Philip Seymour Hoffman
Actor
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman is an American actor and director. Hoffman began acting in television in 1991, and the following year started to appear in films. He gradually gained recognition for his supporting work in a series of notable films, including Scent of a Woman (1992), Boogie Nights (1997), The Big Lebowski (1998), Happiness (1998), Magnolia (1999), The Talented Mr.
Biography
Philip Seymour Hoffman's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Philip Seymour Hoffman from around the web
Remembrances of Working with Philip Seymour Hoffman
Wall Street Journal - 6 months
On the occasion of a retrospective of the actor’s greatest films at the Museum of the Moving Image, actors, directors and others recall his famous intensity. ‘He’s just kind of unfathomable.’
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Wall Street Journal article
Imogen Poots Is 'Very, Very Happy' In Her Career, So It's Time You Know Her Name
Huffington Post - 10 months
For Imogen Poots, 2015 marked a new beginning. Across the better part of a decade, she'd scored noteworthy roles in movies like "28 Weeks Later," "Solitary Man" and "Jane Eyre" without ever quite transcending emerging-actress limbo. But as the 2010s inch forward, Poots has always been on the cusp of breaking through -- with the vampire horror-comedy "Fight Night," the rowdy bromance "That Awkward Moment" and the noisy Aaron Paul racing vehicle "Need for Speed."  But it's the movies that have struggled to secure much shelf life where Poots has found her true calling. She played Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener's daughter in 2011's "A Late Quartet" before starring as Linda Keith, one of Jimi Hendrix's lovers, in the under-appreciated 2013 biopic "Jimi: All Is By My Side" and as an earnest call-girl-turned-Broadway-hopeful in Peter Bogdanovich's 2015 screwball comedy "She's Funny That Way." This year alone, she's appeared in the Sundance drama "Frank & Lola," Terrence ...
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Huffington Post article
From silver screen to tablet: The best movies on HBO Go and HBO Now
Yahoo News - about 1 year
This list is continually updated to reflect recent availability and to showcase films currently streaming on HBO’s premium services, HBO Go and HBO Now. True to its name, HBO has always aimed to bring the box office into people’s homes. That is easier than ever thanks to their streaming services HBO Go and HBO Now. There are many movies on HBO’s platform, however, not all of them necessarily qualify as “great.” If you feel like streaming a movie and don’t want to waste your time on dreck, check out our list of the very best HBO has to offer. Related: Here’s what’s coming to HBO in February and what’s going away Choose a genre: Comedy Drama Action/Sci-fi Next Page: Comedy… Choose a genre: Comedy Drama Action/Sci-fi Comedy Beetlejuice Please enable Javascript to watch this video Tim Burton’s best films often center around a clever premise. In Beetlejuice , married ghosts Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis), having died in a car accident, are distressed to find that the ...
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Yahoo News article
Eternally Thrilling: Estelle Parsons Directs <i>The Last Days of Judas Iscariot</i> at the Actors Studio
Huffington Post - about 1 year
It's only natural that the battle for a man's soul feels dangerous, especially when that man betrayed Jesus. There has been a crackling element of menace throughout the rehearsals for Estelle Parsons' production of Stephen Adly Guirgis' The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, to the point that the Oscar winner/theatre icon tells me, "We stopped [one exercise] when it was clear that it was going to result in violence." Such things aren't uncommon at the Actors Studio, where Judas is the third play in Parsons' "Theater and Social Justice" series, which examines works that address such large cultural themes as race, poverty, and religion. But unlike the program's previous minimalist productions -- Leland Gantt's solo show Rhapsody in Black and the three-character Mud by Maria Irene Fornés -- Judas is a grand spectacle, featuring a cast of twenty-seven and a nearly three-hour running time. Thanks to the actors' intense vivacity (which includes that air of conflict) and Parsons' electrifying dir ...
