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Philip Seymour Hoffman's Neighbors React To His Death

posted 3 Feb 2014, 07:52 by Mpelembe   [ updated 3 Feb 2014, 07:52 ]

Neighbors of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman talk about the shock of the actor's death. Police say Hoffman died from an apparent drug overdose.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 03, 2014) (REUTERS) -  Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the leading actors of his generation and winner of an Academy Award for his title role in the film "Capote", was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday (February 2) in what a New York police source described as an apparent drug overdose.

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Hoffman, aged 46, was discovered unresponsive on the bathroom floor of his Greenwich Village apartment by police responding to a 911 call, and Emergency Medical Service workers declared him dead at the scene, New York City police said in a statement. An investigation was under way.

A police spokesman said investigators found Hoffman with a syringe in his arm and recovered two small plastic bags in the apartment containing a substance suspected of being heroin.

Hoffman, who is survived by three children with his partner Mimi O'Donnell, had detailed his struggles with substance abuse in the past.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone," Hoffman's family said in a statement issued through his publicist.

"This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers," it added. A representative said the family would not make any further statements for now.

One day after his death flowers and candles lined the door of his apartment. Aidan Peters stopped to looked at the memorial on his way to school.

"I know his son so it was kind of personal for us. But, it was just really sad," he said.

Marion Kahan, a neighbor who described herself as a fan, said she frequently saw him around the neighborhood.

"I just think it's heartbreaking. I woke up this morning and I was listening to him speaking about 'Death of a Salesmen' on the radio. And he was so passionate about what he did. But I feel horrible, I feel such compassion for his family and his children. It breaks my heart," said Kahan.

"I was shocked and really it's very sad. I loved him as an actor," said Village resident Morya Zimmet.

Mona Stiles lives in the same building as Hoffman.

"I was in the car coming home from a dog show, hence the dog, and just surprised. I mean, he only lived here a few months so I really don't know him at all, except in the elevator," she told Reuters.

CNN, citing a law enforcement official, reported that Hoffman was last seen alive at 8 p.m. Saturday (February 1). He had been expected to pick up his children on Sunday but failed to show up, prompting playwright David Katz and another person to go to his apartment, where they found him dead, CNN said.

Hoffman spoke in the past of struggling with drugs, including a 2006 interview in which he told CBS he had at times abused "anything I could get my hands on. I liked it all."

Born in upstate New York near Rochester, Hoffman won the Best Actor Oscar for the 2005 biographical film "Capote" in which he played writer Truman Capote. He also received three Academy Award nominations as best supporting actor, for "The Master" in 2013, "Doubt" in 2009 and "Charlie Wilson's War" in 2008.

Hoffman also frequently appeared on Broadway, earning Tony award nominations for his role as the main character Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman" and for his parts in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" and "True West".

Stars in the music and film world took to social media to share their thoughts.

British comedian Russell Brand, who has discussed his own struggles with drug abuse, offered his sympathies to Hoffman's family on Twitter. "Addiction kills, I hope all who need it have access to abstinence based recovery," he wrote.

Ricky Gervais expressed his shock on Twitter saying: "RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman. One of the greatest actors of a generation and a sweet, funny and humble man."

Jim Carrey, Cher and Justin Timberlake also sent out messages to their followers.

Showtime, the cable television network which had just ordered a 10-episode comedy, "Happyish" starring Hoffman and produced by his company, Cooper's Town Productions, mourned the loss of the talented actor.

"Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of our generation's finest and most brilliant actors. He was also a gifted comedic talent. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are all absolutely devastated by this sudden loss," it said.

Hoffman appeared last month at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah for the premiere of "A Most Wanted Man", an espionage thriller based on the John le Carre novel in which he played German spy Gunther Bachmann.