Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent overdose in his apartment in New York City on Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing law-enforcement officials.
The New York Police Department is investigating, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is to determine the exact cause of death.
“It’s pretty apparent that it was an overdose,” a law-enforcement official told The New York Times. “The syringe was in his arm.”
Two officials told The Associated Press that glassine envelopes containing what was believed to be heroin were also found with Hoffman. Those items are being tested.
Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2005 biographical film "Capote," and received three Academy Award nominations as Best Supporting Actor.
A personal assistant found Hoffman’s body in the bathroom of his West Village apartment at 35 Bethune St. and called 911 around 11:30 a.m, sources told the New York Post.
Hoffman's family called the news of his death "tragic and sudden."
"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone," his family said in a statement.
In 2006, Hoffman publicly admitted that he nearly succumbed to substance abuse graduating from NYU’s drama school, but got sober in rehab. In 2013, Hoffman reportedly checked himself into rehab again for ten days after relapsing in 2012.
“It was all that (drugs and alcohol), yeah. It was anything I could get my hands on…I liked it all,” he told “60 Minutes” as the time.
Social media quickly erupted with an outpouring of sympathy for his family and fans, and widespread honor for an actor who was still at the peak of his powers.
In one of his earliest roles, Hoffman played a spoiled prep school student in "Scent of a Woman" in 1992.
One of his breakthrough roles came as a gay member of a porno film crew in "Boogie Nights," one of several movies directed by Paul Thomas Anderson that he would eventually appear in.
He often played comic, slightly off-kilter characters in movies like "Along Came Polly," ''The Big Lebowski" and "Almost Famous." More recently, he was Plutarch Heavensbee in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and was reprising that role in the two-part sequel, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay," which is in the works.
And in "Moneyball," he played Art Howe, the grumpy manager of the Oakland Athletics who resisted new thinking about baseball talent.
Just weeks ago, Showtime announced Hoffman would star in "Happyish," a new comedy series about a middle-aged man's pursuit of happiness.
In "The Master," he was nominated for the 2013 Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role as the charismatic leader of a religious movement. The film, partly inspired by the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, reunited the actor with Anderson.
He also received a 2009 supporting nomination for "Doubt," as a priest who comes under suspicion because of his relationship with a boy, and a best supporting actor nomination for "Charlie Wilson's War," as a CIA officer.
Born in 1967 in Fairport, N.Y., Hoffman was interested in acting from an early age, mesmerized at 12 by a local production of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons." He studied theater as a teenager with the New York State Summer School of the Arts and the Circle in the Square Theatre.
He then majored in drama at New York University.
In his Oscar acceptance speech for "Capote," he thanked his mother for raising him and and his three siblings alone, and for taking him to his first play.
Hoffman's parents divorced when he was 9. With a versatility and discipline more common among British performers than Americans, he could seemingly take on any role, large or small, loathsome or sympathetic.
On Broadway, he took on ambitious roles like Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman," Jamie in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" and both leads in "True West." All three performances were Tony nominated.
His 2012 performance in "Death of a Salesman" was praised as "heartbreaking" by AP theater critic Mark Kennedy.
"Hoffman is only 44, but he nevertheless sags in his brokenness like a man closer to retirement age, lugging about his sample cases filled with his self-denial and disillusionment," Kennedy wrote. "His fraying connection to reality is pronounced in this production, with Hoffman quick to anger and a hard edge emerging from his babbling."
Two films starring Hoffman premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival: the espionage thriller "A Most Wanted Man," directed by Anton Corbijn, and "God's Pocket," the directorial debut of John Slattery.
Hoffman is survived by his partner of 15 years, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three children.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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