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Parting Ways with Philip Seymour Hoffman

Updated on February 16, 2015
The late, the great; a fell hero.
The late, the great; a fell hero.

Philip...

Transcendent artist

Final rest, oh Boogie Nights

Goodbye paragon.


A fragment of commemoration to one of the finest actors of our time. For everything that Philip Seymour Hoffman contributed to film, I wish him a peaceful end to years of battling and suffering. RIP, Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Young Philip Seymour Hoffman
Young Philip Seymour Hoffman | Source

His Life

Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in a suburb of Rochester, NY in July of 1967. His acting career began in high school, when an unfortunate wrestling injury forced him out of athletic competition. He pursued drama instead, and was actively involved in theatrical performances as well as extracurricular summer programs, all of which fostered his supernatural gift for acting. After high school, Hoffman earned a B.F.A in drama from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. During the next three years, he appeared in several character roles on various independent movies and television dramas such as Law and Order in 1991.

Career and Rise to Greatness

In 1992, Hoffman began booking roles in larger projects, such as Scent of a Woman, My New Gun and Leap of Faith, which afforded him critical attention and greater opportunities. Arguably his most important role, Hoffman’s performance as Scotty in P.T. Anderson’s Boogie Nights deservedly earned his iconic status in indie cinema and his critical praise as a supreme character actor. Hoffman has since acted in five of Anderson’s films. After Boogie Nights, Hoffman established renown as an intelligent, artful actor who could consummate any role. He took on greater and greater roles; his most recent accolade comes from his performance as Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. One of Hoffman’s most praised and memorable performance is his dedicated portrayal of Truman Capote in Capote, his only Oscar-awarded performance.

In addition to film work, Hoffman was a star in theater. He wrote and directed several award-winning plays and gave many award winning performances on and off-Broadway.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was, and continues to be an inspiration for his mastery of acting and soulful, dedicated performances. His legacy of sophisticated, commanding drama will certainly endure.

Film Still from Capote
Film Still from Capote | Source

The Unfortunate Demise

Only 46 years old, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman was found deceased in his apartment on Sunday, February 2nd, 2014. As of February 3rd, his death was ruled an apparent overdose – whether or not accidental may never be determined. Hoffman struggled with drug addiction in his youth, but willingly abandoned his dependencies at age 22. He allegedly struggled with addiction since, and attended a drug rehabilitation program for 10 days in 2013 after a relapse with prescription narcotics.

Additional information about the investigative findings in the scene of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death is easily found, internet-wide. My admiration for the icon makes me reluctant to elaborate on gruesome details criminalizing his death and debasing his addiction. I only hope that his legacy sets the bar for dramatic artistry in our time and moving forward.

Film and Television Roles

Year
Title
Role
1991
Law & Order
Steven Hanauer
1991
Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole
Klutch
1992
Szuler
Martin
1992
My New Gun
Chris
1992
Leap of Faith
Matt
1992
Scent of a Woman
George Willis, Jr.
1993
Joey Breaker
Wiley McCall
1993
My Boyfriend's Back
Chuck Bronski
1993
Money for Nothing
Cochran
1994
The Getaway
Frank Hansen
1994
The Yearling
Buck
1994
When a Man Loves a Woman
Gary
1994
Nobody's Fool
Officer Raymer
1995
The Fifteen Minute Hamlet
Bernardo, Horatio & Laertes
1996
Hard Eight
Young Craps Player
1996
Twister
Dustin "Dusty" Davis
1997
Boogie Nights
Scotty J.
1997
Liberty! The American Revolution
Joseph Plumb Martin
1998
Culture
Bill
1998
Montana
Duncan
1998
Next Stop Wonderland
Sean
1998
The Big Lebowski
Brandt
1998
Happiness
Allen
1998
Patch Adams
Mitch Roman
1999
Flawless
Rusty Zimmerman
1999
Magnolia
Phil Parma
1999
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Freddie Miles
2000
Titanic 2000
Himself
2000
State and Main
Joseph Turner White
2000
Almost Famous
Lester Bangs
2001
The Party's Over
Himself
2002
Love Liza
Wilson Joel
2002
Punch-Drunk Love
Dean Trumbell
2002
Red Dragon
Freddy Lounds
2002
25th Hour
Jacob Elinsky
2003
Owning Mahowny
Dan Mahowny
2003
Cold Mountain
Reverend Veasey
2004
Along Came Polly
Sandy Lyle
2005
Strangers with Candy
Henry, Board Of Education
2005
Empire Falls
Charlie Mayne
2005
Capote
Truman Capote
2006
Mission: Impossible III
Owen Davian
2007
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Andy Hanson
2007
The Savages
Jon Savage
2007
Charlie Wilson's War
Gust Avrakotos
2008
Synecdoche, New York
Caden Cotard
2008
Doubt
Father Brendan Flynn
2009
Mary and Max
Max Jerry Horowitz
2009
The Boat That Rocked
The Count
2009
The Invention of Lying
Jim the Bartender
2009
Arthur
Will Toffman
2010
Jack Goes Boating
Jack
2011
Moneyball
Art Howe
2011
The Ides of March
Paul Zara
2012
The Master
Lancaster Dodd
2012
A Late Quartet
Robert Gelbart
2013
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Plutarch Heavensbee

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    • sehrm profile image
      Author

      sehrm 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      I think my favorite PHS performance is Synechdoche, NY, Almost Famous, Doubt and Capote - although I loved him in The Master.... Too many good roles. Which of his roles is most memorable to you?

    • lmoyer92 profile image

      Leon Moyer 3 years ago

      If you haven't already seen it, I suggest watching Pirate Radio (Originally "The Boat That Rocked"). I watched it with my fiancée about 4 or 5 months ago and loved it. He basically makes the movie what it is.

    • sehrm profile image
      Author

      sehrm 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      I actually have not seen it! Thanks for the recommendation lmoyer

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