All of a sudden my blogging about Super Bowl spots seems so shallow and insignificant. That’s because we lost one of the greatest actors of all time this Sunday Morning.
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Remembered
Now I’m not one who gets ‘crushes’ on movie stars, nor do I pretend to know them based on my knowledge of their films or the gossip I have read in magazines. But I truly had a great respect for Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose passing leaves me saddened and empty. Found with a needle in his arm in his West Village apartment by a friend at 11:30 am this morning, it seems he has lost his battle with drugs. After 23 years clean, he fell off the wagon a year ago, did ten days in rehab in May of 2013, but apparently heroin got the best of him. Numerous news reports will follow, details will emerge, but it doesn’t change the fact that his superb talent is no longer, denying us future performances.
Having won an Oscar in 2006 for his amazing 2005 turn as the lead role in ‘Capote,’ he also boasts memorable performances (worth seeing if you have not) in such films as The Master, The Savages, Doubt, Moneyball, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, Charlie Wilson’s War, Boogie Nights, Almost Famous, Happiness, Magnolia, The Talented Mr. Ripley and The Big Lebowski.
In this small tribute to the actor which could never do his talent justice, I am sharing with you many of my favorite portraits of him, personal quotes of his, a full filmography, his honors, awards and a short bio.
On playing Capote, Philip said “I knew that it would be great, but I still took the role kicking and screaming. Playing Capote took a lot of concentration. I prepared for four and a half months. I read and listened to his voice and watched videos of him on TV. Sometimes being an actor is like being some kind of detective where you’re on the search for a secret that will unlock the character. With Capote, the part required me to be a little unbalanced, and that wasn’t really good for my mental health. It was also a technically difficult part. Because I was holding my body in a way it doesn’t want to be held and because I was speaking in a voice that my vocal cords did not want to do, I had to stay in character all day. Otherwise, I would give my body the chance to bail on me.”
On quitting drinking at age 22, Philip said “I think I would have drank myself to death, literally, if I didn’t just stop, once and for all when I did. I am not ever going to preach to anyone about drugs or drinking. But, for me, when they were around, I had no self control.”
“Other people disagree with me, but Scent of a Woman really was my breakthrough. I was working in the prepared foods section of a deli when I was cast in that movie, and I’ve never had a non-acting job since. That’s amazing”. – Philip Seymour Hoffman
“Actors are responsible to the people we play. I don’t label or judge. I just play them as honestly and expressively and creatively as I can, in the hope that people who ordinarily turn their heads in disgust instead think, ‘What I thought I’d feel about that guy, I don’t totally feel right now.’ “ – Philip Seymour Hoffman on his responsibility as an actor.
“My favorite thing about acting is being alone and going through the scripts and working on it and getting ideas and asking myself questions, looking outside myself for them and researching and getting to the bottom of something and being creative with it as an actor and how to express it in a creative fashion. That’s my favorite part. And, the actual acting of it.” – Philip Seymour Hoffman
“Acting is so difficult for me that, unless the work is of a certain stature in my mind, unless I reach the expectations I have of myself, I’m unhappy. Then it’s a miserable existence. I’m putting a piece of myself out there. If it doesn’t do anything, I feel so ashamed. I’m afraid I’ll be the kind of actor who thought he would make a difference and didn’t. Right now, though, I feel like I made a little bit of difference.” – Philip Seymour Hoffman
“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.” – On his advice to aspiring actors.
I don’t think most people knew of his enormous body of work, playing both comedic and dramatic roles, voiceovers and more. I am devastated by the fact that he will not be able to bring us more on-screen joy but am thrilled that he has left behind a legacy of movies that will continue to entertain for decades.
