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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    New in Music Alley

    Soul Lounge: Sweet Honey in the Rocki
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 10, 2016 1:48 PM
    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B. The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.

    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B.   The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.