General Question

gailcalled's avatar

What is your response to the very recent news that Philip Seymour Hoffman just died?

Asked by gailcalled (54448points) February 2nd, 2014

He was found this morning with a hypodermic needle sticking out of his arm in his Greenwich Village apartment. Only 48 and talented and gifted, he was never able to get his addictions under control.

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54 Answers

mazingerz88's avatar


jca's avatar

I liked him a lot. I didn’t know he had addictions.

I saw the article that he died on Facebook about 15 minutes ago and had to verify it because I found it hard to believe.

CWOTUS's avatar

I suspect that my response would closely mirror your own: Regret at the loss of such a talented, funny and quirky persona in his various roles. Since I know nothing at all about him personally, it’s not a personal loss. It’s still a loss, though – and a disappointment, as well, since I hadn’t known anything about his addictions.

flutherother's avatar

I just saw it on CNN. I am shocked. He was one of my favourite actors and he was only 46.

pleiades's avatar

The Film HAPPINESS truly opened my mind as a teenager entering young adulthood

I highly recommend that everyone watch it. For me, this was his masterpiece performance.

gailcalled's avatar

Edit; He was 46.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

I guess I’m completely out of the loop – I never heard of him and in the pictures I’ve seen of him, he doesn’t look familiar. Still a tragedy when anyone that young dies, particularly from a drug overdose.

jca's avatar

I heard there have been a lot of deaths due to heroin lately (more deaths than usual) because it’s being cut with an inexpensive anesthesia medication. People don’t realize it and it just puts them right out. In the area I work in and live in (not a poor area), there have been a lot of young people that OD’d in the past two years (actually a lot in the past two months).

When you’re Hoffman’s age, the old, tired body can’t take this crap any longer.

jca's avatar

@TheRealOldHippie: If you check IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base) you will probably find a bunch of movies you have seen with him acting in them

gailcalled's avatar

He was in The Big Lebowski, Along Came Polly, The Late Quartet, Doubt, Cold Mountain and Capote (for which he won a Oscar).

jca's avatar

I wonder if his addiction is why he never got to be too big in Hollywood.

Cruiser's avatar

He was an actors actor. Truly brought everything to every role he played. Very few actors could transcend that barrier between actor and character the way he did. Huge loss to the film industry. It is sad that he couldn’t find balance in his life between that massive high winning an academy award and the chemically induced high of drugs especially after 23 years of being sober.

Pachy's avatar

I’m shocked and saddened. Such a talented actor. I’ve been a fan since the first two times I saw him on-screen, first in “Scent of a Woman,” then in “Hard Eight.”

In the latter, Hoffman appeared only one time for only a few minutes, but the scene was riveting. I think I read somewhere he took that bit part of the hyper craps player as a favor to Paul Thomas Anderson, who a year later directed him in his breakout role in “Boogie Nights.”

Watching him act in anything, I always sensed he was doomed to die young. Like James Dean and other fine young actors we’ve lost over the decades, Hoffman looked like he was putting far more of himself into his acting than his mind and body would grant him indefinitely.

1TubeGuru's avatar

This is really a shame. over my lifetime starting in my early twenties i have watched several friends die from cocaine, alcohol and prescription drug abuse. if people refuse to get help or even fall off of the wagon just one time they can is just like watching a train wreck.

Blondesjon's avatar

I caught you knockin’
at my cellar door
I love you, baby,
can I have some more
Ooh, ooh, the damage done.

I hit the city and
I lost my band
I watched the needle
take another man
Gone, gone, the damage done.

I sing the song
because I love the man
I know that some
of you don’t understand
to keep from running out.

I’ve seen the needle
and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie’s
like a settin’ sun. – Neil Young, Needle And The Damage Done

Darth_Algar's avatar

@jca “I wonder if his addiction is why he never got to be too big in Hollywood.”

Nah. He never got too big in Hollywood because he wasn’t that kind of actor. Not the big, Tom Cruise, “never-take-on-challenging-roles-because-I’m-way-too-comfortable-playing-the-action-hero” type. He was a pure character actor, and character actors tend to never become huge. They almost always remain on the “that guy” level.

