Philip Seymour Hoffman dead at 46, suspected heroin overdose

Posted on 3 February 2014
By Pierce King
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Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found dead after an apparent drugs overdose in his Manhattan apartment.

Hoffman, 46, who won Best Actor in 2005 for his studied portrayal of the author and journalist Truman Capote, was found dead in the West Village by a friend who visited yesterday morning.

The talented actor, who had recently spoken about his lifelong battle with alcohol and drug addiction, was found by the screenwriter lying on the bathroom floor with a needle and syringe still stuck into his arm, according to reports citing police sources.

Reports said that officials from the Medical Examiner’s office were still working to determine exact cause of death, but that it ‘looked likely’ that a drugs overdose was responsible.

A pair of envelopes containing what appeared to be heroin were also found at his side, said the New York Times, citing police sources.

As police continued to work on the scene, reporters and television trucks gathered outside Seymour Hoffman’s West Village apartment in a six-storey, red brick building whose near neighbours include Sarah Jessica Parker and Julianne Moore.

Tributes quickly poured in for Hoffman, a revered actor amongst his peers.

John Hurt, the British actor, who starred alongside Hoffman in the 2003 drama Owning Mahowny, said: “Philip was a great actor, a great member of the film and theatre community. An extraordinary talent, both as a director and an actor. He’ll be greatly missed.”

Dozens of actors also took to Twitter to express their shock.

Whoopi Goldberg wrote: “WTF!!!! Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in his apartment, a truly great actor… Gone.. I hope someone says hey whoop it’s a hoax.”

Comedian Ricky Gervais wrote: “Such shocking & sad news. RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman. One of the greatest actors of a generation and a sweet, funny & humble man.”

Mia Farrow said: “OH NO!!!!! Philip Seymour Hoffman has died. A truly kind, wonderful man and one of our greatest actors – ever.”

Madisen Beaty, who appeared with him in the 2012 film The Master, posted a picture of the pair of them together and said: “Shocked & heartbroken to hear the news of this man’s passing. You will be missed by many. RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman.”

In an interview last May with the TMZ website, Hoffman, who was also nominated for three Best Supporting Actor Oscars, for The Master, Doubt, and Charlie Wilson’s War, confessed that he had returned to using the drug after 23 years being ‘clean’.

Hoffman reportedly told the website he had regressed to taking heroin again after taking prescription pills and then, ultimately, snorting heroin.

Hoffmann made a career with numerous great performances in 1990s films including Boogie Nights and the Big Lebowski.

His first notable movie role was the 1992 Al Pacino vehicle, “Scent of a Woman”.

He gradually became one the most critically acclaimed character actors after films like “Boogie Nights,” “Happiness” and “Cold Mountain.”

He leaves behind three children — Cooper, 10, Tallulah, six, and Willa, four — and his wife Mimi O’Donnell, a costume designer.

His family released a statement saying: “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.”