Suicide by Heroin…A Eulogy

Philip_Seymour_Hoffman_2011[1]Philip Seymour Hoffman died last week by his own hand.  Shoving a needle into his arm, one last time and making our world a little more pale and less interesting.  Why do the brilliant feel the need to destroy themselves?  The heroin was just the ‘fix’ (aptly named) dulling the pain, banishing the demons…for a little while.   ‘An accidental overdose’ you say?  What was accidental about him sticking the bloody needle into his arm?  I ask.

And what does that say about the rest of us; living and struggling on, sometimes in quiet, brave desperation.  His actions were pure selfishness and I am royally pissed off at him!

And I earned the right  to be angry with him….being a survivor of suicide and the horror and  confusion that follows.  This man was an inspiration to all artists, actors, directors, writers, painters, dancers….he made us want to be better at our chosen craft …to aspire to his brilliance.   And now he’s gone.
As an actor his performances were quiet and powerful; understated and demanding of your attention.  No matter what he touched the project was better because of what he contributed. One of my favorites (a small film not known by many) was A Late Quartet. 

Hoffman in the Late Quartet

Hoffman in the Late Quartet

 

Hoffman as Truman Capote

Hoffman as Truman Capote

AP.  ‘ Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, New York. Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in “Capote” and created a gallery of other vivid characters, many of them slovenly and slightly dissipated figures, was found dead Sunday in his apartment. He was 46.

Hoffman – no matinee idol, with his lumpy build and limp blond hair – made his career mostly as a character actor, and was one of the most prolific in the business, plying his craft with a rumpled naturalism that also made him one of the most admired performers of his generation.  The stage-trained actor was nominated for Academy Awards four times in all: for “Capote,” ”The Master,” ”Doubt” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

Hoffman with Tom Hanks

Hoffman with Tom Hanks

Hoffman in Death of a Salesman

Hoffman in Death of a Salesman

He also received three Tony nominations for his work on Broadway, which included an acclaimed turn as a weary and defeated Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman.”

Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about past struggles with drug addiction. After 23 years sober, he admitted in interviews last year to falling off the wagon and developing a heroin problem that led to a stint in rehab.’ Associated Press

Would there ever be another suicide if the person who is taking their own life really knew the devastation that they were thKGM41KOFleaving behind?

I mourn this loss because we are a family in theatre and he was one of us.  I feel as though something was stolen from me….a perp crept in and took something…(someone) of value from me.  But, oh wait!  Phillip was the perp, the robber, the killer!

Goodbye, dear Phillip, we will miss your light.
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