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

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…