Philip Seymour Hoffman, 'The Master', found dead
Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment Sunday morning. Police found him unresponsive on the bathroom floor with a syringe in his arm and an envelope containing what is believed to be heroin. He was 46 years old.
Hoffman’s struggles with drugs had been well-documented in the past. In a 2006 interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes, he said that he had abused “anything I could get my hands on. … I liked it all.” In May, the critically-acclaimed actor checked himself into a detox facility due to a relapse after 23 years of sobriety.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was arguably one of the greatest actors of his age. He was a four-time Academy Award nominee and won Best Actor in 2005 for his role as Truman Capote in “Capote.” While many deceased actors are linked to a defining role, such as the late James Gandolfini is remembered as mob boss Tony Soprano, Hoffman will be lauded for his exquisite range and versatility.
He played a disgruntled baseball manager (“Moneyball”), a sociopathic intellectual (“The Master”), a gay author (“Capote”), a gay spastic (“Boogie Nights”), a struggling artist (“Synecdoche, New York”), a warm-hearted male nurse (“Magnolia”) and a devious scam artist (“Punch-Drunk Love”). Hoffman was not confined to just one type of role or genre. Whatever the role called for, he performed it to a T.
While Hoffman is dead, we have not seen the end of him in film. He has three films coming out in 2014, including the next installment of the “Hunger Games” series. It is unknown how the studio will work around the absence of Hoffman, as he plays a massive role in both of the two upcoming movies. On top of the obvious tragedy that’s taken place, it is a shame we won’t see him finish his work. He was perfectly cast as a dark gamemaker in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and brought an air of prestige and legitimacy to the film.
Hoffman was also slated to premiere in a new television series called “Happyish.” Deadline has reported that Showtime, the network that green-lighted the show, has yet to make a decision about its future.
One of Hoffman’s best-remembered supporting roles may be Lancaster Dodd in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master,” a quintessential Hoffman performance and one that netted him an Academy Award nomination. The performance showcases every aspect of Hoffman’s talent, including his singing ability, which comes from his acclaimed work in theater.
One could just as easily argue that Hoffman was as good or better in “Capote,” “Doubt” or any of his films, and that’s the beauty of this man. He wasn’t a one-hit wonder or typecast in one genre of film — he could do it all. Acting is the art of getting people to believe what they’re watching and nobody was more convincing than Hoffman. He was the master, and he will be missed.