Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"
Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master"
On February 2, 2014, Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away in his Manhattan residence at the age of 46. The apparent cause; a drug overdose. 

The legendary actor was highly respected and admired by his peers. Cameron Crowe, who directed Hoffman in “Almost Famous,” stated that he was “grateful for [a] front row seat to [Hoffman’s] genius.” Actress Nicole Kidman described him as “one of the greatest actor’s-actors of all time.”

Hoffman was nominated for the Oscar four times in the past decade, receiving a Best Actor victory for his role in "Capote" in 2005. That performance also secured him the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, as well as the Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. He was most recently recognized with Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his appearance as a religious leader in 2012 film “The Master.”

The actor believed that landing a role in 1992 drama “Scent of a Woman” was a highlight of his career, as he continually had steady acting work since that time. Hoffman once said that “being unemployed is not good for an actor … no matter how unsuccessful you are. Because you always remember getting fired from all the restaurants. You remember that stuff very, very strongly.”

In 2003, he taught for one semester at the Columbia University School of the Arts Graduate Film Division, and believed in the importance of education. Hoffman emphasized that individuals should “study, find all the good teachers and study with them, get involved in acting to act, not to be famous or for the money. Do plays. It’s not worth it if you are just in it for the money. You have to love it.”

Several other Hollywood figures had positive things to say about the incredibly talented man.

You can see Hoffman Tuesday, February 4 on The Sundance Channel, as a political campaign manager in “The Ides Of March” at 9 p.m. EST. On February 6, he appears as the villainous Owen Davian in “Mission: Impossible III,” airing at 8 p.m. on AMC. And Cloo will be showing two Hoffman films back-to-back during the evening of Friday, February 7, with “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “Pirate Radio” in the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. time slots.

Hoffman is also appearing in several films later this year, including "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1," "A Most Wanted Man" and "God's Pocket." Hoffman’s notable character portrayals and acting will most certainly be missed.

 Other films Hoffman acted in include:

25th Hour

In this 2002 Spike Lee joint, Hoffman appears as Jacob Elinsky, a teacher and the childhood friend of characters played by Edward Norton and Barry Pepper. Hoffman’s memorable moment in the movie occurs when Elinsky encounters a young female student of his at a nightclub, and decides to make a move on her.

 Punch-Drunk Love

While this film is notable for Adam Sandler’s first major dramatic role, Hoffman’s brief appearance as Utah mattress store proprietor/thug Dean Trumbell proves to be unexpected and amusing; Trumbell, thinking he has the upper hand as an extortionist, quickly learns this is not the case during a heated confrontation.

Synecdoche, New York

Charlie Kaufman’s 2008 directorial debut was described by critic Roger Ebert as the “best film of the decade.” Hoffman portrays Caden Cotard, a theater director intent on utilizing newfound wealth to develop his best artistic work. Cotard becomes so obsessed with realizing his dream over several decades that he is soon separated from his family, and life itself.

Author: Brian Cameron

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