The Wonderful Career of Philip Seymour Hoffman

The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was certainly a shock. Passing away at the age of 46 is far, far too young. He was such a talented man, we can only wonder now what other amazing performances lay ahead for him, but now he's gone. I remember seeing him years ago, sitting only a few seats away from me at a small off-off-Broadway production. A friend of mine was performing and there was Mr. Hoffman, sitting with the rest of us in a tiny black-box theater in Manhattan, supporting the arts.

Although taken away by drugs at far too young an age, he still has left behind an impressive body of work in various media.  In television, he appeared in Law & Order, Empire Falls, and Arthur.  On stage he won accolades in True West, Death of a Salesman, and Long Day's Journey into Night. (Broadway will be dimming the lights in his memory.) He also directed a couple of my favorite plays written by Stephen Adley Guirgis: Jesus Hopped the A Train and Our Lady of 121st Street.

The bulk of his work was in film, where he played an amazing number of memorable roles:

George Willis Jr. in Scent of a Woman
Dustin Davis in Twister
Scotty J. in Boogie Nights
Brandt in The Big Lebowski
Allen in Happiness
Mitch in Patch Adams
Rusty in Flawless
Phil Parma in Magnolia
Freddie Miles in The Talented Mr. Ripley
Lester Bangs in Almost Famous
Dean Trumbell in Punch-Drunk Love
Freddy Lounds in Red Dragon
Sandy Lyle in Along Came Polly
Truman Capote in Capote
Owen Davian in Mission: Impossible III
Father Flynn in Doubt
Art Howe in Moneyball
Lancaster Dodd in The Master
Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

And that's not even the full list.  He was such a hard-working actor, one of the finest of our generation.  He will be missed.