Today is a dark day. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found dead this afternoon in his New York City apartment. The NYPD is currently investigating the exact cause of death. Hoffman was only 46 years old.
Talk about a gut punch. It’s so tough to process scenarios like this in which gigantic talents are ripped away from us before they have the chance to fully live up to their potential. When older people pass away, at least we can be content in the knowledge that they lived a full life; Hoffman wasn’t as young as Cory Monteith, Paul Walker, or Lee Thompson Young (who all died young last year), but at 46 it felt like he was truly finding his groove.
He started acting in the early ’90s and made a name for himself working with Paul Thomas Anderson in Hard Eight and Boogie Nights, sandwiching a supporting role in Twister in between those projects. The list of his iconic film roles is pretty astounding: The Big Lebowski. Magnolia. Punch-Drunk Love. 25th Hour. Capote, for which he won the Oscar in 2005. He was one of those guys who completely served the material. He could completely carry a film if the situation called for it, or he could disappear into an ensemble and let you get lost in the story. I loved him in small roles like Along Came Polly and The Ides of March, and he did stunning work in PTA’s The Master in 2012. He’s far and away my favorite Mission: Impossible movie villain, and he was one of the best parts of this year’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The list goes on.
Hoffman elevated nearly every project he was in. There’s no denying he was one of the best actors of his generation, and to say he’ll be sorely missed is a sad understatement not worthy of the man and the work he gave to movie lovers everywhere. Rest in peace, sir.
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