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Huffington Post article
Why We Grieve The Loss Of Cultural Icons
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The world lost two of its greatest performers this week: legendary rock star David Bowie and British actor Alan Rickman. Bowie and Rickman both succumbed to cancer at the age of 69, leaving behind a world in mourning for the loss of two brilliant and beloved creative minds.  The outpouring of grief, while fresh in its emotional intensity, after the death of a celebrity follows a familiar pattern. After the 2014 deaths of beloved actors Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman, the public also displayed shock, grief and a deep sense of loss.  Why do we grieve so much over artists -- over people we've never even met before? One viral tweet pretty much summed it up: Thinking about how we mourn artists we've never met. We don't cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves. — Juliette (@ElusiveJ) January 11, 2016 Although we don't know these iconic performers and view them from a distance, many of us feel a deep sense of connection ...
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Huffington Post article
Best of the Year: The Best and Worst Networks of 2015
Yahoo News - about 1 year
There were so many different companies producing TV in 2015 that "network" or "channel" are barely correct descriptors. But no matter if we're talking a century-old broadcaster, an upstart, niché channel, or an online-shopping retailer turned content producer, this year brought us so much TV that there are some pretty clear winners and losers among those making this stuff. That's what I'm hear to discuss. Before we jump into it, let me say that this isn't just about ratings—of the overnight, DVR, or social media variety. If you want to know what networks had the most successful 2015 based on Nielsen's wizardry, there are other places to go for that. Instead, this list celebrates good shows, surprising developments, and smart decisions (and all the opposite of all that, too). 2015 WAS GOOD TO THESE NETWORKS THE CW From internet punching bag to internet favorite. The CW built up a head of steam at the end of 2014 with the debuts of Jane the Virgin and The Flash , but this year has been a ...
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Yahoo News article
Late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has small but memorable turn in 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2'
LATimes - over 1 year
When Philip Seymour Hoffman died unexpectedly nearly two years ago of a drug overdose, he was midway through filming the final two "Hunger Games" films. Many were left wondering how director Francis Lawrence would handle the sudden passing of an actor who had played a significant role in the franchise...
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LATimes article
Late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has small but memorable turn in 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2'
LATimes - over 1 year
When Philip Seymour Hoffman died unexpectedly nearly two years ago of a drug overdose, he was midway through filming the final two "Hunger Games" films. Many were left wondering how director Francis Lawrence would handle the sudden passing of an actor who had played a significant role in the franchise...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has small but memorable turn in 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2'
LATimes - over 1 year
When Philip Seymour Hoffman died unexpectedly nearly two years ago of a drug overdose, he was midway through filming the final two "Hunger Games" films. Many were left wondering how director Francis Lawrence would handle the sudden passing of an actor who had played a significant role in the franchise...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Philip Seymour Hoffman
    FORTIES
  • 2014
    Age 46
    Hoffman's unexpected death was widely lamented by fans and the film industry, and was described by several commentators as a considerable loss to the profession. On February 5, 2014, the LAByrinth Theatre Company honored his memory by holding a candlelight vigil, and Broadway dimmed its lights for one minute.
    More Details Hide Details In another tribute, actress Cate Blanchett dedicated her BAFTA trophy to Hoffman when she received the award for Blue Jasmine on February 16. Three weeks after Hoffman's death, David Bar Katz established the American Playwriting Foundation in the actor's memory. With the money received from a libel lawsuit against the National Enquirer (which had inaccurately published that Hoffman and Katz were lovers), the foundation awards an annual prize of US$45,000 to the author of an unproduced play. Katz named this the "Relentless Prize" in honor of Hoffman's dedication to the profession. Regarding his material legacy, Hoffman left his entire fortune (approximately US$35 million) to Mimi O'Donnell in his October 2004 will, trusting her to distribute money to their children. Hoffman was held in high regard within the film and theater industry, and cited in the media as one of the finest actors of his generation. Despite this status among his peers and critics, he was never one of the most popular film stars, and has been overlooked in lists of all-time greatest actors. He was not a typical movie actor, with a pudgy build and lacking matinée idol looks, but Hoffman claimed that he was grateful for his appearance as it made him believable in a wide range of roles. Joel Schumacher once said of him in 2000, "The bad news is that Philip won't be a $25-million star. The good news is that he'll work for the rest of his life".
