Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment this morning of an apparent heroin overdose. He was 46.
Despite an unconventional appearance, Hoffman managed to become an A-list Hollywood actor. Hoffman won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of author Truman Capote in the 2005 film Capote. He was thrice nominated for a Best Supporting Actor in Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt and The Master in 2007, 2008 and 2012, respectively. Hoffman also had roles in films such as Scent of a Woman, Boogie Nights, Patch Adams, The Big Lebowski. Hoffman also performed on the Broadway stage and received Tony nominations for revivals of True West, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Death of a Salesman. His most recent film appearance was in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and will appear The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part One and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part Two which are to be released in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
In addition to playing Capote, Hoffman also portrayed the likes of rock critic Lester Bangs in Almost Famous and former Oakland A’s manager Art Howe in Moneyball. My favorite Hoffman role was his portrayal of a DJ in the 2009 film Pirate Radio (released as The Boat That Rocked in the U.K.) which co-starred Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson and January Jones. I loved that film for both Hoffman’s performance and the wall to wall 60’s music even though critics on both sides of the Atlantic hated it.
Hoffman had a long history of substance abuse and did a stint in rehab last year. Last month, Hoffman was at the Sundance Film Festival when he was approached by Fox News Jesse Watters. What struck me wasn’t that Hoffman wouldn’t answer Watters’ question about President Obama, but by how terrible he looked. Sadly, his gifts could not overcome his demons.