The Oscar-winning actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead at his New York apartment earlier today at the age of 46. A police spokesman said investigators found Hoffman with a syringe in his arm and recovered two small plastic bags in the apartment containing a substance suspected of being heroin. A police department source earlier told Reuters that Hoffman had died of an apparent drug overdose.
Born in upstate New York near Rochester, and survived by three children with his partner Mimi O’Donnell, had detailed his struggles with substance abuse in the past. Hoffman won the Best Actor Oscar for the 2005 biographical film “Capote,” in which he played writer Truman Capote. He made his name in the 1990s in films including Boogie Nights and the Big Lebowski. He also received three Academy Award nominations as best supporting actor, for “The Master” in 2013, “Doubt” in 2009 and “Charlie Wilson’s War” in 2008.
His latest role was in the Hunger Games series of films.
Hoffman’s family called his death “tragic and sudden”.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone,” Hoffman’s family said in a statement issued through his publicist.
Hollywood stars have also paid tribute.
Damn, we lost another great artist” said Spike Lee.
Tom Hanks said: “This is a horrible day for those who worked with Philip. He was a giant talent. Our hearts are open for his family.”
“Dear Philip, a beautiful beautiful soul,” tweeted actor Jim Carrey.
Hoffman appeared last month at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah for the premiere of “A Most Wanted Man,” an espionage thriller based on the John le Carre novel in which he played German spy Gunther Bachmann.
At the premiere, Hoffman told Reuters that he connected to Gunther’s personality, a man driven by the shame of previous failure into an obsessive pursuit of capturing terrorists by any means necessary.
“I think it’d be hard for anyone not to connect with the loneliness. He’s pretty lonely, driven, obsessive guy, unforgiving of himself in a lot of ways. A lot of traits that a lot of people carry in one grade or another,” Hoffman said.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said via Twitter: “Saddened by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic and untimely passing. Today New York mourns the loss of one of stage and screen’s greats.”