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 Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.

    New in Music Alley

    Beyond Category: Arturo Sandovali
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 02, 2016 3:53 PM
    Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of the most exciting musicians in jazz. The multi-Grammy winner takes the Blues Alley stage to perform, and sits down with Beyond Category host Eric Felten to talk about his life in music.

    Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is one of the most exciting musicians in jazz. The multi-Grammy winner takes the Blues Alley stage to perform, and sits down with Beyond Category host Eric Felten to talk about his life in music.