(MENAFN -Arab News) NEW YORK: Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the leading actors of his generation and winner of an Academy Award for his title role in the film “Capote,” was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday in what a New York police source described as an apparent drug overdose.
Hoffman, 46, was discovered unresponsive on the bathroom floor of his Greenwich Village apartment by police responding to a 911 call, and Emergency Medical Service workers declared him dead on the scene, New York City police said in a statement. An investigation was under way.
Celebrity colleagues and admirers of Philip Seymour Hoffman shared their reaction Sunday to his death at 46 of an apparent drug overdose.
"Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now. Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking," said the producers, writer, director, cast and crew of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 and Part 2" in a statement.
"One of the greats of his generation," wrote Albert Brooks on Twitter.
"Dear Philip, a beautiful beautiful soul. For the most sensitive among us the noise can be too much. Bless your heart," tweeted Jim Carrey.
A police spokesman said investigators found Hoffman with a syringe in his arm and recovered two small plastic bags in the apartment containing a substance suspected of being heroin. A police department source earlier told Reuters that Hoffman had died of an apparent drug overdose.
Hoffman, who is survived by three children with his partner Mimi O’Donnell, had detailed his struggles with substance abuse in the past.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone,” Hoffman’s family said in a statement issued through his publicist.
“This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers,” it added. A representative said the family would not make any further statements for now.
CNN, citing a law enforcement official, reported that Hoffman was last seen alive at 8 p.m. Saturday. He had been expected to pick up his children on Sunday but failed to show up, prompting playwright David Katz and another person to go to his apartment, where they found him dead, CNN said.
Hoffman spoke in the past of struggling with drugs, including a 2006 interview in which he told CBS he had at times abused “anything I could get my hands on. I liked it all.”
His death, if confirmed from an overdose, would recall the 2008 death of actor Heath Ledger, who was found dead in his Manhattan apartment from a lethal combination of drugs.
“If you missed him as Willy Loman, you missed a Willy Loman for all time,” actor Steve Martin said on Twitter on Sunday.
“This is a horrible day for those who worked with Philip,” Tom Hanks, who co-starred with him in “Charlie Wilson’s War,” said in a statement. “He was a giant talent. Our hearts are open for his family.”
Jeff Bridges wrote on Facebook he enjoyed acting alongside Hoffman in “The Big Lebowski,” in which Hoffman played an overbearing, scheming heir. “He was such a wonderful guy, and so damn talented, a real treasure,” Bridges wrote.
Showtime, the cable television network which had just ordered a 10-episode comedy, “Happyish,” starring Hoffman and produced by his company, Cooper’s Town Productions, mourned the loss of the talented actor.
“Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of our generation’s finest and most brilliant actors. He was also a gifted comedic talent. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are all absolutely devastated by this sudden loss,” it said.