As the world remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman, his body of work speaks to the actor's remarkable talent and distinguished career playing a variety of meaningful roles.
From embodying homosexual American author Truman Capote in "Capote" to rebellious gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," Hoffman took pride in his characters, treating each part with equal amounts of respect and research.
Born in 1967, Hoffman became interested in acting at a young age. He studied theater as a teenager at the New York State Summer School of the Arts and the Circle in the Square Theatre.
He went on to attend New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in drama. He was trained in a style focused mostly on versatility and discipline, which branded him a character actor.
Hoffman began his career on stage, eventually joining the LAByrinth Theater Company in 1995. He performed in revivals of "True West," "Long Day's Journey Into Night" and "The Seagull," which featured Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline.
In 2012, the actor returned to his roots after focusing on his film career to play the lead role in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman." He received rave reviews for his portrayal of Willy Loman, the prideful and unstable salesman mentioned in the play's title.
Hoffman in "Death of a Salesman"
Director Robert Fallstold noted at the time how engaged Hoffman was when performing on stage.
"He just brought every fiber of his being to the stage," said the director. "He was there — with his depth of feeling, depth of humanity — and no other actor I've ever worked with ever brought it like that, not at that level."
Shane Salerno, who worked with Hoffman on the documentary "Salinger," notes how knowledgable the actor was about the arts.
"You can't imagine how intellectual he was about film, stage, literature. He was as smart as they come," Salerno says.
Hoffman broke into television and film in 1991 with a guest-role on the hit series "Law & Order." His first major film role came a year later when he played a spoiled prep school student in 1992's "Scent of a Woman."
But many consider Hoffman's breakout role to be in the 1997 drama "Boogie Nights," where he played a gay member of a porno film crew.
In the early 2000's, the actor was known for his comical and slightly off-kilter roles in such films as "The Big Lebowski," "Almost Famous" and "Along Came Polly."
It wasn't until 2005's "Capote" when the actor began to be viewed as a leading man. He won his first and only Oscar for his portrayal of the famous gay author.
He was nominated three more times for Academy Awards: in 2008 for "Charlie Wilson's War," in 2009 for "Doubt" and in 2013 for "The Master."
The actor gained a new generation of fans with last year's wildly successful "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," in which he portrayed head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. He was set to reprise his role in the series' last two films, and according to industry insiders, his death will not affect either film's release date.
With Woody Harrelson in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
The extremely private actor struggled with fame and was a reluctant member of the limelight. "Somebody wanted me to talk about my personal life," he remembered in a 2012 interview.
"I'd rather not because my family doesn't have any choice. If I talk about them in the press, I'm giving them no choice. So I choose not to," he explained.
Overall, Hoffman has made more than 50 films over his 25-year-career. And as Sir Ian McKellan said when paying tribute to the "accomplished" actor: there were "so many more performances [he was] waiting to enchant us with."
Rest in peace, Philip.
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