Philip Seymour Hoffman ~ 1967-2014

The world lost the distinctive voice of Philip Seymour Hoffman today, one of the screen’s finest actors, equally notable playing lead roles and supporting characters, in both film and on stage.

Hoffman grew up in the village of Fairport, in upstate New York, and earned a BFA in Drama from The Tisch School of the Arts at NYU in 1989.

His performance as Truman Capote in Capote (2005) is ranked 35th on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006), a performance for which he won a total of 23 awards, including the Oscar. He has thrice been nominated for Broadway’s Tony Award: as Best Actor in Play in 2000 for a revival of Sam Shepard‘s True West; as Best Featured Actor in a Play in 2003 for a revival of Eugene O’Neill‘s Long Day’s Journey into Night; and for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play in 2012 in Arthur Miller‘s Death of a Salesman. Hoffman also worked as a director, earning Drama Desk Award nominations for his stage directing of Jesus Hopped the A Train (2000) and Our Lady of 121st Street (2003).

When asked who his acting idols were, he cited Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken. Goodfellas, he said, was one of his favourite films.

On what his breakthrough film role was, Hoffman said, “Other people disagree with me, but Scent of a Woman really was my breakthrough. I was working in the prepared foods section of a deli when I was cast in that movie, and I’ve never had a non-acting job since. That’s amazing.”

Last May, Hoffman underwent a 10-day rehab program, after having been clean for 23 years.

Hoffman is survived by longtime partner Mimi O’Donnell and their three children: Cooper, Tallulah, and Willa. He was 46 years old.

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