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.

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   “The Writer’s Corner”

In addition to my twice weekly blog I will also feature an interview with another author once a month. These authors have already responded and you can read their interviews by clicking on their name: Janet Evanovich, Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal,  Karen Robards, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Tasha Alexander, Patrick Taylor, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Cathy Lamb, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Raymond Benson, Andrew Grant, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, Walter Mosley, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!     Raymond Benson was my January author. This month Andrew Grant will join us.  Janet Evanovich, Barbara Delinski, Loretta Chase and Sherryl Woods in the coming months.   Dean Koontz just granted me an interview and will be featured here this spring!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks!

One thought on “Suicide by Heroin…A Eulogy”

  1. I had the priviledge of working with Phil during our time at NYU along with another talented actor – Kristen Johnston. (Can you imagine the two of them in class, day after day, for 4 years? The green room was NOT a calm place. Ever.)

    Phil was one of those actors who made ME a better actor when I was on stage with him. The experience of performing a scene, even in a regular class, was visceral. Afterward I had this electricity running through me that was more than adrenaline, more than nerves. I knew I had done better work than I normally did. In some cases, I knew I had done better work than I was capable of doing.

    Kristen was another actor who affected me that way. I think it’s no coincidence that her book that discusses the ways she faced the same challenges Phil did, is riveting:…/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_pjR7sb00YCM976HY.

    I’m not trying to draw a correlation between talent and drug use. I’m simply pointing out that they were both powerful personalities with significant talent – significant enough that it elevated not just themselves, but those around them.

    One of my reasons for getting out of theater was the realization that I simply wasn’t that good. And by “that good”, I mean them – Phil and Kristen. THAT kind of “that good”.

I love to hear from my readers! Tell me what you think of the web site and the content.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.