Philip Seymour Hoffman (born 23.7.1967 - died 2.2.2014)
Philip Seymour was an American actor. His most highly acclaimed role was his performance as Truman Capote in 2005's Capote - which won him the Best Actor Oscar, as well as BAFTA and Golden Globe awards and an accolade from the Screen Actor's Guild.
Philip Seymour Hoffman: Childhood
Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester area of New York, to Marilyn L. O'Connor and Gordon S. Hoffman. His mother was a judge in a family court as well as a civil rights activist and lawyer. His father was an executive of Xerox. His parents divorced when he was aged nine. He has two sisters, Jill and Emily. His brother, Gordy Hoffman, wrote the screenplay for Love Liza, the 2002 film in which Philip starred.
Philip Seymour Hoffman: Acting Career Philip Seymour Hoffman's debut amateur acting role come in 1982, when he played Radar O'Reilly in the Fairport High School production of M*A*S*H. In 1984, Hoffman studied at the Theater School at the New York State Summer School of the Arts. In 1989, Philip Seymour Hoffman graduated from NY University's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama. Whilst at university, he was briefly a member of the notoriously volatile theatre company the Bullstoi Ensemble, which also featured Steven Schub (singer of the ska band The Fenwicks) and Bennett Miller.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's first professional acting role came in 1991 when he appeared in an episode of Law and Order. The following year, he appeared in four feature films. The most successful of these was Scent of a Woman, which also starred Chris O'Donnell and Al Pacino. Prior to landing the role, he had been stacking shelves in a grocery store. He has often stated that it was this role that really kick-started his career.
From then on, Hoffman has been lucky, in many ways, as he has managed to retain a large degree of credibility as his career has advanced. He has worked with a number of highly respected directors, such as Cameron Crowe, Anthony Minghella, David Mamet and the Coen Brothers. He has also appeared in four of Paul Thomas Anderson's five feature films. These were Hard Eight, Boogie Nights (which starred Mark Wahlberg), Magnolia (starring Tom Cruise and William H. Macy) and Punch-Drunk Love.
Much of Philip Seymour Hoffman's career has been characterised by supporting roles. It has been rare for him to land major lead roles - but when he has, he has certainly flourished. Among his more acclaimed supporting roles are Cold Mountain, in which he played a sexually obsessed preacher, alongside Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger. He also featured in Mission: Impossible III, alongside Tom Cruise.
In Happiness, he starred opposite Jane Adams. The independent film was directed by Todd Solondz and also featured Lara Flynn Boyle and Dylan Baker. He also appeared in The Talented Mr. Ripley alongside Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The role that really propelled Hoffman to stardom was his portrayal of Truman Capote in Bennett Miller's biopic of the homosexual author. The film also starred Catherine Keener and Chris Cooper. Hoffman won an Oscar for his lead role in the film.
In 2007, Philip Seymour Hoffman featured in another biographical drama, Charlie Wilson's War. The film starred Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Amy Adams and Hoffman played the role of a CIA operative, Gust Avrakotos. He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in the film. He also received an Oscar nomination for the same category, but lost out to Javier Bardem, for his performance in No Country For Old Men.
2008 saw Hoffman star in two critically lauded films. First was Synecdoche, New York, the Charlie Kaufman / Spike Jonze production starring Samantha Morton and Michelle Williams. Secondly was Doubt, the Oscar-nominated film that also starred Meryl Streep. Hoffman lost out on the Best Supporting Actor once more - this time to the late for Heath Ledger, for his performance in The Dark Knight.
2012 saw him in Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master' for which he was nominated for an Oscar, and the following year he appeared in 'The Hunger Games' sequel 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'.
Philip Seymour Hoffman: Personal Life
Philip Seymour Hoffman was in a relationship with Mimi O'Donnell until he died, a costume designer whom he met on the set of 1999's In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, which was directed by Hoffman. The couple had a son, Cooper Alexander and two daughters, Tallulah and Willa.
As a college graduate, Hoffman suffered from heavy drug use and alcoholism before going to rehab and recovering at 22. He re-entered rehab in 2013 following a relapse into heroin use after two decades. In February 2014, he was found dead by David Bar Katz in the bathroom of his office apartment following a drug overdose. Large amounts of heroin and prescription drugs were found on the scene.
Following the tragedy, Katz allegedly claimed to have been in a homosexual relationship with Hoffman, though these reports are yet to be solidly confirmed.