Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in NYC apartment
In this image released by Colombia Pictures, Philip Seymour Hoffman, left, and Ryan Gosling are shown in a scene from "Ides of March." Police say Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. He was 46. (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures - Sony, Saeed Adyani, File)
FILE - This file film image released by The Weinstein Company shows Joaquin Phoenix, left, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in a scene from "The Master." Police say Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. He was 46. (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, File)
Police stand guard as barricades are set up outside the home of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in New York. Hoffman was found dead in his Greenwich Village apartment on Sunday. He was 46. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
FILE - This Nov. 18, 2013 file photo shows Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" at Nokia Theatre LA Live. Police say Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. He was 46. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this undated publicity photo released by Sony Pictures Classics, Philip Seymour Hoffman portrays author Truman Capote in a scene from the film "Capote." Police say Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found dead in his NYC apartment. (AP Photo/Attila Doroy, Sony Pictures Classics, File)
FILE - In this undated file image released by Miramax Film Corp., Philip Seymour Hoffman portrays Father Flynn, right, and Meryl Streep portrays Sister Aloysius in a scene from "Doubt." Police say Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. He was 46. (AP Photo/Miramax Film Corp, Andrew Schwartz, File)
Police stand guard outside the apartment builiding in New York Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, where actor Philip Seymour Hoffman who was found dead. The oscar-winning actor was found dead Sunday. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Police stand guard outside the home of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman who was found dead in his Greenwich village apartment, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in New York. He was 46. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
FILE - In a Sunday, March 5, 2006, file photo, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman poses with the Oscar he won for best actor for his work in "Capote" at the 78th Academy Awards, in Los Angeles. Police say Hoffman has been found dead in his apartment. Sunday Feb. 2014. HE WAS 46.(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 as writer Truman Capote and created a gallery of other vivid characters, many of them slovenly and somewhat dissipated, was found dead yesterday in his apartment with what law enforcement officials said was a needle in his arm. He was 46.
The two officials told the Associated Press that glassine envelopes containing what was believed to be heroin were also found with the actor.
The law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk about the evidence, said the cause of death was believed to be a drug overdose.
Hoffman made his career mostly as a character actor and was one of the most prolific in the business, plying his craft with a rumpled naturalism that also made him one of the most admired performers of his generation. The stage-trained actor was nominated for Academy Awards four times in all: for Capote, The Master, Doubt and Charlie Wilson’s War. He also received three Tony nominations for his work on Broadway, which included an acclaimed turn as a weary and defeated Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.
Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about past struggles with drug addiction. After 23 years sober, he admitted in interviews last year to falling off the wagon and developing a heroin problem that led to a stint in rehab.
Tributes poured in from other Hollywood figures.
“One of the greatest actors of a generation and a sweet, funny & humble man,” actor Ricky Gervais tweeted. Director Spike Lee said on Twitter: “Damn, We Lost Another Great Artist.”
And Kevin Costner said in an AP interview: “Philip was a very important actor and really takes his place among the real great actors. It’s a shame. Who knows what he would have been able to do? But we’re left with the legacy of the work he’s done, and it all speaks for itself.”
The law enforcement officials said Hoffman’s body was discovered in a bathroom at his Greenwich Village apartment by a friend who made the 911 call and his assistant.
Hoffman’s family called the news “tragic and sudden.” Hoffman is survived by his partner of 15 years, Mimi O’Donnell, and their three children.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone,” the family said in a statement.