Monday, February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman (from IMDb)
Shock.  Disbelief.  Devastation.  I just could not believe my eyes when I saw the report online yesterday that Philip Seymour Hoffman had died at age 46.  Too young.  Way too talented and he had much more to give the world.  No cause of death until this morning, and then only preliminary, but it's probably a safe bet that it's the cause -- a drug overdose.  He was found with the needle still in his arm and packets of alleged heroin nearby. 

Anger.  How could he be so stupid?!  Selfish?!  Leaving his three young children without a father and his partner without her partner?!  It must have been accidental.  But I don't really believe in accidents.  Whatever happens, however large or small, has a purpose, a reason.  It must have been Hoffman's time or he would not have gone.  And that's no comfort at all.

So, I went to IMDb to look up his filmography and read his bio.  Not surprised by the number of his movies that I'd seen and loved.  He was the kind of actor who could capture the essence of a character to make him real.  He was so unbelievably annoying as Freddy in The Talented Mr. Ripley that I wasn't particularly upset with what happened to him.  His Truman Capote made me believe that he
Hoffman as Capote (from IMDb)
was the late writer.  He gave each character he played his all, no matter how big the role.  Professional integrity and honesty.  It didn't surprise me to read that one of his influences as an actor was Daniel Day-Lewis.  Hoffman was part of the pantheon of actors who always brought quality, humanity, and art to his work, like Day-Lewis. 

Addiction is a terrible thing.  I had not known that Hoffman was a recovering alcoholic and had struggled with drug addiction in his early 20's, or that he'd relapsed and gone into rehab last year.  Addiction seems like such a stupid thing for such a smart actor to get involved in, but addiction is an equal opportunity affliction.  It can seduce anyone right into its depths.  I wonder why, why had Hoffman relapsed?  Why hadn't rehab worked for him?  My thoughts and condolences are with his partner and their children today.  What a dark time for them.

Hoffman left a lot of work for us to enjoy and celebrate.  He had worked hard and often, whether in movies, on TV, or on stage.  When Paul Newman passed on, I bought DVDs of the movies he'd done that were my favorites: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Hud, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Verdict.  Of Hoffman's movies, I already own DVDs of Capote, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Cold Mountain.  I won't be buying any others, I think, but I may rent others I've seen and could watch again to enjoy the work of this fine actor who succumbed to addiction all too soon..... 
(from IMDb)


Ms Sparrow said...

I always wonder how smart people get addicted to drugs like that. They must know going into it that addiction will catch up to them and dog them the rest of their life--and sadly, even unto death. What a shame!

Anonymous said...

When one is in the throws of a heroin addiction, one can easily overdose and that is what happened.Police found about 70 bags of heroin he locked the place two times, he was not coming out and no one was coming in..He was a grown man but had a wicked addiction to a drug that kills..It is horrible but he basically chose that instead of living, he was not with his partner when he died, his kids will never know him again..I have a close family member who worked for him, he was not really what he appeared to be, not the person everyone loved..Drugs take peoples lives daily, he was famous and young so everyone knows of his demise not so much regular drug folks who kill themselves accidentally..Interesting the super bowl is a big ole party, billions spent on it, but the money spent in this country to save people from drug addiction is woefully underfunded.think about that fact. Food stamps are being cut drastically and people still prefer drugs to food, how can that be...just saying!!!!!!!!!!