Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dead of suspected drug overdose

Mon Feb 3, 2014 1:45am EST
 
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By Victoria Cavaliere and Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - 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 at the scene, New York City police said in a statement. An investigation was under way.

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.

Onlookers gathered on Sunday afternoon near Hoffman's apartment in a four-story red brick building in a fashionable neighborhood of the West Village, where many other actors keep homes. The entire block was cordoned off by police.

Rachel Melman, a neighbor who described herself as a fan, said she frequently saw him around the neighborhood.   Continued...

 
U.S. actor Philip Seymour Hoffman poses on the red carpet during a screening for the movie "The master" at the 69th Venice Film Festival in Venice September 1, 2012. REUTERS/Max Rossi