The Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found dead in his apartment in New York from a suspected drug overdose.
The star, who rose to prominence with small roles in films including The Talented Mr Ripley and Boogie Nights had recently spent time in rehab after revealing that he had taken prescription drugs and heroin, having relapsed after more than twenty clean years.
The 46 year old, seen by many as one of the finest actors of his generation, was equally comfortable on stage as on screen, but it is for performances including his Oscar-winning eponymous turn as Truman Capote and his Oscar-nominated role as the charismatic cult leader in the more recent The Master that he will be best remembered. He also received Oscar nominations as the best supporting actor for Doubt and Charlie Wilson’s War.
Many of his roles were deeply introspective or contemplative, playing social outcasts in films such as Happiness, The Savages or Synecdoche, New York, but he also enjoyed the lighter side of cinema in franchises including Mission Impossible and The Hunger Games, as well as a cameo role as a barman in Ricky Gervais’s The Invention of Lying. Gervais said he was a “Sweet, funny and humble man.” His Hunger Games co-star Jennifer Lawrence tweeted “He was such an incredible actor and his loss is so sad.”
In 2010, he turned his hand to directing in Jack Goes Boating.
British stars have been paying tribute, arriving at the annual London Film Critics Circle Awards. Praising his integrity, the actor and writer Steve Coogan described him as “an actor first and a movie star second.” The Critics Circle chairman Jason Solomons said he “lit up the screen” and we’d “lost a massive talent” who was already becoming one of the great actors of cinema.
His estranged partner was seen visiting his home earlier in the day. He leaves a son and two daughters. In a statement, his family said “We are devasted by the loss of our beloved Phil. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.”