Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote, uploaded February 3, 2014 - Wolf Gang/Flickr Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote, uploaded February 3, 2014 - Wolf Gang/Flickr

Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman

Fri, Feb. 2, 2018
CAIRO - 2 February 2018: February 2 marks a sad day in Hollywood; in 2014, Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an accidental drug overdose in New York City. He was 46 years old.

Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967, in Rochester, New York, second amongst four children. His interest in acting began early, after his mother would take little Hoffman out to see the local theatrical plays. After seeing a performance of “All My Sons” at the age of 12, Hoffman felt he'd had a life changing experience; a taste of a higher reality that he never dreamed was possible.

His future had been set.

In High School, after failing at athletics, Hoffman took up acting classes, and when he was 17 got accepted into the New York State Summer School of the Arts. He then finished studying acting at the New York University, which he graduated in from at 1989.

Hoffman's film career started with 1991's “Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole”, an indie-film directed by Amos Poe following a couple who spend their days robbing golfers. While Hoffman's role was no more than five minutes, his acting had been praised as the highlight of this otherwise obscure film.


His roles would quickly grow grander, starting with 1992's “Scent of a Woman”, where he acted alongside Hollywood legend Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell and portrayed an antagonistic prep-school student. Proving himself as a supporting actor worth having, Hoffman found himself in various film roles throughout the 90s, including the 1996 disaster movie “Twister”, the 1997 porn industry drama “Boogie Nights”, and even the critically acclaimed comedy “The Big Lebowski”.


Hoffman's unique talents came from how deeply he felt every role he played. He combined what was familiar to what was strange. Film acting wasn't enough for him; Hoffman was also active in on stage, especially notable for his 2000 performance in Broadway's “True West”, where he alternated a lead role alongside John C. Reily, earning both actors a Tony Award Nomination.

Come 2005 and Hoffman had a breakout role with “Capote”, a biopic drama film based on the life of author Truman Capote. He spent four months researching for the role, which he first hesitated to take, though his hard work proved itself after the film won him his first, and sadly, only Oscar award.


Another major role came in 2008, in the bizarre post-modern drama film “Synecdoche, New York”, where he played a theatre director who watches his life fall apart while he sets out to create the grandest play of his career. Given Hoffman's experiences with the stage, it is a film so perfectly fitted to him it is impossible to imagine any other lead.


That same year also saw Hoffman star in another Oscar-nominated role, this time as a supporting actor in “Charlie Wilson's War”. A year later, his performance in “Doubt” as a priest accused of pedophilia earned him his second Oscar nomination, and his final one came in 2012's ‘The Master”, where he played a cult leader.


An ode to his incredible range, Hoffman even starred in the Hunger Games franchise, starting with 2013's “Catching Fire”, but his unfortunate death a year later led to complications regarding his scenes in “Mockingjay – Part 2”. Through careful discretion, his scenes managed to remain in the movie without disrupting the plot.

Hoffman is survived by his wife, costume designer Mimi O'Donnell and three children.

 
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