Academy Award winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died Feb. 2 from a heroin overdose at the age of 46. Hoffman, an actor who stole the screen with his honest and captivating performances, struggled with addiction for more than two decades.
Hoffman’s long time friend, David Bar Katz, entered Hoffman’s West Village New York apartment and found a needle in Hoffman’s arm. Hoffman had no pulse. Investigators later found 65 bags full of heroin in his apartment. The cause of his death was confirmed as a heroin overdose.
Hoffman’s death will deeply impact the film world. His breakout movie “Scent of a Woman” was directed by Martin Breast and also starred Al Pacino. Hoffman has worked with acclaimed filmmakers, including Spike Lee, the Coen Brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson, and many more. Actors whom he shared the screen with him include Matt Damon, George Clooney, Adam Sandler, and Tom Cruise, among others. Hoffman has over 60 movie and TV credits and his portrayal of Truman Capote in “Capote” earned him a Best Actor Oscar in 2005.
George Clooney, who co-starred in “The Ideas of March” with Hoffman, explained to the Hollywood Reporter, “’There are no words. It’s just terrible.”
Aaron Sorkin, a recovering addict himself, wrote “Charlie Wilson’s War,” which starred Hoffman. He described their relationship in an op-ed piece for Time online: “On breaks during rehearsals, we would sometimes slip outside our soundstage on the Paramount lot and get to swapping stories. It’s not unusual to have these mini-AA meetings — people like us are the only ones to whom tales of insanity don’t sound insane.”
Sorkin went on to quote Hoffman in one of their chats saying, “If one of us dies of an overdose, probably 10 people who were about to won’t,” meaning that they news of their death might cause others to not lose themselves to the demon of drug addiction.
Hoffman’s loss also affects the Archer community. Bebe Rowland ’16, said the death has a “huge impact on the world of acting, and his loss will be felt.”
Known as one of the most prominent actors of his generation, Phillip Seymour Hoffman will be remembered as a husband, father, friend, actor, and unfortunately a victim to addiction.
Featured Image: An Archer community member watched Philip Seymour Hoffman in the film “A Late Quartet.” Photographer: Rosemary Pastron ’16