Thursday 25 December 2014

Stars gather for Hoffman funeral

Published 07/02/2014 | 06:47

Actress Cate Blanchett (L) and her husband Andrew Upton arrive for the funeral of deceased actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, in the Manhattan borough of New York February 6, 2014. Reuters
Actress Cate Blanchett (L) and her husband Andrew Upton arrive for the funeral of deceased actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, in the Manhattan borough of New York February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Mimi O'Donnell, centre, estranged partner of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, with her children, from left, Willa, Tallulah and Cooper at his funeral
Actor Ben Stiller makes his way to the wake of deceased actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the Manhattan borough of New York, February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
Mimi O'Donell (R), former partner of actor Phiilip Seymour Hoffman, carries her daughter Willa on her back as she makes her way from the deceased actor's wake in the Manhattan borough of New York, February 6, 2014. Hoffman was found in his Greenwich Village apartment on Sunday with a syringe in his arm and plastic bags containing a substance believed to be heroin. The exact cause of death is still unknown, pending further studies, according to a spokeswoman for New York City's Chief Medical Examiner. REUTERS/Keith Bedford (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT OBITUARY)
Actress Michelle Williams (L) arrives at the funeral of deceased actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, in the Manhattan borough of New York February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Actress Ellen Burstyn arrives at a wake for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on Manhattan's Upper East Side Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Actor Eric Bogosian (L) makes his way from the wake of deceased actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the Manhattan borough of New York, February 6, 2014. Hoffman was found in his Greenwich Village apartment on Sunday with a syringe in his arm and plastic bags containing a substance believed to be heroin. The exact cause of death is still unknown, pending further studies, according to a spokeswoman for New York City's Chief Medical Examiner. REUTERS/Keith Bedford (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT OBITUARY)
Director Mike Nichols and his wife, news anchor Diane Sawyer, arrive for the funeral of deceased actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, in the Manhattan borough of New York February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Actor Josh Hailton makes his way to the wake of deceased actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the Manhattan borough of New York, February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
Mourners congregate outside the Church of St Ingatius Loyola in New York following the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
Actress Meryl Streep arrives for the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
Filmmaker Andrew Upton, left, and his wife Cate Blanchett arrive for the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman

A host of Hollywood stars turned out for the private funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman today.

Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Ethan Hawke, Amy Adams were among those paying their respects to an actor widely considered among the best of his generation.

The list of mourners also included Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Joaquin Phoenix, Louis C.K., Mary Louise Parker, John Slattery, Jerry Stiller, Marisa Tomei, Spike Lee and the director Mike Nichols. Playwright David Bar Katz, who found Hoffman's body, looked visibly upset as he arrived.

Hoffman, 46, was found dead on Sunday of an apparent heroin overdose in his Manhattan apartment. He leaves behind his partner of 15 years, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three children. Ms O'Donnell was seen cradling their youngest child as she entered the church.

Police did not allow anyone to linger outside the church, and the media was penned in an area far from the mourners.

A larger memorial service is being planned for later this month. Last night family and close friends gathered for a private wake.

The rumpled, heavy-set Hoffman was nominated for Academy Awards four times: for Capote, The Master, Doubt, and Charlie Wilson's War. He also received three Tony nominations for his work on Broadway, which included an acclaimed turn in 2012 as the weary and defeated Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.

The theatre community mourned the actor on Wednesday with a candlelit vigil outside his beloved LAByrinth Theatre Company and with Broadway's marquee lights turned off for a minute.

More tests are needed to determine what exactly killed Hoffman, who was found with a syringe in his arm and what authorities said were dozens of packets of heroin in his apartment. Post mortem results were inconclusive, authorities said.

Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about past struggles with drug addiction. After 23 years sober, the versatile actor reportedly checked himself into rehab for 10 days last year after relapsing in 2012.

Amid an investigation into Hoffman's death, three people have been arraigned on drug charges, including one who is facing a charge of heroin possession with intent to sell. Lawyers for the three people vigorously denied their clients had any role in Hoffman's death.

Many of those who attended the funeral had professional ties to Hoffman. He and Blanchett co-starred in The Talented Mr Ripley, and Hoffman starred in Lee's The 25th Hour. Hawke co-starred with Hoffman in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Slattery directed Hoffman in his new film God's Pocket, and Nichols directed Hoffman on Broadway in Death of a Salesman. Phoenix shared the screen with Hoffman in The Master.

AP

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