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Philip Seymour Hoffman, Oscar-Winning Actor, Found Dead at 46

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Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
U.S. actor Philip Seymour Hoffman poses with the Coppa Volpi for the Best Actor he received for "The Master" after the award ceremony of the 69th Venice Film Festival on September 8, 2012. Hoffman, who garnered acclaim for film roles including the Oscar-award winning 2005 film Capote, has died at the age of 46. Photographer: Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Philip Seymour Hoffman, the equally disheveled and cerebral performer of stage and screen who joined the ranks of the most-revered actors for his portrayal of Truman Capote, has died. He was 46.

Hoffman was found dead in the bathroom of his New York City apartment with a needle in his arm, according to law-enforcement officials, who declined to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

Police received an 11:15 a.m. call yesterday from within the actor’s apartment in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood, said the people. The city’s medical examiner is investigating the death as a possible drug overdose, they said.

Hoffman garnered acclaim for film roles including 2005’s “Capote,” for which he won the Oscar for best actor in a leading role. He was nominated for best supporting actor for 2007’s “Charlie Wilson’s War,” 2008’s “Doubt” and “The Master” from 2012.

The actor was found in his fourth-floor apartment by screenwriter David Katz, who called 911, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing a law-enforcement official it didn’t identify. Katz had been concerned after not being able to get in touch with Hoffman, the Journal reported.

Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967, in Fairport, New York, a suburb of Rochester, to Gordon Stowell Hoffman and Marilyn L. O’Connor, according to Marquis Who’s Who.

NYU Alumnus

He began acting in high school and, following a sports injury, decided to study theater, according to a 2000 profile in W magazine.

“I had no desire to do film at all,” he said, according to W. “I thought it was silly -- not that film was silly, but that me acting in film was silly.”

In 1989, he graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a bachelor’s degree in theater, according to a biography on the New York Times website. He was also an accomplished theater actor and director, and was nominated most recently for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Willy Loman in a 2012 revival of “Death of a Salesman.”

His first Tony nomination came in 2000 for his performance in “True West,” followed by another in 2003 for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”

‘Sweet, Funny’

In accepting his Oscar, Hoffman acknowledged his mother, who he said raised four children on her own and took him to his first play.

“And she stayed up with me to watch the NCAA Final Four, and her passions became my passions,” Hoffman said. “And be proud mom because I’m proud of you, and we’re here tonight and it’s so good.”

Fellow actors poured onto Twitter with condolences, including Ricky Gervais, who described Hoffman as “one of the greatest actors of a generation and a sweet, funny and humble man.”

One of his most recent roles was in the dystopian “Hunger Games” film series, in which he played Plutarch Heavensbee in 2013’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” The 2014 and 2015 release dates of the two remaining movies in the franchise won’t be affected by Hoffman’s death, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

Hoffman had three children with Mimi O’Donnell, a costume designer he met on the 1999 play he directed, “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings,” according to Us Weekly magazine.

To contact the reporters on this story: Hugh Son in New York at; Henry Goldman in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Charles W. Stevens at

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