Philip Seymour Hoffman is dead

Philip-Seymour-HoffmanMulti-talented actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, died an unsavory death today:  alone in his bathroom, with a needle in his arm, presumably of a drug overdose.  He leaves behind a woman he never married, and three children, ages 10 and under, who will grow up without their father.  It’s a great loss to his children and the arts community mourns.

I will not regret a future without Hoffman in movies.  I acknowledge his talent.  But no matter what role he played, I was always aware of the man behind the character, and the man creeped me out.  I can’t articulate what it was about him I found so off-putting.  I know only that, if he had been a classmate or colleague of mine, I would have done anything possible to avoid him.  Given his popularity, I was obviously picking up on something  no one else saw, but to my mind, he was, in a word, unsavory.  Or another word, unappetizing.  No matter his talent, I felt a sense of revulsion watching him and would make any and every effort to avoid be trapped in front of a screen with him on it.  I know my response wasn’t rational, but I had that irrational response every time.

Given all that, it doesn’t surprise me at all to learn that, tragically, he was once a heroin addict and that, after years of staying clean, he ran back to that drug and it killed him.  I actually thought all along that he was an active drug user.  As I said, there was just that . . . something.

His youthful, wasted death is a tragedy for his long-time partner, for his children, for his friends, and for those who found genuine delight in watching him.  I am genuinely sorry for their loss.