Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death: Steve Coogan Pays Tribute at London Critics' Awards

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Steve Coogan

"12 Years A Slave" won the best film award and a couple of acting honors Sunday night, while Alfonso Cuaron was named best director for "Gravity."

LONDON -- Sunday night's London Critics' Circle Awards ceremony opened with a Philip Seymour Hoffman tribute, including comments from actor Steve Coogan. The audience reacted with a standing ovation, according to tweets from U.K. industry representatives.

Coogan paid homage to Hoffman at the event at the Mayfair Hotel in the British capital just after news of his death had made the rounds, the Daily Mail and others reported.

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"There are actors and there are movie stars and sometimes they're both, but he was an actor first and a movie star second," the Mail quoted Coogan as saying. "He did some tremendous work. Everything he was in he raised the quality of his film just by his presence."

Added Coogan: "People have different opinions about actors, but you wouldn't find anybody who would have a bad word to say about any of his performances. They were all incredibly nuanced."

Naomie Harris (Skyfall) at Sunday's awards ceremony called Hoffman's death "a huge loss for everyone," according to the Mail. She added, "He was an extraordinary and intelligent man, so it's incredibly sad, and it makes the evening all a bit more somber now."

Oscar winner Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday from what appeared to be a drug overdose. At last year's London Critics' Circle Awards, Hoffman was honored as supporting actor of the year for his role in The Master.

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"We are absolutely devastated by tonight's news about Philip Seymour Hoffman, and our thoughts go out to his family and friends," the Critics' Circle Twitter feed said late on Sunday.

Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave was named best movie at Sunday's London Critics' Circle Film Awards, while Alfonso Cuaron won the best director honor for his work on Gravity.

The best acting honors went to Chiwetel Ejiofor for Slave and Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine. Slave's Lupita Nyong'o received the best supporting actress award, with the supporting actor honor going to Barkhad Abdi for his role in Captain Phillips.

The Selfish Giant was honored as the year's best British film. The best British actor award went to James McAvoy (Filth, Trance), while Judi Dench got the best British actress honor for her role in Philomena.

Twitter: @georgszalai