Hunger Games as more than just another young adult film franchise.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's house is a circus pic.twitter.com/VpS52PvGxa
— Alison Fox (@AlisonFox) February 2, 2014
In 2005, Hoffman won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Truman Capote in the film Capote for director Bennett Miller. It was his only Oscar, but Hoffman was nominated for three Academy Awards for acting for the film Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. He was also a constant collaborator with Anderson, appearing in a majority of his films including Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, and Hard Eight. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s breakthrough performance came in 1997 appearing in Paul Thomas Anderson’s film Boogie Nights.
On a personal note, I was a big fan of Philip Seymour Hoffman. He brought a lot of charisma and screen presence to any movie he was in, whether it be a small role such as in Todd Solondz’s Happiness, the Coen Bros’ The Big Lebowski, or as Dustin “Dusty” Davis in the action film Twister, or a leading role in movies like Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York, George Clooney’s The Ides of March, Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous. Hollywood movies were always better with Philip Seymour Hoffman in them, so he will be greatly missed. Hoffman dabbled in film directing with the movie Jack Goes Boating in 2010, while he was also accomplished in theater as a Tony Award-nominated actor in the productions of True West, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and Death of a Salesman.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is survived by his longtime partner Mimi O’Donnell and his three children, Cooper Alexander, Tallulah, and Willa.