Philip Seymour Hoffman, Actor, Dies at 46
By J. DAVID GOODMAN
FEB. 2, 2014
The actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment on Sunday morning of an apparent drug overdose, according to a law enforcement official who requested anonymity because he was not certain the actorâs family had been informed of the death.
The official said Mr. Hoffman, 46, was found in his West Village apartment around 11:30 a.m. by a friend who had become concerned at not being able to reach Mr. Hoffman.
Investigators found a syringe in his arm and an envelope containing what is believed to be heroin, the official said.
âItâs pretty apparent that it was an overdose,â the official said. âThe syringe was in his arm.â
Mr. Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor his role in the 2005 film âCapote,â in which he portrayed the writer Truman Capote.
He had undergone treatment for drug addiction in the past, and spoke in interviews about âfalling off the wagonâ last year after remaining clean for 23 years.
By around 2 p.m, more than a hundred people had gathered outside the address where the actor was found, in a brick apartment building on Bethune Street. The crowd was growing by the minute.
As people passed, they stopped, snapped photos, held hands and watched. They seemed to be waiting.
âHeâs a local. Heâs a fixture in this neighborhood,â said Christian McCulloch, 39, who said that he lives nearby. âYou see him with his kids in the coffee shops, he is so sweet. Itâs desperately sad.â
At a short distance from the crowd, two men who identified themselves as friends embraced, sobbing.
A woman answering the phone at Mr. Hoffmanâs New York production company declined to comment. âI donât have a comment at this time on that, thank you,â she said.
He supposedly had a role in THE BIG LEBOWSKI and I don't recall what character.
And yet douchbags like Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and Kanye West still walking the earth...
Why you'd ever start in the first place.
Philip Seymour Hoffmanâs death is the worst. Seriously. In much the same way that Chris Kellyâs was. Or Cory Monteithâs. And if youâre now looking at me like Iâm crazy for even using Hoffman and Monteith in the same article, hear me out: Itâs not because they were equal talents. Your opinion on that probably depends on whether youâre fifteen or thirty-five. This is not about losing one of the greatest talents of our time. Their deaths are horrific because they died alone, victims of an incredibly lonely disease. And whatâs worse, they didnât have to be alone. Loving significant others, loving children, admiration from everyone around them â if they could, Iâm sure they would have chosen those things.
My dad was my biggest fan. He was the biggest fan of all of his kids. I was probably the only one who realized it, and I understand why. But when he died, wasted away and a shell of his former self after a lethal fall, the only possessions he had were photos of us and letters weâd written him decades ago. He would have liked to have been at our sporting events and our graduations, but instead he was drinking himself to death in a second-floor apartment in my hometown, bipolar disorder only adding immediacy to the fatal inevitabilities of his alcoholism. Anyone who thinks dying from an overdose is selfish has a weird idea of what an addict wants out of life. There comes a point at which drinking, drug use, all that â theyâre not fun anymore. Philip Seymour Hoffman wasnât out partying. He was alone in his bathroom, compelled. Cory Monteith in his hotel room. Chris Kelly in his living room. All the money in the world, all the adoring fans in the world, and, to see the comments people make on their deaths, they were selfish assholes who chose drugs over the people who loved them.
I guarantee that every time Hoffman put that needle in his arm, he felt guilty. He felt conflicted. He craved that high that would take the pain away, but knew the pain he caused himself and those around him every time he took a hit. We all have destructive habits. If weâre lucky, itâs watching too much TV when itâs inhibiting our productivity, or looking at porn when we think itâs a sin, or lying, cheating, overeating. If weâre lucky, our addictions wonât kill us. The majority of us can go through a partying phase and then grow up, settle down, and put down the sauce. But for an unfortunate group, the need to keep going becomes as pervasive as the need to eat or sleep. And we call them selfish, as if they would prefer to be a slave to the thing thatâs ruining everything good in their lives.
When tragedies like these deaths happen to celebrities, they should be a wake-up call for the rest of us. If someone who has everything going for them can be so horribly enslaved to what they know could kill them, imagine what itâs like for the average addict. Addiction is bigger than class, race, religion, or any other factor that one might hope would reduce its captive hold. Succumbing to it isnât selfish. Itâs horribly sad and extremely difficult to prevent, even though it is, in theory, preventable. The way we talk about a celebrity who ODs says a lot about the way we think about people who are struggling around us. Itâs time we tried to understand struggles we donât endure ourselves. Itâs called empathy, and we could all use a lot more of it.
I'd never heard of Hoffman, but since he died his name's been all over the news, he's made the big time at last..