AirTalk for February 3, 2014

The range and depth of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman

The Ides of March - Photocall:55th BFI London Film Festival

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images For The BFI

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman attends "The Ides of March" photocall during the 55th BFI London Film Festival at the Odeon West End on October 19, 2011 in London, England.

by Hillel Italie, Associated Press

He was only 46, busy as ever and secure in his standing as one of the world's greatest actors.

There were no dissenters about the gifts and achievements of Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose death Sunday in New York brought a stunning halt to his extraordinary and unpredictable career.

An Oscar winner and multiple nominee, Hoffman could take on any character with almost unnerving authority, whether the religious leader in command of his every word in "The Master," a trembling mess in "Boogie Nights," or the witty, theatrical Truman Capote in "Capote." Fearless in his choices, encyclopedic in his preparation, he was a Shakespearean performer in modern dress, bringing depth and variety to charlatans, slackers, curmudgeons and loners.

Besides his Oscar win for "Capote," the stage-trained Hoffman received four Academy Awards nominations and several nominations for theater awards, including three Tonys. He was equally acclaimed and productive, often appearing in at least two to three films a year, while managing an active life in the theater. He had been thriving for more than 20 years and no one doubted that a long, compelling run awaited him.

Hoffman's family called the news "tragic and sudden."

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone," the family said in a statement.

Hoffman is survived by his partner of 15 years, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three children.

Guests:

Claudia Puig, film critic for KPCC and USA Today

Scott Foundas, chief film critic, Variety


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