Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in Manhattan Apartment

Published 1 year ago by , Updated February 24th, 2014 at 11:27 am,

philip seymour hoffman as capote Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in Manhattan Apartment

Celebrated actor, producer and director Philip Seymour Hoffman, known for his Oscar-winning performance in Capote and most recently as Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, has been found dead in his Manhattan apartment, according to WSJ. He was 46 years old.

The early reports, from sites such as the NY Post, suggest that Mr. Hoffman died of a possible heroin overdose, and was found in his bathroom with a syringe in his arm. Hoffman had battled addiction throughout his life and career, and sadly had checked himself into rehab in 2012 for ten days. He apparently relapsed again in May 2013. This is a sad end to a brilliant career of one of the most natural, magnetic actors of his generation.

This tragic news may complicate the filming of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, which was still filming at the time of his passing. The first part of The Hunger Games finale has completed principal photography.

His family has released the following statement (via Miles Doran of CBS):

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone. This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.

“The family will not be making any further statements at this time.”

Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in Fairport, New York on July 23, 1967 to Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a former Xerox executive and Marilyn O’Connor, a family court judge and civil rights activist. His parents divorced when he was nine. Hoffman studied theater from a young age, attending the 1984 Theater School at the New York State Summer School of the Arts, and continuing theater studies with acting teacher Alan Langdon after graduating high school.

Woody Harrelson and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in The Hunger Games Catching Fire Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in Manhattan Apartment

While at NYU, where he received a BFA in Drama, he founded the Bullstoi Ensemble theater company with actor Steven Schlub and Capote director Bennett Miller. He first appeared in a Law & Order episode in 1991, followed by a string of indie film roles. His big breakthrough came with his role in the 1992 film Scent of a Woman, where he turned heads as Chris O’Donnell’s shady roommate. This led to a batch of higher profile film roles, such as The Getaway with Alec Baldwin and Nobody’s Fool, which starred Paul Newman.

He appeared in a number of mainstream blockbusters, such as his role as the villain in Mission:Impossible III, and alternated those with tougher roles such as the suspicious priest in Doubt (for which he received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor), a duplicitous political adviser in George Clooney’s The Ides of March, and Oakland A’s manager Art Howe in Bennett Miller’s Moneyball. He also wrote and directed 2010′s Jack Goes Boating and will be remembered for so many other roles, from The Big LebowskiCharlie Wilson’s War, and Pirate Radio to his epic turn in Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York.

In 1996, he appeared in Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film Hard Eight, and would go on to appear in nearly every film by Anderson. His supporting role as love-struck Scotty in Boogie Nights nearly stole the show from Mark Wahlberg’s Dirk Diggler; his sympathetic male nurse attending the dying Jason Robards in Magnolia was the kind heart of that movie; and he played the memorably blow-dried villain in Punch-Drunk Love. 

The Master Review 2012 Starring Joaquin Phoenix Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in Manhattan Apartment

His final role with Anderson, however, might be his most iconic. In 2012′s The Master, Hoffman delivered a precise, fascinating portrayal of Lancaster Dodd, the leader of a religious movement called “The Cause,” based loosely on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. As he attempts to help – or exploit? – the deeply troubled World War II veteran Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), Dodd is simultaneously attracted to and repelled by the untamed Freddie. But does Dodd really possess deeper wisdom or is he a complete charlatan? Hoffman’s quiet, knowing performance keeps you guessing.

Hoffman was never anything less than solid, and when he truly disappeared into a role – such as his Oscar-winning performance as Truman Capote – you understood that this was a truly brilliant actor at work. He never stopped working on the stage and earned Tony nominations for the 2000 revival of San Shepard’s “True West,” as well as a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” He was also the Co-Artistic Director for the LAByrinth Theater Company in New York, directing “In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings,” “Jesus Hopped the A Train,” and “Our Lady of 121st Street.”

