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Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dies at 46

philip seymour hoffman

Famed and highly acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his apartment earlier this month. He was 46. According to the police, he died of a heroin overdose, an addiction he had been dealing with off and on for quite some time. This death is sad, and although it should be recognized, it’s more important that his life and work in the film industry to be celebrated.

We got our first glimpse of Hoffman in an episode of “Law and Order” during its first season in 1991. His debut on the big screen came later that year with “Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole.” It was an indie film and became the first of many for Hoffman. It didn’t take long for his talent to be recognized; his career took off. He soon became an icon in indie films with movies like “Flawless” and “Almost Famous.”

Roles in “Boogie Nights,” “The Big Lebowski” and “Magnolia” helped Hoffman make a name for himself. He tended to play supporting roles in A-list films. Hoffman didn’t become a leading actor until the early 2000s with movies like “Love Liza” and “Owning Mahowny.”

In 2005 he starred in “Capote” as author Truman Capote, who was best known for his book “In Cold Blood.” This role got him nominated for his first Oscar for best actor in a leading role, which he won. It would be his only Oscar, although he was nominated three more times for best actor in a supporting role for his performances in “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “Doubt” and “The Master.”

“The Master,” in which Hoffman played an incredibly powerful and chilling cult leader, was just one of many Paul Thomas Anderson films in which Hoffman took part. In fact, Hoffman has been in every one of the director’s films except “There Will Be Blood.”

But Hoffman wasn’t just an actor; he was a director as well. He starred in and directed “Jack Goes Boating,” the screen adaptation of the play by Robert Glaudini, in which he plays Jack, a limo driver who falls in love.

Hoffman also dabbled in theater as both an actor and director. He starred in plays like “True West” and “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” He was the executive and artistic director for many Broadway plays and was even nominated for two Tony Awards.

One of his latest roles included Plutarch Heavensbee, head gamemaker in “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay,” the last installments of “The Hunger Games.” He died while the final movie was being filmed.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of film’s finest actors. He was a father of three and a friend to many. He was incredibly talented and not rewarded nearly enough. His filmography includes some great and respectable movies from the past 30 years. We lost a great actor this year, but his work and talent live on.

About the Author

Sierra Savela

Sierra Savela is a Chimes guest writer for the 2012-13 school year.

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