Philip Seymour Hoffman: a twisted end

  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman poses for a portrait at The Collective and Gibson Lounge, during the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. Hoffman, who won ...

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, True West

    Philip Seymour Hoffman in the play True West, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play, at Circle ...

  • Jessica Chastain, John Ortiz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Othello

    From left: Jessica Chastain, John Ortiz and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the play Othello at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York ...

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, left, and Ryan Gosling in a scene from Ides of March.(AP Photo)

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt

    Philip Seymour Hoffman portrays Father Flynn and Meryl Streep portrays Sister Aloysius in a scene from Doubt. (AP Photo) 

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman with Golden Globe for Capote

    Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman poses with his award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama for Capote at the 63rd Annual Golden ...

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman smiles during a photo call for the World Premiere of the film Mission Impossible III in Rome on April 24, ...

  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, Jack Goes Boating

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Ryan in a scene from Jack Goes Boating. (AP Photo)

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages

    Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney in a scene from The Savages. (AP Photo)

  • A portrait and flowers in memory of Seymour Hoffman

    A portrait and flowers in memory of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is displayed outside Philip Marie Restaurant and bar on Hudson Street in Manhattan, New ...

American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead on Sunday at his New York flat, was barely 46. Apparently, he died of drug overdose, a cause which seems to be common among celebrities – though for some it is a method adopted to kill themselves. For others, it could be accidental. Nobody knows yet whether Hoffman’s was a case of suicide. All that we know is that he had a syringe in his hand.

The actor had in a 2006 interview spoken about his struggle with drugs. He said that he took just about anything he could find. “I liked it all”.

Seymour’s demise reminds us of actor Heath Ledger—who died in Manhattan from a lethal combo of drugs in 2008. There were others too.

Read: Philip Seymour Hoffman's top 5 films

Hoffman shot to prominence in the 1990s with films such as The Talented Mr Ripley, Magnolia and Boogie Nights. But his most glorious work was Capote – which also won him an Oscar in 2005. Additionally, he received three Academy nods for The Master in 2013, Doubt in 2009 and Charlie Wilson’s War in 2008.

Capote turned out to be a riveting piece of celluloid, laid bare in several layers. We see here the obsessive search for truth by writer Truman Capote (Hoffman) to get to the bottom of the sadistic 1959 murder of a Kansas family. Hoffman enacts Capote with mesmeric zeal, and is seen dominating just about every scene.

Hoffman is a spiritual healer in The Master, who believes in curing the physically and psychologically ill by helping them to rid themselves of their past selves.

Born in 1967 near Rochester, Hoffman came into critical view in the 1997 Boogie Nights – where he portrays a lovelorn homosexual. It was actually a movie within a movie, a work about the pornography industry. When this acclaim came, Hoffman had already a dozen roles behind him.

Read: Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in NYC home

Interestingly, he played twisted characters, but whose range was phenomenal. In Happiness, he is a guy who makes obscene telephone calls. In Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, he is the son who robs from his parents’ jewellery store, and in this botched-up heist, his parents die.

There were exceptions though to his characterisation: he is a kind nurse in Magnolia.

Hoffman’s other remarkable works include Moneyball, The Savages, Cold Mountain, The Hunger Games and Scent of Woman. The last film was better known, though, for Al Pacino – who is brilliant as a blind man, a part that fetched him an Oscar.

Hoffman also appeared on stage earning Tony Award nominations for Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey into Night and True West.

Hoffman – who was scheduled to direct the Prohibition-era drama Ezekiel Moss, starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, leaves behind three young children and longtime partner Mimi O’Donnell.

Photos: Hoffman's best performances


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