- NAME: Philip Seymour Hoffman
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Theater Actor, Television Actor, Director
- BIRTH DATE: July 23, 1967
- DEATH DATE: February 02, 2014
- EDUCATION: New York State Summer School of the Arts, New York University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Rochester, New York
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
- Full Name: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Best Known For
Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor and director known for films such as Capote and Doubt.
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Born in 1967 in Rochester, New York, actor and director Philip Seymour Hoffman was known for films such as Scent of a Woman, Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski and Capote, for which he won an Academy Award. He was also successful in theater, winning three Tony Award nominations for True West, Long Day's Journey into Night and Death of a Salesman. Hoffman died of acute mixed drug intoxication in New York City on February 2, 2014, at age 46.
"I try to live my life in such a way that I don't have profound regrets. That's probably why I work so much."
"I had insecurities and fears like everybody does, and I got over it. But I was interested in the parts of me that struggled with those things."
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
"I know I wasn't as handsome as some other guys, but I was OK with that."
"When I saw 'All My Sons,' I was changed—permanently changed—by that experience. It was like a miracle to me."
"I knew that it would be great, but I still took the role kicking and screaming."
[on playing Truman Capote in 'Capote']
"Playing [Truman] Capote took a lot of concentration. I prepared for four and a half months. I read and listened to his voice and watched videos of him on TV."
Philip Seymour Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967, in Rochester, New York, the second of four children. His father worked for Xerox and his mother was a lawyer. His mother liked to take him to see local theatrical productions. Hoffman was especially moved by the play All My Sons, which he saw when he was 12. "When I saw All My Sons, I was changed—permanently changed—by that experience. It was like a miracle to me," he later told The New York Times.
At first, Hoffman was more interested in athletics than acting. But he turned to theater after he was sidelined by a wrestling injury in his teens. At the age of 17, Hoffman was accepted into the New York State Summer School of the Arts. He continued to study acting at New York University.
In 1992, Hoffman landed one of his first major film roles in Scent of a Woman, starring opposite Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell. His career began to take off, and he landed a number of supporting or character parts in such films as Nobody's Fool (1994) with Paul Newman, Twister (1996) with Bill Paxton and Boogie Nights (1997) with Julianne Moore. Hoffman worked with a variety of directors, from Ethan and Joel Coen on The Big Lebowski (1998) to Todd Solondz on Happiness (1998).
With his ability to be convincing in nearly any part, Hoffman played a snide, upper-crust bully in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), starring Jude Law and Matt Damon, and a male nurse to an ailing, eldery man (Jason Robards) in Magnolia (1999). The following year, he showed his versatility as a performer on the Broadway stage, appearing in a revival of Sam Shepard's True West with John C. Reilly. The two actors switched parts every other night, and both received a Tony Award nomination for their work.
In 2005, Hoffman had a career breakthrough with the film Capote, in which he played famed writer Truman Capote. The film takes place in the early 1960s, when Capote was working on his non-fiction best-seller In Cold Blood, about the 1959 killing of a Kansas family. Hoffman threw himself into the role, but only after some initial trepidation. "I knew that it would be great, but I still took the role kicking and screaming," Hoffman told The New York Times. "Playing Capote took a lot of concentration. I prepared for four and a half months. I read and listened to his voice and watched videos of him on TV." All of his hard work paid off. Hoffman earned widespread praise for his performance in the film, and took home the coveted Academy Award for best actor.
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