Here are his films in chronological order from most recent:
•Presently in post production
• TV series (Happyish) and
• The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
• God’s Pocket
• Recently wrapped: A Most Wanted Man
• Recently wrapped: Günther Bachmann
•The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Plutarch Heavensbee)
•Back Beyond (Video short in which he played Lancaster Dodd)
• A Late Quartet (Robert Gelbart)
• The Master (Lancaster Dodd)
• Moneyball (Art Howe)
• The Ides of March (Paul Zara)
• A Child’s Garden of Poetry (TV Movie) (voice)
• Jack Goes Boating (Jack)
• Arthur (TV Series playing Will Toffman)
• No Acting Please/Prunella Deegan and the Disappointing Ending (2009) … Will Toffman (voice)
• The Invention of Lying (Jim the Bartender)
• Pirate Radio (The Count)
• Mary and Max – Max Jerry Horovitz (voice)
• Doubt (Father Brendan Flynn)
• Synecdoche, New York (Caden Cotard)
• Charlie Wilson’s War (Gust Avrakotos)
• Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Andy)
• The Savages (Jon Savage)
• Mission: Impossible III (Owen Davian)
• Capote (Truman Capote)
• Empire Falls (TV Movie playing Charlie Mayne)
• Strangers with Candy (Henry)
• Along Came Polly (Sandy Lyle)
• Cold Mountain (Reverend Veasey)
• Mattress Man Commercial (Video short playing Dean Trumbell)
• Owning Mahowny (Dan Mahowny)
• 25th Hour (Jacob Elinsky)
• Red Dragon (Freddy Lounds)
• Punch-Drunk Love (Dean Trumbell)
• Love Liza (Wilson Joel)
• Almost Famous (Lester Bangs)
• State and Main (Joseph Turner White)
• The Talented Mr. Ripley (Freddie Miles)
• Magnolia (Phil Parma)
• Flawless (Rusty)
• Patch Adams (Mitch)
• Happiness (Allen)
• The Big Lebowski (Brandt)
• Next Stop Wonderland (Sean)
• Montana (Duncan)
• Liberty! The American Revolution (TV Mini-Series)
– The Times That Try Men’s Souls: 1776-1777 (1997) … Joseph Plumb Martin
– Oh, Fatal Ambition: 1777-1778 (1997) … Joseph Plumb Martin
– The Reluctant Revolutionaries: 1763-1774 (1997) … Joseph Plumb Martin
– Blows Must Decide: 1774-1776 (1997) … Joseph Plumb Martin
•Culture (Short in which played Bill)
• Boogie Nights (Scotty J.)
• Twister (Dustin Davis)
• Hard Eight Young Craps Player (as Phillip Seymour Hoffman)
• The Fifteen Minute Hamlet (Short in which he played Bernardo / Horatio / Laertes )
• Nobody’s Fool (Officer Raymer)
• When a Man Loves a Woman (Gary)
• The Yearling (TV Movie, played Buck)
• Szuler (Martin)
• The Getaway (Frank Hansen)
• Money for Nothing (Cochran)
• My Boyfriend’s Back (Chuck Bronski)
• Joey Breaker (Wiley McCall)
• Scent of a Woman ( he played bartender George Willis, Jr. and claims this as his ‘breakout’ role)
• Leap of Faith (Matt)
• My New Gun (Chris)
• Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole (Klutch)
• Law & Order (TV Series)
Some of his awards, nominations and honors:
to see a complete list of awards and honors, go here
IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwoo:
Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. After becoming involved in high school theatrics, he attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating with a B.F.A. degree in Drama in 1989. He made his feature film debut in the indie production Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole (1991) as Phil Hoffman, and his first role in a major release came the next year in My New Gun (1992). While he had supporting roles in some other major productions, his breakthrough role came in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights (1997). He quickly became an icon of indie cinema, establishing a reputation as one of the screen’s finest actors, in a variety of supporting and second leads in indie and major features, including Todd Solondz’s Happiness (1998), Flawless (1999), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia (1999), Almost Famous (2000) and State and Main (2000). He also appeared in supporting roles in such mainstream, big-budget features as Red Dragon (2002), Cold Mountain (2003) and the upcoming Mission: Impossible III (2006).
Hoffman was also quite active on the stage. On Broadway, he has earned two Tony nominations, as Best Actor (Play) in 2000 for a revival of Sam Shepard’s “True West” and as Best Actor (Featured Role – Play) in 2003 for a revival of Eugene O’Neill (I)’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night”. His other acting credits in the New York theater include “The Seagull” (directed by Mike Nichols for The New York Shakespeare Festival), “Defying Gravity”, “The Merchant of Venice” (directed by Peter Sellars), “Shopping and F*@%ing” and “The Author’s Voice” (Drama Desk nomination). He is the Co-Artistic Director of the LAByrinth Theater Company in New York, for which he directed “Our Lady of 121st Street” by Stephen Adly Guirgis. He also has directed “In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings” and “Jesus Hopped the A Train” by Guirgis for LAByrinth, and “The Glory of Living” by Rebecca Gilman at the Manhattan Class Company.
Hoffman consolidated his reputation as one of the finest actors under the age of 40 with his turn in the title role of Capote (2005), for which he won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award as Best Actor. In 2006, he was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for the same role.
My heart goes out to his family, friends and fans,
Rest in peace, Philip.