Philip Seymour Hoffman Biography

Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor and director. This biography provides detailed information on his childhood, life, career, works, achievements and timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: July 23, 1967

Nationality: American

Famous: Alcoholics Died Young

Died At Age: 46

Sun Sign: Cancer

Born Country: United States

Born in: Fairport, New York, United States

Famous as: Actor

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males


father: Gordon Stowell Hoffman

mother: Marilyn L. O'Connor

siblings: Emily Hoffman, Gordy Hoffman, Jill Hoffman

children: Cooper Alexander Hoffman, Tallulah Hoffman, Willa Hoffman

Partner: Mimi O'Donnell (1999–2014)

Died on: February 2, 2014

place of death: West Village, New York, United States

Cause of Death: Drug Overdose

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Tisch School Of The Arts, Fairport High School, Circle in the Square Theatre School, New York University, Neighborhood Playhouse

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Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American film actor, director, and theatre personality. He was known for playing several supporting and lead roles in his career spanning over two decades. He appeared in over 50 movies during his career. Some of his films are ‘Scent of a Woman,’ ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley,’ ‘The Master,’ and ‘Jack Goes Boating.’ After working as a supporting actor for many years, Hoffman received an opportunity to play the lead role in ‘Capote’ for which he received international acclaim and the coveted ‘Academy Award.’ He was also an accomplished theatre personality. He directed and acted in various theatre productions like ‘True West,’ ‘Death of a Salesman,’ etc. He received the prestigious ‘Tony Award’ nominations three times. He suffered from drug addiction in his youth. The addiction came back to haunt him again in 2012, and he went back to abusing prescribed drugs and heroin, which ultimately led to his death in 2014. He was filming ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,’ the final movie of ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise, at the time of his death.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • After graduating, Hoffman worked in off-Broadway theater and did brief screen roles in ‘Law & Order’ (1991), ‘Leap of Faith’ (1992), ‘Scent of a Woman’ (1992), ‘Money for Nothing’ (1993), ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’ (1993), etc.
  • It was in ‘Scent of a Woman’ in 1992 that Hoffman was first recognized for his acting abilities. He starred in the movie with Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell. The recognition helped him get various supporting roles.
  • Throughout the 1990s, Hoffman did movies like: ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ (1994) with Andy Garcia, ‘Nobody’s Fool’ (1994) with Paul Newman, ‘Twister’ (1996) with Bill Paxton, ‘Boogie Nights’ (1997) with Mark Wahlberg, ‘Todd Solondz’s Happiness’ (1998), etc.
  • By now, Hoffman was famous for his exceptional ability to play any character with ease. He was critically acclaimed for his portrayal of an upper-class oppressor in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ in 1999.
  • In 1999, he also played a male nurse in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Magnolia.’ The following year, he took to Broadway and appeared in a renewal of Sam Shepard's ‘True West.’ He received a ‘Tony Award’ nomination.
  • He spent the 2000s experimenting with his directorial abilities. As a stage director, he received commendation and two ‘Drama Desk Award’ nominations for ‘Outstanding Director of a Play.’ He received the nominations for ‘Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train’ (2001) and ‘Our Lady of 121st Street’ (2003).
  • In 2005, Hoffman landed the lead role in ‘Capote.’ For this biographical film about Truman Capote, Hoffman took four months to prepare for the role. He received an ‘Oscar’ for his extraordinary acting.
  • Following the success of ‘Capote,’ Hoffman did a number of significant roles in movies like: ‘Mission: Impossible III’ (2006), ‘The Savages’ (2007), ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’ (2007), ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ (2007), ‘Doubt’ (2008), ‘The Invention of Lying’ (2009), etc.
  • In 2012, Hoffman got an opportunity to play the lead role in the Broadway revival of ‘Death of a Salesman.’ He received critical acclaim for his acting skills and also a ‘Tony Award’ nomination.
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  • He did ‘A Late Quartet’ and ‘The Master’ in 2012. The following year, he joined the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise—‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.’
Major Works
  • Hoffman’s artistic skills and ability to portray various kinds of roles made him the most sought after supporting actor of his time, but it was his lead role in ‘Capote’ in 2005 that established him as a prominent actor.
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Awards & Achievements
  • In his entertainment career of over two decades, Hoffman won many accolades like: ‘Oscar’ (Capote), ‘BAFTA’ (Capote), ‘Golden Globe’ (Capote), six ‘Chlotrudis Awards,’ six ‘National Board of Review Awards,’ ‘Screen Actors Guild Award,’ two ‘Satellite Awards,’ etc.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Hoffman had a longtime partner in costume designer Mimi O'Donnell. The couple was together for 14 years and had three children: son Cooper Alexander and daughters, Tallulah and Willa.
  • In 2006, Hoffman revealed that he suffered from drug addiction during his time at the university. He also said that he underwent rehabilitation at the age of 22 and was sober for the next 23 years of his life.
  • He suffered a relapse with prescription drugs and began using heroin again. He was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on February 2, 2014—his death was said to have been caused by acute mixed drug intoxication.
  • After his death, the ‘LAByrinth Theatre Company’ held a candlelight vigil, and Broadway dimmed its lights for one minute in 2014.
  • In 2013, he checked into a drug rehabilitation program for 10 days.
  • He and Dustin Hoffman are the only two winners of a ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar’ to share their last name.
  • Hoffman’s idols were: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken.
  • With the exception of ‘There Will Be Blood’ (2007), he appeared in all of Paul Thomas Anderson's films.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Movies

1. The Big Lebowski (1998)

  (Comedy, Crime)

2. Boogie Nights (1997)


3. Capote (2005)

  (Drama, Crime, History, Biography)

4. Doubt (2008)

  (Mystery, Drama)

5. Scent of a Woman (1992)


6. Almost Famous (2000)

  (Adventure, Comedy, Music, Drama)

7. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)

  (Crime, Drama, Thriller)

8. Magnolia (1999)



Academy Awards(Oscars)
2006 Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Capote (2005)
Golden Globe Awards
2006 Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Capote (2005)
BAFTA Awards
2006 Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Capote (2005)

See the events in life of Philip Seymour Hoffman in Chronological Order

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