    A funeral was held at St. Ignatius Loyola church in Manhattan on February 7, 2014 and was attended by many of his former co-stars.
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    Although friends stated that Hoffman's drug use was under control at the time, on February 2, 2014 the actor was found dead in the bathroom of his Manhattan apartment by a friend – playwright and screenwriter David Bar Katz.
    More Details Hide Details Hoffman was 46 years old. Detectives searching the apartment found heroin and prescription medications at the scene, and revealed that he was discovered with a syringe in his arm. The death was officially ruled an accident caused by "acute mixed drug intoxication, including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine". It was not determined whether Hoffman had taken all of the substances on the same day, or whether any of the substances had remained in his system from earlier use.
    In February 2014, he was found dead with a syringe of heroin still in his arm, but official cause of death was combined drug intoxication – an unexpected event that was widely lamented in the film and theater industries.
    More Details Hide Details Remembered for his fearlessness in playing reprehensible characters, and for bringing depth and humanity to such roles, Hoffman was described in his New York Times obituary as "perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation".
    In November 2014, nine months after his death, Hoffman was seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.
    More Details Hide Details At the time of his death, Hoffman was filming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, the final film in the series, and had already completed the majority of his scenes. His two remaining scenes were rewritten to compensate for his absence, and the film was released in November 2015. Hoffman was also preparing for his second directorial effort, a Prohibition-era drama titled Ezekiel Moss, which was to star Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. In addition, he had filmed a pilot episode for the Showtime series Happyish, in which he played the lead role of an advertising executive, but plans for a full season were put on hold following his death. The role was later passed on to Steve Coogan.
  • 2013
    Age 45
    However, he relapsed in 2013, and admitted himself to drug rehabilitation for approximately 10 days in May of that year.
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    Hoffman and O'Donnell separated in the fall of 2013, some months before his death.
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  • 2012
    Age 44
    Hoffman rarely mentioned his personal life in interviews, stating in 2012 that he would "rather not because my family doesn't have any choice.
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    A Late Quartet was Hoffman's other film release of 2012, where he played a violinist in a string quartet whose members (played by Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir) face a crisis when one is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
    More Details Hide Details The drama received favorable reviews, and Stephen Holden of The New York Times called Hoffman's performance "exceptional". In 2013, Hoffman joined the popular Hunger Games series in its second film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, where he played gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. The film finished as the tenth-highest grossing in history to that point, and made Hoffman recognizable to a new generation of film-goers.
    In the spring of 2012, Hoffman made his final stage appearance, starring as Willy Loman in a Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman.
    More Details Hide Details Directed by Mike Nichols, the production ran for 78 performances and was the highest-grossing show in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre's history. Many critics felt that Hoffman, at 44, was too young for the role of 62-year-old Loman, and Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune felt that the character had been interpreted poorly. Hoffman admitted that he found the role difficult, but he nevertheless earned his third Tony Award nomination. Hoffman collaborated with Paul Thomas Anderson for the fifth time in The Master (2012), where he turned in what critic Peter Bradshaw considered the most memorable performance of his career. Set in 1950s America, the film featured Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic leader of a nascent Scientology-type movement who brings a troubled man (Joaquin Phoenix) under his tutelage. Hoffman was instrumental in the project's development, having been involved with it for three years. He assisted Anderson in the writing of the script by reviewing samples of it, and suggested making Phoenix's character, Freddie Quell, the protagonist instead of Dodd. A talented dancer, Hoffman was able to showcase his abilities by performing a jig during a surreal sequence; Bradshaw called it an "extraordinary moment" that "only Hoffman could have carried off." The Master was praised as an intelligent and challenging drama, and Drew Hunt of the Chicago Reader also felt that it contained Hoffman's finest work: "He's inscrutable yet welcoming, intimidating yet charismatic, villainous yet fatherly.
  • 2011
    Age 43
    Hoffman next had significant supporting roles in two films, both released in the last third of 2011.
