The world lost an acting legend and an overall amazing human being when Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead from what is being called a drug overdose. But while many are talking about the way he died, most of his fans, friends and colleagues are taking about how he lived and the amazing career he led while he was still alive.
One of those people is actor Ian McKellan, who penned a touching letter to Hoffman which he posted to his Facebook page this past week.
He was without doubt one of the most accomplished screen actors of our time, with so many more performances waiting to enchant us with.
What I will remember most is his Konstantin in Chekov’s “The Seagull” in a starry revival in New York’s Central Park (2001). Meryl Streep was his mother, although he looked old enough to be her younger brother, a self-obsessed lonely boy, longing for success, trying to make his own way in an alien world. The open-air venue was not conducive to the delicacy and intimacy of the play, yet Hoffman amazingly shrank the space between him and the audience and made us feel we were spying on his insides.
His work on film survives his death, the only consolation in our grief and regret. Last month he came to see our plays at the Cort Theatre. I wish, now more than ever, we had met afterwards, so I could have told him of my admiration.
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