Philip Seymour Hoffman lured his stage and camera audiences with an intense hollowness, an upfront sensitivity veiled in the subtle, or perhaps the bold. He took his time to express idiosyncracies and complexities of character. He took his time to speak, to move, to breathe on stage. And now, his time has most unfortunately come to an end.
Found dead at 11:30 this morning (February 2) in his New York apartment in the West Village, Hoffman leaves behind three children and their mother, costume designer Mimi O’Donell. He also leaves behind a plethora of award-winning movies from “Capote,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “Doubt,” “The Master,” “Boogie Nights,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Scent of a Woman” to most recently, “The Hunger Games” – the second of which (“Mocking Jay“) is still in production. He also leaves his undubitable mark on Broadway with his Tony Award Nomination performances in “True West” and the classic, “Death of a Salesman.” He was even primed for a possible HBO pilot this year called “Trending Down” about a man struggling to find his purpose in life in a world of glamorized youth, after loosing his advertising agency.
Just this past month, Seymour was living it up at the Sundance Film Festival, hosting an extended bash that was apparently worth a fortune. But sadly, he has had a bout with drug use in the past. And perhaps his 10-day hiatus in a rehab facility last year reveals the possibility that even after twenty years of sobriety, he was still troubled. We will know more soon, as the New York Police Department and the Chief Medical Examiner continue their investigation of Mr. Hoffman’s death. But, whatever the reason why Philip Seymour Hoffman has left this earth at the mere age of 46 years old, it is a tragic fate. I for one will miss his uncanny ability to reveal tension, internal fierceness, and acute complexity in the roles that he played. May he and his family find peace.