NEW YORK — Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won the Oscar for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote and created a gallery of slackers, charlatans and other characters so vivid that he was regarded as one of the world's finest actors, was found dead in his apartment Sunday with what officials said was a needle in his arm. He was 46.
The actor apparently died of a drug overdose, said two law enforcement officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case. Envelopes containing what was believed to be heroin were found with him, they said.
Hoffman — with his lumpy, heavyset build, his disheveled look and his limp, receding blond hair — was a character actor of such range and lack of vanity that he could seemingly handle roles of any size, on the stage and in movies that played in art houses or multiplexes.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)
In a Jan. 19, 2014 photo Phillip Seymour Hoffman poses for a portrait at The Collective and Gibson Lounge Powered by CEG, during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Hoffman, who won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in "Capote," was found dead Sunday in his apartment in New York with what law enforcement officials said was a syringe in his arm. He was 46. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)
Philip Seymour Hoffman, right, and director Anton Corbijn, rear, are interviewed at the premiere of the film "A Most Wanted Man" during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)
This photo provided by the Sundance Institute shows Philip Seymour Hoffman, left, and Eddie Marsan in a scene from the film "God's Pocket." (AP Photo/Sundance Institute, Lance Acord)
This photo provided by the Sundance Institute shows Philip Seymour Hoffman, right, and Rachel McAdams, front, in a scene from the film, "A Most Wanted Man" which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. (AP Photo/Sundance Institute)
In a Sunday, March 5, 2006, file photo, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman poses with the Oscar he won for best actor for his work in "Capote" at the 78th Academy Awards, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)
This file film image released by The Weinstein Company shows Joaquin Phoenix, left, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in a scene from "The Master." Police say Phillip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. He was 46. (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, File)
In this image released by Colombia Pictures, Philip Seymour Hoffman, left, and Ryan Gosling are shown in a scene from "Ides of March." (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures - Sony, Saeed Adyani, File)
In this undated file image released by Miramax Film Corp., Philip Seymour Hoffman portrays Father Flynn, right, and Meryl Streep portrays Sister Aloysius in a scene from "Doubt." (AP Photo/Miramax Film Corp, Andrew Schwartz, File)
In this undated publicity photo released by Sony Pictures Classics, Philip Seymour Hoffman portrays author Truman Capote in a scene from the film "Capote." (AP Photo/Attila Doroy, Sony Pictures Classics, File)
In a Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 file photo, Philip Seymour Hoffman seen at Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Los Angeles Premiere, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Invision for Lionsgate/AP Images, File)
This Nov. 18, 2013 file photo shows Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" at Nokia Theatre LA Live. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Police stand guard outside the home of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead in his Greenwich village apartment, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in New York. He was 46. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
People look toward the home of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
He could play comic or dramatic, loathsome or sympathetic, trembling or diabolical, dissipated or tightly controlled, slovenly or immaculate.
The stage-trained actor's rumpled naturalism brought him four Academy Award nominations — for "Capote," ''The Master," ''Doubt" and "Charlie Wilson's War" — and three Tony nominations for his work on Broadway, including "Death of a Salesman." He was as productive as he was acclaimed, often appearing in at least two or three films a year while managing a busy life in the theater.
Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about his 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.