    More Details Hide Details In Moneyball, a sports drama about the 2002 season of the baseball team Oakland Athletics, he played the manager Art Howe. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Hoffman was described as "perfectly cast" by Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post, but the real-life Art Howe accused the filmmakers of giving an "unfair and untrue" portrayal of him. Hoffman's second film of the year was George Clooney's political drama The Ides of March, in which he played the earnest campaign manager to the Democratic presidential candidate Mike Morris (Clooney). The film was well-received and Hoffman's performance, especially in the scenes opposite Paul Giamatti – who played the rival campaign manager – was positively noted. Hoffman's work on the film earned him his fourth BAFTA Award nomination.
  • 2010
    Age 42
    In addition to Jack Goes Boating, in 2010 Hoffman also directed Brett C. Leonard's tragic drama The Long Red Road for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
    More Details Hide Details Steven Oxman of Variety described the production as "heavy handed" and "predictable", but "intriguing and at least partially successful".
  • 2009
    Age 41
    On stage in 2009, Hoffman played Iago in Peter Sellars' futuristic production of Othello (with the title role by John Ortiz), which received mixed reviews.
    More Details Hide Details Ben Brantley, theatre critic of The New York Times found it to be "exasperatingly misconceived", remarking that even when Hoffman is attempting to "manipulate others into self-destruction, he comes close to spoiling everything by erupting into genuine, volcanic fury". Hoffman also did his first vocal performance for the claymation film Mary and Max, although the film did not initially have an American release. He played the male title character, a depressed New Yorker with Asperger syndrome, while Toni Collette voiced Mary – the Australian girl who becomes his pen pal. Continuing with animation, Hoffman then worked on an episode of the children's show Arthur and received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Performer In An Animated Program. Later in the year, he played a brash American DJ opposite Bill Nighy and Rhys Ifans in Richard Curtis's British comedy The Boat That Rocked (also known as Pirate Radio) – a character based on Emperor Rosko, a host of Radio Caroline in 1966. He also had a cameo role as a bartender in Ricky Gervais's The Invention of Lying.
  • 2008
    Age 40
    The year 2008 contained two significant Hoffman roles.
    More Details Hide Details In Charlie Kaufman's enigmatic drama Synecdoche, New York, he starred as Caden Cotard, a frustrated dramatist who attempts to build a scale replica of New York inside a warehouse for a play. Hoffman again showed his willingness to reveal unattractive traits, as the character ages and deteriorates, and committed to a deeply psychological role. Critics were divided in their response to the "ambitious and baffling" film. Sonny Bunch of The Washington Times found it "impressionistic, inaccessible and endlessly frustrating", likening Hoffman's character to "God, if God lacked imagination". Roger Ebert, on the contrary, named it the best film of the decade and considered it one of the greatest of all time, and Robbie Collin, film critic for The Daily Telegraph, believes Hoffman gave one of cinema's best performances. Hoffman's second role of the year came opposite Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, where he played Father Brendan Flynn – a priest accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old African-American student in the 1960s. Hoffman was already familiar with the play and appreciated the opportunity to bring it to the screen; in preparing for the role, he talked extensively to a priest who lived through the era. The film had a mixed reception, with some critics such as Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian suspicious of it as Oscar bait, but Hoffman gained second consecutive Best Supporting Actor nominations at the Oscars, BAFTAs and Golden Globes, and was also nominated by the Screen Actors Guild.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2007
    Age 39
    Returning to independent films in 2007, Hoffman began with a starring role in Tamara Jenkins's The Savages, where he and Laura Linney played siblings responsible for putting their dementia-ridden father (Philip Bosco) in a care home.
