December 08, 2016

Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)

"The Ides of March" New York City Premiere - Arrivals

Very sad news has been confirmed today as the tremendously talented actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead at the much too young age of 46. No cause of death is currently known, but Hoffman has struggled with substance abuse in the past and an overdose is suspected here. Few in the business had a more diverse filmography than him, so as tragic a loss as it always is whenever an entertainer is taken from us, this one just seems all the more depressing and hard to process due what he still had left to share with the world.

A Best Actor Oscar winner for his lead performance in the biopic Capote, Hoffman was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his scene stealing turns in Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, and last year for The Master as well. Along with multiple BAFTA, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, and Screen Actors Guild citations, he was easily ranked among the greatest and most deservingly honored of his time. His Academy Award winning performance is often spoken of as one of the better choices that Oscar voters ever made.

Hoffman got his start in 1991 on an episode of Law & Order, and from there, it was onward and upward. He even made his directorial debut in 2010 with the underrated Jack Goes Boating. There’s really no shortage of top notch works of his to marvel at, including 25th Hour, Almost Famous, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Boogie Nights, The Ides of March, Magnolia, Moneyball, Owning Mahowny, Pirate Radio, The Savages, and we still have a few performances left in the next year or so.

This is certainly a massive loss for the industry, so be sure to value the work he still has to share with us in 2014 and beyond, namely completed roles in A Most Wanted Man, God’s Pocket, and the conclusion of The Hunger Games franchise with Mockingjay. These will no doubt be bittersweet experiences, much like watching Enough Said in 2013 was after James Gondolfini passed away. They’ll once more highlight his talents, but they’ll also be a sad reminder of what we won’t get nearly enough of in the future.

He will be missed in a big way, that’s for sure. Take some time and consider his body of work today, whether you were a fan or not, really noticing the range that he was capable of. The industry is poorer for having lost him. Rest in peace Mr. Hoffman.

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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