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

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

Avery Sunshine is known for her irresistible combination of soul, jazz and gospel influences. She’s traveled the world entertaining audiences with her powerful voice, inspiring lyrics and infectious spirit. She joins host Shawna Renee on "The Soul Lounge" to perform and share the stories behind her new album, "The Sun Room."