    More Details Hide Details Jake Coyle of the Associated Press stated that it was "the epitome of a Hoffman film: a mix of comedy and tragedy told with subtlety, bone-dry humor and flashes of grace". Hoffman next received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, the final film by veteran director Sidney Lumet, where he played a realtor who embezzles funds from his employer to support his drug habit. Mosher comments that the character was one of the most unpleasant of Hoffman's career, but that his "fearlessness again revealed the humanity within a deeply flawed character" as he appeared naked in the opening anal sex scene. The film was viewed positively by critics as a powerful and affecting thriller. Mike Nichols's political film Charlie Wilson's War (2007) gave Hoffman his second Academy Award nomination. It was again for playing a real individual – Gust Avrakotos, the CIA agent who conspired with Congressman Charlie Wilson (played by Tom Hanks) to aid Afghani rebels in their fight against the Soviet Union. Todd McCarthy wrote of Hoffman's performance: "Decked out with a pouffy '80s hairdo, moustache, protruding gut and ever-present smokes... whenever he's on, the picture vibrates with conspiratorial electricity." The film was a critical and commercial success, and along with his Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, Hoffman was nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe Award.
  • 2006
    Age 38
    In a 2006 interview with 60 Minutes, Hoffman revealed he had engaged in drug and alcohol abuse during his time at New York University, saying he had used "anything I could get my hands on.
    More Details Hide Details I liked it all." Following his graduation in 1989, he entered a drug rehabilitation program at age 22, and remained sober for 23 years.
    In 2006, he appeared in the summer blockbuster Mission: Impossible III, playing the villainous arms dealer Owen Davian opposite Tom Cruise.
    More Details Hide Details A journalist for Vanity Fair stated that Hoffman's "black-hat performance was one of the most delicious in a Hollywood film since Alan Rickman's in Die Hard ", and he was generally approved of for bringing gravitas to the action film. With a gross of nearly US$400 million, it exposed Hoffman to a mainstream audience.
    In 2006, Premiere magazine listed his role in Capote as the 35th greatest movie performance of all time.
    More Details Hide Details After the film, several commentators began to describe Hoffman as one of the finest, most ambitious actors of his generation. Hoffman received his only Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his supporting role in the HBO miniseries Empire Falls (2005), about life in a New England town, but lost to castmate Paul Newman.
  • 2004
    Age 36
    In 2004, he appeared as the crude, has-been actor friend of Ben Stiller's character in the box office hit Along Came Polly.
    More Details Hide Details Reflecting on the role, People magazine said it proved that "Hoffman could deliver comedic performances with the best of them". A turning point in Hoffman's career came with the biographical film Capote (2005), which dramatized Truman Capote's experience of writing his true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966). Hoffman took the title role, in a project that he co-produced and helped come to fruition. Portraying the idiosyncratic writer proved highly demanding, requiring significant weight loss and four months of research – such as watching video clips of Capote to help him affect the author's effeminate voice and mannerisms. Hoffman stated that he was not concerned with perfectly imitating Capote's speech, but did feel a great duty to "express the vitality and the nuances" of the writer. During filming, he stayed in character constantly so as not to lose the voice and posture: "Otherwise", he explained, "I would give my body a chance to bail on me." Capote was released to great acclaim, particularly regarding Hoffman's performance. Many critics commented that the role was designed to win awards, and indeed Hoffman received an Oscar, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA, and various other critics' awards.
  • 2003
    Age 35
    Hoffman's second 2003 appearance was a small role in Anthony Minghella's successful Civil War epic Cold Mountain.
    More Details Hide Details He played an immoral preacher, a complex character that Hoffman described as a "mass of contradictions". The same year, from April to August, he appeared with Vanessa Redgrave in a Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night. Director Robert Falls later commented on the dedication and experience that Hoffman brought to his role of alcoholic Jamie Tyrone: "Every night he ripped it up to an extent that he couldn't leave role. Phil carried it with him." Hoffman received his second Tony Award nomination, this time for Best Featured Actor in a Play.
  • 2002
    Age 34
    His fourth appearance of 2002 came in Spike Lee's drama 25th Hour, playing an English teacher who makes a devastating drunken mistake.
