After his friend was unable to reach him on the telephone he called at the actor’s Greenwich Village apartment and apparently discovered him unconscious on the bathroom floor. Later this afternoon Hoffman’s death was confirmed by the New York Police Department.
He was not only a highly gifted actor but also a respected director and had specialised in difficult character roles throughout his career.
Hoffman won his Best Actor Oscar for playing the title role in the 2005 movie Capote but also received 3 Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations for his roles in The Master, Doubt and Charlie Wilson’s War. In addition to his movie awards Hoffman was also a superb stage actor and was nominated 3 times for a Tony award for his work in True West, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and most recently for his portrayal of Willy Loman in the 2012 Broadway production of Death Of A Salesman.
Playing Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman is acknowledged as one of the heavyweight roles of modern theatre but the New York Times theatre critic described Hoffman’s performance in the play in glowing terms saying ‘Mr. Hoffman is one of the finest actors of his generation, beyond dispute.’
Just last year Hoffman had spoken about his battle with drugs saying that he has fallen off the wagon after remaining drug free for 23 years having struggled as a young actor with his addictions.
Hoffman’s death was immediately followed by tributes from a number of his fellow actors and directors including Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Lawrence, Mia Farrow, Spike Lee, Kevin Spacey and John Hurt.
It took a little time for people to believe the news as apart from the actor being only 46-years old at the time of his death it followed just a day after his management had to deny internet rumours of his death on Saturday.