Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Hoffman with Andrew Garfield in Death of a Salesman

If you’re a fan of thought-provoking, well-acted movies and follow entertainment media, you probably have heard about the death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman. He was only 46.

I was lucky enough to see him in Death of a Saleman on Broadway in 2012. He was mesmerizing in the title role, and I keenly feel the loss of his talent. He was one of those actors who elevated the productions he was in, and I would make a point of seeing his work. I didn’t always like the films he chose, but I always loved him.

When I truly am in awe of something, it have difficulty finding the right words to express my emotions. Which is frustrating as a writer. However, others are not inflicted with my problem, and so, please read this tribute by Entertainment Weekly magazine’s Owen Gleiberman. He eloquently puts into words why Hoffman was such a gifted actor.

As an alcoholic, I understood his struggle with sobriety. I cheered when he went back to rehab last year after 23 years of sobriety. But I was worried it wasn’t the end of his drug dependency.

Hoffman was found dead in his bathroom with a needle still in his arm. To me, it is a shocking reminder that success and talent does not make one free from personal demons.

If I believed in an afterlife, I’d like to think of him entertaining the angels with his shlumpy, self-effacing ways. (Just click on this link to watch him in Along Came Polly, and I dare you not to cringe/laugh.) My heart is broken a little. I hope he found peace, wherever he is.

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5 thoughts on “Phillip Seymour Hoffman

  1. Doug Hart says:

    Some people don’t consider the loss of an artist as culturally significant as the death of a politician or of a business mover and shaker. I think that artist’s touch us in a more visceral and human way. I find it much harder to reconcile the loss of an artist than some soulless suit on wall street or inside the beltway. I can access an artist for less than 20 bucks. Try gaining an audience with a politician at that price.

  2. Such a talent and a loss. However I do thank him for his untimely passing. 23 years clean/sober then he is off the wagon, back to rehab and then dead all in a relatively short space of time. It reminds me that whilst I may have won today’s battle so far not to pick up a drink I’m from no means through the war. I have to remind myself, and things like this tragedy to that, that if I was to think at some point I could just try another one it’d lead inevitably to the 1,000th, the 10,000th, the 100,000th etc. As they say “One is too many and a 1,000 not enough”.

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