    More Details Hide Details Both Lee and the film's lead Edward Norton were thrilled to work with Hoffman, and Lee confessed that he had long wanted to do a picture with the actor but had waited until he found the right role. Hoffman considered his character, Jakob, to be one of the most reticent characters he had ever played, a straight-laced "corduroy-pants-wearing kind of guy." Roger Ebert promoted 25th Hour to one of his "Great Movies" in 2009, and along with A. O. Scott, considered it to be one of the best films of the 2000s. The drama Owning Mahowny (2003) gave Hoffman his second lead role, starring opposite Minnie Driver as a bank employee who embezzles money to feed his gambling addiction. Based on the true story of Toronto banker Brian Molony, who committed the largest fraud in Canadian history, Hoffman met with Molony to prepare for the role and help him play the character as accurately as possible. He was determined not to conform to "movie character" stereotypes, and his portrayal of addiction won approval from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Roger Ebert assessed Hoffman's performance as "a masterpiece of discipline and precision", but the film earned little at the box office.
    Later in 2002, Hoffman starred opposite Adam Sandler and Emily Watson in Anderson's critically acclaimed fourth picture, the surrealist romantic comedy-drama Punch-Drunk Love (2002), where he played an illegal phone-sex "supervisor".
    More Details Hide Details Drew Hunt of the Chicago Reader saw the performance as a fine example of Hoffman's "knack for turning small roles into seminal performances", and praised the actor's comedic ability. In a very different film, Hoffman was next seen with Anthony Hopkins in the high-budget thriller Red Dragon, a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs, portraying the meddlesome tabloid journalist Freddy Lounds.
    In 2002, Hoffman was given his first leading role (despite joking at the time "Even if I was hired into a leading-man part, I'd probably turn it into the non-leading-man part") in Todd Louiso's tragicomedy Love Liza (2002).
    More Details Hide Details His brother Gordy wrote the script, which Hoffman had seen at their mother's house five years earlier, about a widower who starts sniffing gasoline to cope with his wife's suicide. He considered it the finest piece of writing he had ever read, "incredibly humble in its exploration of grief", but critics were less enthusiastic about the production. A review for the BBC wrote that Hoffman had finally been given a part that showed "what he's truly capable of", but few witnessed this as the film had a limited release and earned only US$210,000.
  • 2000
    Age 32
    Hoffman was also discreet about his religious and political beliefs, but it is known that he voted for the Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details He felt that keeping his personal life private was beneficial to his career: "The less you know about me the more interesting it will be to watch me do what I do".
    The following year, Hoffman featured as the narrator and interviewer in The Party's Over, a documentary about the 2000 U.S. elections.
    More Details Hide Details He assumed the position of a "politically informed and alienated Generation-Xer" who seeks to be educated in U.S. politics, but ultimately reveals the extent of public dissatisfaction in this area.
    David Mamet's comedy State and Main, about the difficulties of shooting a film in rural New England, was Hoffman's first film role of 2000 and had a limited release.
    More Details Hide Details He had a more prominent supporting role that year in Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe's popular coming-of-age film set around the 1970s music industry. Hoffman portrayed the enthusiastic rock critic Lester Bangs, a task that he felt burdened by, but he managed to convey the real figure's mannerisms and sharp wit after watching him in a BBC interview.
    This success continued with the 2000 Broadway revival of Sam Shepard's True West, where Hoffman alternated roles nightly with co-star John C. Reilly, making 154 appearances between March and July 2000.
    More Details Hide Details Ben Brantley of The New York Times felt that it was the best stage performance of Hoffman's career, calling him "brilliant", and the actor earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play. The following year, Hoffman appeared with Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman and John Goodman in a Delacorte Theater production of Chekhov's The Seagull – although Brantley felt that this performance was less fully realized. As a stage director, Hoffman received two Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Director of a Play: one for Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train in 2001; another for Our Lady of 121st Street in 2003. In a 2008 interview, Hoffman opined that "switching hats" between acting and directing helped him improve in both roles.
  • 1999
    Age 31
    For the last 14 years of his life, he was in a relationship with costume designer Mimi O'Donnell, whom he had met in 1999 when they were both working on the play In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, which Hoffman directed.
    More Details Hide Details They lived in New York City and had a son, Cooper (2003), and two daughters, Tallulah (2006) and Willa (2008).
