News / Arts & Entertainment

Family, Actors Mourn Philip Seymour Hoffman at Private Funeral

Mimi O'Donnell, former partner of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, holds their daughter Willa (in purple) next to their son Cooper as the casket arrives for Hoffman's funeral in the Manhattan borough of New York, Feb. 7, 2014.
Mimi O'Donnell, former partner of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, holds their daughter Willa (in purple) next to their son Cooper as the casket arrives for Hoffman's funeral in the Manhattan borough of New York, Feb. 7, 2014.
Reuters
Family and close friends bid their final farewells on Friday at a private funeral for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose tragic death of an apparent overdose at the age of 46 robbed the entertainment world of one of its finest talents.
 
Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Joaquin Phoenix, Mary Louise Parker and Chris Rock were among the Hollywood stars who attended the service at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on Manhattan's Upper East Side to mourn the death of the Oscar-winning actor.
 
Blanchett, who spoke at the funeral along with director Paul Thomas Anderson, braved the cold in a long black coat as the hearse bearing Hoffman's coffin pulled away from the church on Park Avenue.
 
Actress Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton leave the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Feb. 7, 2014, in New York.Actress Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton leave the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Feb. 7, 2014, in New York.
x
Actress Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton leave the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Feb. 7, 2014, in New York.
Actress Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton leave the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Feb. 7, 2014, in New York.
She declined to comment as tears streamed down her face.
 
New York director and screenwriter Amos Poe said the funeral “was beautiful, just like Phil.”
 
Many of the actors at the service had worked with Hoffman. Williams lost her former partner, actor Heath Ledger, to an accidental drug overdose in 2008.
 
Scores of photographers, camera crews and reporters stood on piles of snow across from the large church, while fans were kept behind a barricade.
 
“I saw him in 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' and I thought he showed real genius. I am here paying my respects,” said a tearful Mary Catherine Wright, who lives nearby.
 
“He is remembered by most people for his movie roles, but I think his theater performances were pretty remarkable,” she added.
 
Hoffman, whose body was discovered on Sunday in his Greenwich Village apartment, is survived by his long-term partner, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three young children, Cooper, Tallulah and Willa.
 
A memorial service is planned for later this month.
 
Phenomenal Character Actor
 
Although Hoffman was found with a syringe in his arm, the  cause of his death was still undetermined on Friday pending the results of further studies.
 
Four people have been charged with drug offenses, possibly connected to the substances found at the actor's home.
 
Hoffman, a Best Actor Oscar winner for his role in the 2005 biographical film “Capote,” won accolades for his versatility on the stage and screen.
 
Cast member Philip Seymour Hoffman poses at the premiere of the film "A Most Wanted Man" during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Jan. 19, 2014.Cast member Philip Seymour Hoffman poses at the premiere of the film "A Most Wanted Man" during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Jan. 19, 2014.
x
Cast member Philip Seymour Hoffman poses at the premiere of the film "A Most Wanted Man" during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Jan. 19, 2014.
Cast member Philip Seymour Hoffman poses at the premiere of the film "A Most Wanted Man" during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Jan. 19, 2014.
“He was an old shoe of a guy who could just transform himself,” New York stage actress Noelle McGrath said at an earlier vigil, adding that he was one of the most phenomenal character actors ever.
 
From his Tony-nominated role as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Death of a Salesman” to complex characters in such films as “Happiness,” in which he played an obscene phone caller, and “Before the Devil Knows You're Dead,” Hoffman transfixed audiences with his talent.
 
He also earned Tony award nominations for “Long Day's Journey Into Night” and “True West.”
 
On the big screen, the actor appeared in blockbusters such as “The Hunger Games” series and garnered best supporting actor Oscar nominations for “The Master,” “Doubt” and “Charlie Wilson's War.”
 
Although he talked openly about his past struggles with substance abuse, Hoffman's untimely death was a shock and came just as police spoke of more heroin hitting the streets of New York.
 
“Unfortunately, our city, like America, has got a continuing, constantly changing narcotics problem,” New York NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said after a crime commission meeting on Friday.
 
“The issue of heroin, which has been so much referenced in the death of Mr. Hoffman, is appearing to be increasing again,” he added.
 
Friends and Hollywood stars also paid their respects at a wake on Thursday, and Hoffman was remembered at a candlelight vigil outside the Labyrinth Theater Company in Greenwich Village on Wednesday evening.
 
He had been a member and a former artistic director of the New York company, which is one of the nation's leading ensemble theater groups.

You May Like

Malaysian PM Ends Vacation Over Floods

Najib Razak had been criticized for golfing in Hawaii with US president while country suffered More

Photogallery Fear Amid Remembrances for Tsunami Victims

Across continent, services and tributes acknowledge 220,000 victims of 2004 Indian Ocean disaster; region remains inadequately prepared, experts say More

Liberia Lawmaker Denies Election Manipulation

Alex Tyler said he’s being used as a scapegoat by people who are refusing to accept defeat in the December 20 special senatorial election More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."