- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
At the scene of the actor’s West Village apartment in New York, crowds of people and camera crews formed a semicircle outside the building until police instructed them to cross the street. Police later closed off the entire block, only letting residents through.
Police found Hoffman dead on the floor of the bathroom in the apartment with a needle sticking out of his left arm. According to reports, close to 50 envelopes of heroin were found in Hoffman’s apartment, as were several used and unused syringes and prescription drugs, the NYPD told THR on Monday. According to CNN, investigators also found more than 20 used syringes in a plastic cup, several other bags containing white powder and a number of prescription drugs.
According to CNN, police also discovered prescription drugs in the apartment including the blood-pressure medication clonidine hydrochloride; the addiction-treatment drug buprenorphine; Vynase, a drug used to treat hyperactivity disorder; hydroxyzine, which can be used to treat anxiety; and methocarbamol, a muscle relaxer. It is unclear whether the drugs were prescribed for Hoffman. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.
Hoffman had undergone treatment for drug addiction in the past and said last year that he had been clean for 23 years before “falling off the wagon” in 2012. In May, he entered a detox facility and completed a 10-day program for his use of prescription drugs and heroin.
A friend of Hoffman’s called 911 at 11:30 a.m. after the actor didn’t show up to pick up his kids.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone,” read a statement from Hoffman’s family. “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.”
Survivors include his young children Tallulah, Cooper and Willa, whom he had with his longtime partner, costume designer Mimi O’Donnell. He also had two sisters, Jill and Emily, and a brother, Gordy Hoffman, who scripted the 2002 film Love Liza, in which Philip starred.
Considered one of the finest actors of his generation, Hoffman also was Oscar nominated for his supporting work in Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), Doubt (2008) and The Master (2012). He received Tony Award noms for True West (2000), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2003) and, as Willy Loman, in Death of a Salesman (2012).
Hoffman portrayed real-life CIA man Gust Avrakotos in Charlie Wilson’s War opposite Tom Hanks. And in The Master, he played Lancaster Dodd, the mesmerizing leader of a religious movement known as “The Cause” who messes with Joaquin Phoenix‘s mind.
“There are no words. It’s just terrible,” George Clooney, who starred with Hoffman in Ides of March (2011), said via his rep. He was one of many in Hollywood mourning Hoffman’s death on Sunday.
Outside Hoffman’s West Village apartment building, many neighbors were mourning as well. Several said they often saw him in the area, but it seemed like few knew the private man. One local resident, Patrice, who at one point appeared to be on the verge of tears, said she would see Hoffman walking around the neighborhood and that he seemed like a nice guy. She noted that the news ruined her day, a sentiment likely shared by many.
“And then you hear drugs and you think, ‘C’mon? Really?’ ” she said. Indeed, as reports of Hoffman’s heroin use at the time of his death began to circulate, many people on the scene were saying things like, “Don’t do drugs,” and “Don’t do heroin.”
After police closed off the block, onlookers and the media continued to crowd around either end, but nearby streets in the West Village were almost empty, creating an eerie scene.
Hoffman appeared as Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) and continued in the series with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, now in postproduction. “Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation,” read a Lionsgate statement. “We’re very fortunate that he graced our Hunger Games family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip’s family.”
Showtime recently picked up his series Happyish (formerly Trending Down) in which he stars as a 42-year-old whose new bosses are half his age. “Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of our generation’s finest and most brilliant actors. He was also a gifted comedic talent. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are all absolutely devastated by this sudden loss. Our thoughts go out to his family at this very difficult time,” read a statement from Showtime.
Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal just joined his long-gestating directing project Ezekiel Moss, which was going to be shopped at Berlin this month.
The versatile Hoffman also made his mark in such films as Boogie Nights (1997) — the second of five films he made with director Paul Thomas Anderson — The Big Lebowski (1998), Patch Adams (1998), Magnolia (1999), Almost Famous (2000), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Cold Mountain (2003), Mission: Impossible III (2006), Synecdoche, New York (2008), Jack Goes Boating (2010), which he also directed, and Moneyball (2011).
Born on July 23, 1967, in Fairport, N.Y., outside Rochester, Hoffman received a degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and there helped launch a theater company with Bennett Miller, who would go on to direct him in Capote and Moneyball.
Hoffman then made his screen debut in a 1991 episode of NBC’s Law & Order.
In a September 2005 interview with NPR, Hoffman talked about preparing to play larger-than-life author Truman Capote in a shoot that lasted just 36 days.
“You know, you can do the research,” he said. “You can read everything you need to read. You can talk to the people you can talk to, to illuminate things to you. You can get, you know, videotapes, audiotapes, all those things, and I had all those things at my disposal, and I would have all those things and I’d be alone in a room, and I would force myself to be alone in that room with those things for an hour or two every day.”
In Doubt, Hoffman was memorable as Father Brendan Flynn, a New York priest who may or may not have sexually abused an altar boy.
“Devastated about Phillip Seymour Hoffman,” wrote Viola Davis, who co-starred in Doubt. “Absolutely beside myself. His enormity of talent paled in comparison to the BEAUTY of his soul. I wish he could’ve loved himself as much and as passionately as we loved him. God bless him and his family! Fly with the angels Phil!!!”
“I’m so shocked, and so sad hearing of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death,” wrote Jeff Bridges. “I enjoyed playing with him on The Big Lebowski. He was such a wonderful guy and so damn talented, a real treasure.”
During his Oscar acceptance speech, an obviously overwhelmed Hoffman spoke lovingly about his mother, Marilyn O’Connor, and the influence she had on him.
“She’s here tonight; I’d like you if you see her to congratulate her,” he said. “She brought up four kids alone, and she deserves congratulations for that. … She took me to my first play and she stayed up with me and watched the NCAA Final Four. Her passions became my passions. Be proud, mom, because I’m proud of you. We’re here tonight. It’s so good.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day