Darth_Algar's avatar

BTW: is their any legit sources reporting this alleged overdose? So far the only media source I’ve seen reporting it is the New York Post, and I trust the NY Post about as much as I trust the National Enquirer.

syz's avatar

Like so many talented people, the waste due to drugs is appalling. (And non-talented people, too, of course.)

jca's avatar

Reported by Wall Street Journal and ABC News.

Incoherency_'s avatar

My response is the same as Heath Ledger’s ghost: “Been there, done that”. ;-p

Kardamom's avatar

This is a terrible tragedy. He was one of the finest actors of our time. What a terrible, terrible shame.

MadMadMax's avatar

He always looked years older than he was. When you consider the age of some of his films, he never really ever looked young.

He won an oscar, I think for Capote but his films were certainly art house or Indy felling

I remember watching “Happiness” and getting really depressed.

He would pop up in a film and I would never be excited to see him.

I’m sorry or the poor guy. Life must have been hard if he needed heroin to take off the edge.

SwanSwanHummingbird's avatar

Too bad. I never really liked him, but it’s a shame when people die so young from the consequences of their own reckless choices.

josie's avatar

Assuming the business about drug overdose is true (and perhaps it is not)...

It is always interesting to me how some people who achieve success are simply unable to not fuck up.

Myriad pro athletes, pop stars, etc.

I guess being held in high regard in your career, and achieving material success does not mean you are suddenly going to get smart.

Coloma's avatar

Awww…I liked him!
Well it is not a big revelation that a lot of sensitive, talented and bright people succumb to addictions, happens every day. Famous and otherwise. The fine line between genius and madness methinks. Being a fan of personality theory and temperament many entertainers fall into highly addictive personality styles. Partly because they are risk takers, think differently than your average bear are experience/sensation junkies and often feel deeply alone and misunderstood.

I’m one of those types too and have to practice extreme self discipline and awareness as I have many hedonistic traits that could get out of control if I don’t keep a tight rein on things.
If something is good just kill me with it.

I remember being given Morphine for a couple of surgeries over the years and thinking..” Oh man, I can completely understand how people get addicted to Heroin and other narcotics!”.
It is like a warm blanket of bliss being tossed over you, sublime, simply sublime.
As is often the case the good do die young. RIP Phillip.

filmfann's avatar

I liked him so much in The Big Lebowski. I wonder how this will effect the filming of the final Hunger Games movie

Pachy's avatar

@MadMadMax, check him out in “Scent of a Woman.” He played a college student, and though he was 25, he looked young enough to be one.

glacial's avatar

Earlier in the week, there was a hoax report of his death, and he was later confirmed to be alive. So… either this is a second hoax, or – more horribly – the hoax may have precipitated the overdose.

Kardamom's avatar

@glacial Really? That’s really weird. I wonder if the hoax somehow lead to his ultimate death. Where did you hear about the hoax from earlier? I only heard it this morning from this question.

elbanditoroso's avatar

One of hundreds of promising artists who offed themselves with drugs.

Taking drugs is a lifestyle choice. No one forces you to become addicted to heroin.

No sympathy here.

MadMadMax's avatar

It’s announced in the New York Times.

jca's avatar

@Kardamom: I was thinking that maybe he OD’d earlier in the week but didn;t die, and then it got leaked to the press. Coincidentally, a few days later, he OD’d and didn’t make it.

glacial's avatar

@Kardamom They talk about it briefly here: “Only on Saturday, his press relations team was forced to issue a denial of an internet report that he had died that day, asserting that it was a hoax.”

Of course, given the bizarre nature of the relationship between information and the Internet, the hoax may turn out to have been a hoax. But right now, it is being reported as having happened.

AstroChuck's avatar

A sad waste of talent. He was far too young to die. I’m so thankful that drug addiction has never touched my family.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Who is using his Super Bowl tickets?

jca's avatar

Coincidentally, Terry Bradshaw’s father just died (the Super Bowl announcer).

