On Sunday February 2nd, 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman, an exceptional and very admired American actor who gave three-dimensional tone to an extensive variety of villains, sidekicks and leading men on screen and encompassed some of the cinema’s most difficult roles on Broadway, was found dead at the age of 46 in his Greenwich Village apartment that he was renting as an office. The police confirmed that he died from an apparent drug overdose. Hoffman was found in his apartment by a friend who was worried when he was unable to reach him. A syringe was found in his arm and also what looked to be an envelope holding heroin.
The actor was known for a long-time struggle with the disease of addiction. He had given up alcohol and drugs when he was 22-years-old but ended up entering a drug rehabilitation program last year due to an addiction with prescription pills. He only stayed in treatment for 10 days and quickly turned to heroin again. According to a friend, (playwright David Bar Katz) he had just seen Hoffman last week and he was clean and sober and seemed to be his old-self again; everyone thought that part of his life was finally over.
Philip Seymour Hoffman appeared in over 50 films in his acting career of less than 25 years. He was in movies like: Mission Impossible 3, Moneyball, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Pirate Radio, The Savages, Capote, Along Came Polly, Almost Famous and many, many more. Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967 in Fairport, NY; which is a suburb of Rochester. Marilyn Loucks (now known as Marilyn O’Connor), his mother, is a former family court judge and his father, Gordon, was employed by the Xerox Corporation. He is survived by his parents, who divorced when he was young. At the Academy Awards in 2006, Hoffman thanked many people, especially his mother; who attended. He specifically thanked her for raising him and his three siblings on her own and for taking him to see his first play.
More than one-hundred people joined together to mourn Philip Seymour Hoffman on Sunday afternoon outside of the building where he died. His body was removed at around 6:40 p.m. and the police officers had to form a barricade to stop people from taking pictures. Addiction is a powerful and life-gripping disease that can result in death. Hearing about Hoffman dying yesterday it just reassures me even more that this disease is REAL. It is so sad that he couldn’t recover and it’s still shocking that he is no longer with us. He was a phenomenal actor but was struggling with some real issues with addiction and it doesn’t matter how great your life is when you are fighting this disease, it can and will take control.
It is important that we urge people dealing with alcohol and drug problems to speak up and talk to someone. At least Hoffman isn’t suffering or in pain anymore; we can all recover from addiction and live a life beyond our wildest dreams if we just ask for help. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.