independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Stars gather for Hoffman funeral

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

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

Press Association

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