Coloma's avatar

Psychology Today did an article a few years ago about highly intelligent people being more likely to use drugs. From an evolutionary standpoint it is the risk takers that are also the innovators and show above average intelligence, of which these are traits.
SOMEBODY had to be brave enough to eat the first tomato, attempt to spear the 1st mastodon, figure out to make fire. haha
Hence, while serious drug addiction is a problem, it is a problem experienced by many above average bright stars, the risk taking, innovative and creative, entertaining types especially.

Goes to show that addictions have nothing to do with intelligence, infact, quite the opposite in many instances. I have joked for years that I could probably abuse myself longer and more than many and suffer few ill effects. If you’re a dunce to begin with you simply risk using up all your 27 brain cells at once while a brighter star will burn more brightly for much longer. lol
I am not advocating substance abuse in the least just sayin’ that there is a high correlation between intelligence and drug use.

shrubbery's avatar

I didn’t particularly like him as an actor, in the few movies of his that I’ve seen he seemed to play the exact same role- egotistical jerk who thinks he’s better than everyone else who just smirks and mumbles his lines. His presence brought me out of the moment while watching Catching Fire. However, I haven’t seen some of his big ticket movies or earlier ones so by the reactions here I’m sure he has a much larger range and is very talented, I just haven’t gotten around to seeing that yet.

His death is still sad though, being a father of 3 and all, and my condolences go out to you guys who really like him, I know how it feels. I was in mourning not long ago for Paul Walker, which surprised even myself.

janbb's avatar

Sadness at the loss of a talented actor at a young age.

Seek's avatar

In this order:

Is that true? I’m going to look up a trusted source.

Yep. True. Woah, heroin? Hardcore. Isn’t that the guy from “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead?”

I better tell my husband, he was a fan.

…that’s about it.

Adagio's avatar

@kevbo wonderful video clip, thank you : ^)

bob_'s avatar

Say no to drugs, kids.

hearkat's avatar

Disappointed. He was very talented and one of my favorite actors; I’m glad that we saw him on stage. Addiction sucks.

GloPro's avatar

My first reaction is that his PR team sucks. The news reports go so far as to say “there was a needle in his arm,” “there were 5 empty glassine envelopes thought to have contained heroin in the trash” and “there were 2 glassine envelopes containing heroin found next to the body.”

That’s pretty descriptive, pretty uncalled for, and pretty unnecessary. I can’t really remember any other drug-related celebrity deaths that were so descriptive. Usually we get a vague suspected overdose story, with autopsy pending.

Regardless, Hunger Games execs immediately released a statement that his death will not effect the December 2014 and 2015 release dates for the final two movies, so everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. Classy.

mazingerz88's avatar

My response is sadness. I always feel sad watching that regular Oscar tribute to the recently demised Hollywood actors, writers, directors, technicians etc. I surprise myself sometimes crying as I watch. As a movie fan and a former film and TV worker myself, I guess I really emphatize.

Pachy's avatar

This Slate piece is a response I truly wish I had written.

ibstubro's avatar

Thanks for noting it. Sadness.

First on my radar with “Twister (1996)”, he was in countless movies, but escaped many people’s attention because he seemed so easy and natural on film. More like you’d seen him at a party than in a multi-million dollar film.

I hate that the demons of his youth finally caught up with him. I hate that his talent has gone from our lives, and the lives of those he loved, and loved him.

I’m pleased for him and his if he was able to go out in a painless blaze or glory (mental and career).

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

Terrible News, he was truly one of the best actors among few. Just another example of how drugs can end a life prematurely. I feel sad for his young children, especially what they are hearing about their father in the Media.

ibstubro's avatar

@Coloma, you have exceeded yourself in this post. Truly. To the ‘like’ I have for you, I add ‘respect’.

Coloma's avatar

@ibstubro Why thank you, I do have a “serious” side, and I agree, going out painlessly is a gift, even if it could have been prevented.

hominid's avatar

I enjoyed his acting. He was the lead in one of my favorite movies, Synecdoche, New York, which apparently has been forgotten. Also, he had a small role in possibly the greatest movie of all time, The Big Lebowski.

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