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s magnificent career should not be overshadowed by his problems with drugs and alcohol. He was a dedicated actor and is survived by his son Cooper Alexander and two daughters, Tallulah and Willa, born to Hoffman and costume designer Mimi O’Donnell, with whom he had a longstanding relationship.

We here at Screen Rant would like to express our deepest condolences to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s friends and family, and ask that his fans keep them in their prayers.


R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman, July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014.

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
TAGS: Obituaries
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  1. One of my favorite actors of all time… so sad. Don’t give a frack about hungry games, though.

  2. I was very surprised to hear this. I was actually shocked. I didn’t know that he had a drug problem.

    He was an extremely talented actor who did some great work.

    I’m sorry to hear of his struggles with this addiction and I’m sorry that he has passed away.

    My condolences to his family and to his friends. He will be missed.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Hoffman.

  3. This article overlooked his most important achievement – coining the word “shart” in Along Came Polly. RIP.

  4. Very sad. He was truly one of the great actors.

  5. This is truly sad. We have lost yet another great actor due to apparent drug addiction :(

  6. RIP at 46 years young.
    He was a great actor. His body of work will live on forever.

  7. Philip Seymour Hoffman is arguably the most natural talent in cinema. Such an unfortunate loss. My condolences to his friends and family. And if you’re more concerned about the future of the Hunger Games than the well-being of his loved ones you really need to reevaluate your life.

    • I too have no interest in Hunger Games. On the other hand, Hoffman himself might well wish to end his career on a complete performance, and as a friend or colleague of his I would be invested in this issue (as an admittedly secondary concern). The loss of Heath ledger was tragic as well, but the completeness and quality of the Dark Knight was an uplifting element of the way his career concluded. It wasn’t his last film, but it released on the heels of his death. I hope Hoffman’s last works are reasonably complete and something to be proud of, as opposed to being deleted or recast. There’s little left that seems significant to fans in the wake of his death beyond how he may leave behind his artistic projects. Yeah, I care more about his life and family than his unfinished work, but even they would probably consider the value of the work as significant.

  8. Nice write-up, Anthony.

  9. although I wasn’t a fan of his ( He creeped me out) It’s still sad that another good actor has passed from (apparently) drugs. Not the first to go from drugs…won’t be the last unfortunately.

    • Fair point, and I know what you mean. I once found him exclusively creepy, which is arguably nothing short of a compliment as that was the intent of his portrayals. I was surprised to see how sympathetic he was in magnolia and Charlie Wilson’s War, and then a scary bastard again in MI3. It took a decade or two to realize it, but I am a big fan of Mr. Hoffman

  10. Big loss. I found him easy to hate in his early roles, but eventually realized that he was a powerful and deeply charismatic actor. I went from comfortably disliking his creepiness to seeking out his films and relishing his roles. From Scent of a Woman to Talented Mr. ripely to red dragon, his contributions often outshined the films they appeared in. Trying not to dwell on the negative here, but losing this man’s unique ingredient is a major disappointment. He’ll be missed.

  11. shocked to hear this news :(

    Rest in peace Hoffman.

  12. Dunno why so many talents in Hollywood go this way. Its sad. Stop doing drugs and start living. Face lives problems and challenges and stop being a baby!! Someone should tell them this on a public platform to embarass them forever, cause this is just silly. Maybe it is a culture but it should stop.

  13. Jesus this sucks, Rest In Peace, Philip Seymour Hoffman. This is really sad and very unexpected… Although I’m personally not a fan of The Hunger Games movies, I might see Catching Fire just to honor him, and I hope the studio can figure something out in the meantime…

  14. No sympathy for drug addicts. Only police officers and fire fighters deserve more recognition for their heroism not a mediocre actor who couldn’t clean his s***.

  15. “I think i know how do do this play. Die.”
    All i though of when i heard this saddening news, R.I.P.

  16. Great Actor. I wonder what made him do hard drugs? Why do smart people how have money even bother to try drugs. If you really need to “escape” just smoke some pot or toss a couple of drinks back and relax.

    I don’t get it.