On this day in 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman, considered one of the most talented and versatile actors of his generation, dies of an accidental drug overdose at age 46 in New York City. During his career, the prolific performer appeared in more than 50 movies, including “Capote,” “Doubt” and “The Hunger Games” series, and earned a reputation for playing difficult or quirky characters. Hoffman also was an accomplished stage actor and director.
Born July 23, 1967, Hoffman was raised in Fairport, New York, and developed an interest in theater while growing up. He studied acting at New York University, from which he graduated in 1989, and went on to make his small-screen debut in a 1991 episode of “Law & Order.” The next year, he earned his first big-screen credit in an indie film titled “Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole.” Hoffman garnered attention for his supporting role as a spoiled prep school student in the Oscar-winning film “Scent of a Woman” (1992), which he followed with appearances in such movies as “Nobody’s Fool” (1994), “Twister” (1996), “Boogie Nights” (1997), “The Big Lebowski” (1998) “Magnolia” (1999) and “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999). Increasingly in demand, Hoffman then took on roles in films including “Almost Famous” (2000), “Punch-Drunk Love” (2002), “The 25th Hour” (2002), “Cold Mountain” (2003) and “Along Came Polly” (2004).
He won an Academy Award in the best actor category for his portrayal of author Truman Capote in “Capote” (2005), and received Oscar nominations for best supporting actor for his role as a CIA agent in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007) and for his performance as a priest in “Doubt” (2008). Other film credits include “Mission: Impossible III” (2006), “Moneyball” (2011) and “The Hunger Games” series. Hoffman garnered a third best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his role as a cult leader in “The Master” (2012).
Hoffman also was an acclaimed stage actor and director, who helped co-found a theater company, LAByrinth, and earned Tony Award nominations for his performances in “True West” (2000), “Long Day’s Journey into Night” (2003) and “Death of a Salesman” (2012), in which he starred as Willy Loman.
On February 2, 2014, Hoffman, who had struggled with drug addiction in his early 20s but was sober for many years before relapsing in 2012, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment. The medical examiner later ruled that the father of three had died from acute mixed drug intoxication.