    Hoffman had begun to be recognized as a theater actor in 1999, when he received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor for the off-Broadway play The Author's Voice.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1999, Hoffman starred opposite Robert De Niro as drag queen Rusty Zimmerman in Joel Schumacher's drama Flawless.
    More Details Hide Details Hoffman considered De Niro the most imposing actor that he had appeared with, and felt that working with the veteran performer profoundly improved his own acting. Hoffman's ability to avoid clichés in playing such a delicate role was noted by critics, and Roger Ebert said it confirmed him as "one of the best new character actors". He was rewarded with his first Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. Hoffman then reunited with Paul Thomas Anderson, where he was given an atypically virtuous role in the ensemble drama Magnolia. The film, set over one day in Los Angeles, features Hoffman as a nurse who cares for Jason Robards' character. The performance was approved of by the medical industry, and Jessica Winter of the Village Voice considered it Hoffman's most indelible work, likening him to a guardian angel in his caring for the dying father. Magnolia has been included in lists of the greatest films of all time, and it was a personal favorite of Hoffman's.
  • 1998
    Age 30
    His final 1998 release was more mainstream, as he appeared as a medical graduate in the Robin Williams comedy Patch Adams.
    More Details Hide Details The film was critically panned but one of the highest-grossing of Hoffman's career.
    Between March and April 1998, Hoffman made 30 appearances on stage at the New York Theatre Workshop in a production of Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and Fucking, portraying an ex-heroin addict.
    More Details Hide Details Hoffman took an unflattering role in Todd Solondz's Happiness (1998), a misanthropic comedy about the lives of three sisters and those around them. He played Allen, a strange loner who makes crude phone calls to women; the character furiously masturbates during one conversation, producing what film scholar Jerry Mosher calls an "embarrassingly raw performance". Jake Coyle of the Associated Press rated Allen as one of the creepiest characters in American cinema, but critic Xan Brooks highlighted the pathos that Hoffman brought to the role. Happiness was controversial but widely praised, and Hoffman's role has been cited by critics as one of his best.
    Continuing with this momentum, Hoffman appeared in five films in 1998.
    More Details Hide Details He had supporting roles in the crime thriller Montana and the romantic comedy Next Stop Wonderland, both of which were commercial failures, before working with the Coen brothers in their dark comedy The Big Lebowski. Hoffman had long been a fan of the directors and relished the experience of working with them. Appearing alongside Jeff Bridges and John Goodman, Hoffman played Brandt, the smug personal assistant of the titular character. Although it was only a small role, he claimed it was one that he was most recognized for, in a film that has achieved cult status and a large fan-base.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1996
    Age 28
    Between April and May 1996, Hoffman appeared at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in a Mark Wing-Davey production of Caryl Churchill's The Skriker.
    More Details Hide Details Following this, based on his work in Scent of a Woman, he was cast by writer–director Paul Thomas Anderson to appear in his debut feature Hard Eight (1996). Hoffman had only a brief role in the crime thriller, playing a cocksure young craps player, but it began the most important collaboration of his career. Before cementing his creative partnership with Anderson, Hoffman appeared in one of the year's biggest blockbusters, Twister, playing a grubby, hyperactive storm chaser alongside Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. According to a People magazine survey of Twitter and Facebook users, Twister is the film that Hoffman is most popularly associated with. He then reunited with Anderson for the director's second feature, Boogie Nights, about the Golden Age of Pornography. The ensemble-piece starred Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore and Burt Reynolds; Hoffman played a boom operator, described by David Fear of Rolling Stone as a "complete, unabashed loser", who attempts to seduce Wahlberg's character. Warmly received by critics, the film grew into a cult classic and it has been cited as the role in which Hoffman first showed his full ability. Fear commended the "naked emotional neediness" of the performance, adding that it made for compulsive viewing. Hoffman later expressed his appreciation for Anderson when he called the director "incomparable".
  • 1995
    Age 27
    Hoffman's only film appearance of 1995 was in the 22-minute short comedy The Fifteen Minute Hamlet, which satirized the film industry in an Elizabethan setting.
