On the morning of February 2, 2014 Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead by his friend and screenwriter David Katz at Hoffman's West Village neighborhood apartment in Manhattan. Hoffman was found sitting on the bathroom floor with heroin by his side and a hypodermic needle still in his arm. He was 46.
Hoffman was an Oscar winning actor with the ability to play many types of characters. His range was something rarely seen in show business. In 2005 his role of Truman Capote in the film, “Capote” landed him his Oscar for best actor. He was not only a great big screen actor, he received two Tony nominations for Best Actor in 2000 in “True West” and again in 2003 for “Long Day's Journey Into Night.”
Hoffman checked himself into rehab at the age of 23 and was sober for over 20 years. He relapsed in May of 2013 and immediately checked himself into rehab once again. At that time, he admitted to snorting heroin. In past interviews Hoffman admitted if had he not gotten sober before becoming famous, he would have probably died from drugs.
The death of a celebrity brings more light to the crazy relationship our society has with heroin. Hoffman was an extremely successful and wealthy man, yet he still succumbed to the grips of addiction. Addiction holds no prejudices and attacks everyone equally. We will never truly know what led him back to using drugs.
Many people do not understand the glorification of celebrities when they die, especially from a drug overdose. They are the same as you and I, made of flesh and blood. Yet when a celebrity dies from a drug overdose, it makes front page news and warns everyone of the dangers involved with addiction. The stigma that people who are down-and-out and do not have anything going for them turn to substance abuse is gone. In fact, the more money you have may be more of a trigger than most think. Hoffman was clean for 20 years, but he knew how heroin made him feel. It goes to show how powerful addiction can be, and that even with 20 years clean the urge to use was still there and powerful enough to drag him back. Unfortunately, he was unable to resist heroins deadly grip.
Philip Seymour Hoffman will be remembered as one of the most powerful actors to grace the big screen during the past two decades. He was charming, charismatic and funny. He had the ability to hold your attention and make you believe in his characters. I obviously did not know the man personally. But by the amount of people in show business that are outpouring their condolences to his family, it is easy to see that he was well liked. I hope that his passing sheds some light on the growing issue our country is facing with heroin. The fact that drugs can take anyone's life at any moment, should be an eye opener to all. Rest in Peace to Philip Seymour Hoffman, you will be missed. If you are someone you know has a heroin or drug problem, please seek professional attention immediately.