Details are very sketchy, but both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post are reporting that Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment this morning. He was just 46 years old. The Post claims the cause is an “apparent drug overdose,” and The New York Times says Hoffman was found with “a syringe in his arm.” (Hoffman has struggled in the past with substance abuse, and spent ten days in rehab in May of last year.) The Journal says police are investigating and that the medical examiner will “determine exact cause of death.”
Whatever the cause, this is a heartbreaking loss, for Hoffman’s family (the actor had three children with costume designer Mimi O’Donnell), and for movie lovers, who’ve come to know him as one of the best actors of his generation. A graduate of New York University with a B.F.A. in drama, Hoffman rose to prominence as a major contributor to the independent film scene of the 1990s. He won his Oscar in 2005 for Capote, and was nominated three more times in the years since, most recently in 2013 for his terrific work in The Master. A list of Hoffman credits reads like a list of the best American movies of the last two decades: Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Happiness, Magnolia, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Almost Famous, Punch-Drunk Love, 25th Hour, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, and many more.
Hoffman was also an accomplished stage actor, with three Tony nominations to his credit (including one for a great production of Sam Shepard’s True West from 2002 where he and John C. Reilly regularly switched each of the two lead roles). In 2010, he made his feature directorial debut with Jack Goes Boating; just yesterday, Deadline reported that his follow-up, Ezekial Moss, was moving ahead with Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams set to star. He was also recently seen in the Sundance 2014 selection God’s Pocket, and was supposed to appear in both parts of the final Hunger Games film, Mockingjay.
We’ll pay tribute to Hoffman tomorrow here on The Dissolve, but for now we offer our deepest condolences to his friends and loved ones. He will be sorely missed.