    More Details Hide Details He played the characters of Bernardo, Horatio, and Laertes alongside Austin Pendleton's Hamlet.
    Still considering stage work to be fundamental to his career, Hoffman joined the LAByrinth Theater Company of New York City in 1995.
    More Details Hide Details It was an association that lasted the remainder of his life; along with appearing in multiple productions, he later became co-artistic director of the theater company with John Ortiz and directed various plays over the years.
  • 1994
    Age 26
    In 1994, he portrayed an inexperienced mobster in the crime thriller The Getaway, starring Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, and appeared with Andy García and Meg Ryan in the romantic drama When a Man Loves a Woman.
    More Details Hide Details He then played a police deputy who gets punched by Paul Newman – one of Hoffman's acting idols – in the drama Nobody's Fool.
  • 1991
    Age 23
    After graduating, Hoffman worked in off-Broadway theater and made additional money with customer service jobs. He made his screen debut in 1991, in a Law & Order episode called "The Violence of Summer", playing a man accused of rape.
    More Details Hide Details His first cinema role came the following year, when he was credited as "Phil Hoffman" in the independent film Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole. After this, he adopted his grandfather's name, Seymour, to avoid confusion with another actor. More film roles promptly followed, with appearances in the studio production My New Gun, and a small role in the comedy Leap of Faith, starring Steve Martin. Following these roles, he gained attention playing a spoiled student in the Oscar-winning Al Pacino film Scent of a Woman (1992). Hoffman auditioned five times for his role, which The Guardian journalist Ryan Gilbey says gave him an early opportunity "to indulge his skill for making unctuousness compelling". The film earned US$134 million worldwide and was the first to get Hoffman noticed. Reflecting on Scent of a Woman, Hoffman later said "If I hadn't gotten into that film, I wouldn't be where I am today." It was only at this time that he abandoned his job in a delicatessen to become a professional actor.
  • 1989
    Age 21
    He received a drama degree in 1989.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1984
    Age 16
    Acting gradually became a passion for Hoffman: "I loved the camaraderie of it, the people, and that's when I decided it was what I wanted to do." At the age of 17, he was selected to attend the 1984 New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, where he met his future collaborators Bennett Miller and Dan Futterman.
    More Details Hide Details Miller later commented on Hoffman's popularity at the time: "We were attracted to the fact that he was genuinely serious about what he was doing. Even then, he was passionate." Hoffman applied for several drama degree programs and was accepted to New York University's (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts. Between starting on the program and graduating from Fairport High School, he continued his training at the Circle in the Square Theatre's summer program. Hoffman had positive memories of his time at NYU, where he supported himself by working as an usher. With friends, he co-founded the Bullstoi Ensemble acting troupe.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1967
    Born
    Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967, in the Rochester suburb of Fairport, New York.
    More Details Hide Details His mother, Marilyn O'Connor (née Loucks), came from nearby Waterloo and worked as an elementary school teacher before becoming a lawyer and eventually a family court judge. His father, Gordon Stowell Hoffman, was a native of Geneva, New York, and worked for the Xerox Corporation. Along with one brother, Gordy, Hoffman had two sisters, Jill and Emily. Hoffman was baptized a Roman Catholic and attended mass as a child, but did not have a heavily religious upbringing. His parents divorced when he was nine, leaving the children to be raised primarily by their mother. Hoffman's childhood passion was sports, particularly wrestling and baseball, but at age 12 he saw a stage production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons and was transfixed. He recalled in 2008, "I was changed – permanently changed – by that experience. It was like a miracle to me". Hoffman developed a love for the theater, and proceeded to attend regularly with his mother, who was a lifelong enthusiast. He remembered that productions of Quilters and Alms for the Middle Class, the latter starring a teenage Robert Downey, Jr., were also particularly inspirational. At the age of 14, Hoffman suffered a neck injury that ended his sporting activity, and he began to consider acting. Encouraged by his mother, he joined a drama club, and initially committed to it because he was attracted to a female member.
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