Family, actors mourn Philip Seymour Hoffman at private funeral

Mimi O'Donell (center), former partner of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, holds her daughter Willa as the casket  arrives for the funeral of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the Manhattan borough of New York, February 7, 2014. Credit: Reuters
Mimi O’Donell, center, former partner of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, holds her daughter Willa as his casket arrives for his funeral in Manhattan on Friday.
Credit: 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.

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 toxicology tests.

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.

“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 a new, dangerous type of 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.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.