Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead at 46

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The Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment this afternoon, the NYPD confirmed on Sunday. The actor reportedly died of a drug overdose. He was 46 years old. 

In a statement, Hoffman's family said they were "devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone," adding, "This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving." The family asked Hoffman's supporters to "keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers."  Hoffman has three young children: Cooper, 10; Tallulah 7, and Willa, 5. 

The New York Post and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that the actor's death may have been from a drug overdose. The Journal's Pervaiz Shallwani, citing an unnamed law enforcement official, reported that the actor was "found in the bathroom...with a needle in his arm." According to Shallwani and others, Hoffman was found by his friend, screenwriter David Katz, who arrived at his apartment on Sunday morning. Officials reportedly found "several" bags containing what appears to be heroin in his apartment. 

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The actor has a history of treatment for drug abuse, including heroin. In May, Hoffman told TMZ that he'd entered treatment in an east coast detox facility following about a year of escalating drug use, after giving up the habit decades ago. When the actor was just 22, he entered rehab for drug and alcohol abuse, he told CBS in 2006. 

 In the coming days, much will be said and written about Hoffman—his celebrated career, the tragic nature of his young death, and his reported troubles with addiction. For now, here's a quote from Meryl Streep given in a profile of Hoffman in 2008, when the two starred together in the film "Doubt:"

“His physical form actually works to his advantage. Philip is not particularly any one way, which means he can be anybody at all. One of the most important keys to acting is curiosity. I am curious to the point of being nosy, and I think Philip is the same. What that means is you want to devour lives. You’re eager to put on their shoes and wear their clothes and have them become a part of you. All people contain mystery, and when you act, you want to plumb that mystery until everything is known to you.”


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.