I first noticed Philip Seymour Hoffman when I watched the movie, “Scent of a Woman,” a 1992 sleeper hit that starred Al Pacino and introduced Chris O’Donnell, Mr. Hoffman, and Gabrielle Anwar to us. It has since been included in best movies to watch before you die. Since that film, I have watched him in The Big Lebowski, Flawless (as a drag queen teaching Robert de Niro his humanity!), the scary “Talented Mr. Ripley,” all the way to his Oscar-winning portrayal of Truman Capote, as Father Flynn in Doubt, and as the charismatic leader in The Master.
If there is also one film I found Philip’s portrayal so powerful, it’s also his character in Sidney Lumet’s “Right Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.” I was exhausted after watching it. What a film!
In 2012, Philip further distinguished himself when he performed the lead in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman at the Barrymore Theater . What I would do/pay/cajole/coerce/plead to see his live performance now!
I have been smarting since the news of Tony Soprano’s sudden premature stage exit about six months ago. Ooops! It’s James Gandolfini, actually. It’s hard to separate one persona from the other. However, Mr. Gandolfini has proved himself beyond getting typecast only as a mob boss with his other films.
And now, Philip Seymour Hoffman goes out NOT with a bang but a tragic end tangled with drugs? What a shame!
R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman. We will miss enjoying all your great work. We will enjoy all that you have contributed until February 2014!