Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death at the age of 46 reminded fans that addiction is a frightening disease that doesn’t discriminate—and can affect even the most talented actors.
After 23 years of sobriety, the Academy Award winner completed a stint in rehab last year for narcotics after reportedly trying heroin for the first time. Learning that an alleged overdose took the life of the talented actor took not only his fans, but also his Hollywood’s contemporaries by surprise.
To most of the world, Philip was a talented actor and modest family man but his death revealed that he still lived with demons—far worse than anyone realized.
And what does the final weeks of the actor’s life reveal? A tragic combination of the public image he maintained, and the dark reality he faced behind closed doors.
A little more than two weeks before his untimely death, an eyewitness at the Sundance Film Festival told In Touch he seemed “out of it” at the red carpet premiere for his film, God’s Pocket, on Jan. 17.
“Philip was the last person to arrive on the carpet,” the eyewitness said. “He looked like he did not want to be there. He was pale and disheveled looking, people noticed and were commenting on how he didn’t look great, he didn’t look like a man free of drugs of alcohol.”
David Bar Katz, a playwright and friend of the actor, had the misfortune of finding Philip dead on Sunday said that it was a drastic change from the seemingly sober man he saw just a few weeks ago.
“I saw him last week, and he was clean and sober—his old self,” Mr. Katz told The New York Times. “I really thought this chapter was over.”
My roommate, my friend, my hero. Philip Seymour Hoffman Room 729 Weinstein Hall. Rest in Peace. I love you. pic.twitter.com/JDQuFinMf0— Steven Schub (@stevenschub) February 3, 2014
A neighbor of the late actor agreed, telling In Touch that Philip was seen in their West Village neighborhood with his kids just days before his tragic death.
“It was around 9 AM or so and he was chatting about how he hated the CitiBikes because people don’t know how to ride them,” his neighbor told In Touch. “He was laughing about it and seemed to be happy and relaxed. He was always very low key and comfortable in the neighborhood… He just seemed to love spending time off with his family.”
Just two weeks before his death, at Sundance, Philip gave a now very telling interview about his upcoming film God’s Pocket. In the moie, he plays a petty criminal who attempts to cover up the death of his stepson.
He said he was drawn to the “great story” because of the character.
“There’s something about he’s my age,” Philip said. “He’s dealing with issues that have to do with being middle-aged. He realizes that some choices he made along the way, you have to shift or change or you just kind of stay in the dark and go from there.”