Breaking: Oscar-winning American actor is found dead

Breaking: Oscar-winning American actor is found dead


norman lebrecht

February 02, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman is no more. He was 46 years old. Police are investigating the cause of death, at his apartment in New York. A drugs overdose is suspected.

His films included Scent of a Woman (1992), Twister (1996), Boogie Nights (1997), The Big Lebowski (1998), Magnolia (1999), The Talented Mr. Ripley(1999), Almost Famous (2000), 25th Hour (2002), Punch-Drunk Love (2002) and Cold Mountain (2003). In 2005, he won an Oscar for the title role in Capote. Other recent films included Owning Mahowny (2003), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), The Savages (2007), Synecdoche, New York (2008), Moneyball(2011) and The Ides of March (2011).

Among musicians he will be long remembered for A Late Quartet (2012)in which he gave a flawless, nuanced performance as a violinist insecure in his string quartet and in his marriage.



  • Cara says:

    Oh wow, this is so sad!!

    A very fine actor.

    • Mike Earles says:

      This is being grossly over played in ALL the media, especially the B.B.C. which gave 20 minutes to this and could not find anything else to fill the principal story slot on television. Now that is really sad!!

  • Sergio says:

    What a tragedy. I had read just a few weeks ago that he had been back in reahb stuggling with a recurrent drug problem. I had a weird feeling then that it wasn’t going to end well

  • Cara says:

    Reports are coming in now of a possible drug overdose in his bathroom.

    So sad.

    RIP, Mr. Hoffman.

  • Mark says:

    Horrendous news. What a waste !

  • Ken Grundy says:

    dreadful news – please also consider adding the wonderful “A Late Quartet”

  • Julia says:

    Rochester, NY, Mr. Hoffman’s hometown, weeps.

  • Peter says:

    I strongly recommend his film A Late Quartet from 2012. Cast as the 2nd violin of a string quartet. Beethoven Op 131 features heavily, and the Brentano Quartet.

  • Colin Reed says:

    It’s very sad – he was an extremely fine actor. I’m surprised on a classical music blog that you’ve missed out his excellent performance in A Late Quartet.

  • ed says:

    What a tragedy. He was one of the most insightful and artful of American actors- someone whose characterizations had depth and nuance, and who understood the larger picture of the

    work in which he was engaged. As with that of the finest musicians, aspiring actors could look to his interpretative work as a real clinic.

  • PR Deltoid says:

    Not mentioned above is the obvious classical music link: his role as a second violinist in the film “A Late Quartet.”

  • ruben greenberg says:

    Let us not forget his brilliant performance in a film that especially concerns us music lovers: “A Late Quartet”. An actor of genius. Very sad news indeed. He had so much more to give.

  • Robert King says:

    And, since this is primarily a music site, many readers will remember Philip Seymour Hoffman’s fine performance in “A late quartet” (2012), where he plays the part of the frustrated second violinist in a string quartet.

  • ed says:

    Easy to say ‘just say no, kids…”, and maybe for many not so hard to do, but for some, including the most brilliant and most troubled or possessed, it may be difficult, if not almost impossible. Now ask yourself, is it better to criminalize drug use or make it available in a controlled medical environment? For years, I looked at the harm such use did to the body and mind, and agreed, but criminalization practically guarantees drug misuse and overdosing, and death due to contaminated drugs. It also funds a multibillion dollar criminal enterprise that not only feeds organized crime but is also mother’s milk for the Deep State, al Qaeda, CIA and other international criminal organizations and activities. And when years ago, the problem of heroin use was supposedly solved with methadone we learned that methadone did more to destroy the body than heroin. So, maybe it is time to reevaluate our social policies in this area.

  • Barbara says:

    Why do these people have so many friends, yet die alone in hotel rooms alone?

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Shame- great actor and very musical apparently.

    The drug overdose is terrible but the underlying cause was Bipolar Disorder. Lets hope that some good may come from Hoffman’s tragic death in drawing attention to this devastating condition.