Report: Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, Has Died

Jason Gorber, Featured Critic

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, was found dead in his New York City apartment this afternoon.

The report states: "The New York Police Department is investigating, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine exact cause of death."

The actor won an Academy Award for his performance in Capote, and was nominated three more times, for Charlie Wilson's War, Doubt, and, most recently, for Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.

UPDATE 1: Added commentary below.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was the quietest giant in independent cinema. He'd almost effortlessly take over a film be it in the form of a quirky character part or as the lead in a series of compelling and often challenging works.

For years, I'd know him as "that guy," the rounded guy who was in the van in Twister, discussing Nancy Reagan in The Big Lebowski, or wearing a truly horrific muscle shirt in Boogie Nights. He made opaque independent classics like Synecdoche, New York, and blockbusters like Mission: Impossible III or The Hunger Games.

He had two films at this year's Sundance film festival -- John Slattery's God's Pocket, and Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man. I missed the former, but in the latter he played the role of the sad-sack German spy with the kind of eloquent dishevelment that he was best known for. Chainsmoking throughout the film, he came across as world weary yet piercingly intelligent, something that the majority of his characters would convey.

This is a great loss, not only to fans of independent cinema, but for those of us who would see him around various film festivals, taking times for fans and critics alike.

UPDATE 2: Added video w/further commentary.

Peter Martin contributed to this story.

Around the Internet:
  • EugeneRushmore

    wilson... do you smell gas?
    no... do you? ( r.i.p. p-s-h )

  • DJ_BobbyPeru

    He always made an impression, even in the smallest roles that didn't call for much. I most distinctly remember him, strangely, in Twister, where he gave a throwaway character just enough gravitas that you can formulate an entire backstory for him yourself from the few lines he gave. In every role I've seen him in, he had that same effect where he conveyed more about the character than just what was written for him in the script. His characters seemed real.

  • BtoFu

    Completely surreal. I sit here, having literally moments ago finished watching The Master for the second time. The credits are still rolling right behind me as I type this. Total habit that Twitch is the first place I visit when I hop online. Saw the picture at the top of the page and then read the headline. Gazed right through the wall and had to read it again because...I honestly can't believe it...Slow Boat to China is echoing over and over in my head.

    Such sad sad news. He truly was The Master.

    RIP

  • Yojimbo

    Desperately sad. We have lost a true talent.He was great in every film I saw him in.

    R.I.P

  • arturo

    He was recently in rehab, someone correct me if i'm wrong, but when an actor signs on to do some big hollywood movie like The Hunger Games sequel, are they not required to do some sort of drug test? Especially for an actor who has battled drug addiction in the past? This is very sad news, he was a major talent, Paul Thomas Anderson has lost his greatest muse..RIP.

  • Hiroaki Johnson

    We don't even make our politician's do drug tests!

  • The only time that would be the case is if their drug use had been such an issue in the past that they were considered uninsurable. That's what happened with Robert Downey Jr. And Steve-o from Jackass. And Jonathan Rhys Meyers has to jump through all sorts of hoops to work these days because his drug use is so well known.

  • Pa Kent Says Maybe

    Awful.

    "Good-looking people...their art never survives."

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