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Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's death shocks Hollywood (w/video)

  • 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. Police say Hoffman has been found dead in his apartment. Sunday Feb. 2014. He was 46. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

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)

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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.

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