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In my opinion we lost one of the finest actors of our time with the passing of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I will devote one and only one paragraph to the cause of his death. He died of a drug overdose. I read today that an arrest of four people in Chinatown is related to his death. Now before we get all righteous and say things like, he deserved what he got, stop and think a minute. We all have vices and many of us have addictions. Most of our frailties are kept in check by the forces around us. We have a financial dependence on our jobs and we have our reputations to uphold in our workplace and in our neighborhoods. What if we didn’t have that? What if we were financially independent and the circles we moved in not only didn’t condemn addictive behavior but actually encouraged it. Would we have the self-discipline to keep ourselves straight? That’s all I’ll say about that.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman was an actor. He wasn’t an action hero. He was rarely the guy who got the girl. When it comes to looks, he was a regular guy. He couldn’t complete with big stars in that category. It is a different story when it comes to acting.
These are three of the many faces of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. He was one of those guys that you have being seeing for years. Many people came upon Mr. Hoffman when he won his Oscar for Capote 2005. I became a fan of his when he played Mitch, the serious roommate of Robin Williams’ zany character Patch Adams in the movie “Patch Adams.” After the fact I realized that he was the bumbling cop, Officer Reymer, in one of my favorite movies, “Nobody’s Fool.” That was one of Mr. Hoffman’s first big roles back in 1994.
He could be anything that you wanted him to be. He didn’t have one niche that kept him going from movie to movie. Every character was different and every character was real. They were strong, they were weak, they were gay, and they were straight. They were good, they were evil, and some you were never quite sure where to put them. When you watched “Capote,” you can see Truman Capote before your eyes. He also fit right in rolling from one dangerous encounter to another in “Twister.” If you really want to talk about acting, watch him play opposite the finest actress in Hollywood, Meryl Streep, as Father Brendon Flynn in “Doubt.”
I believe Phillip Seymour Hoffman was an actor with the quality that matched Meryl Streep as an actress, and, to me; that’s as good as it gets in acting.