December 25, 2014
Family, actors mourn Philip Seymour Hoffman at private funeral
Family and close friends bid their final farewells at a private funeral for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose tragic death of an apparent overdose at the age of 46 robbed the entertainment world of one of its finest talents.
Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Michelle Williams and Ethan Hawke were among the guests entering the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on Manhattan's Upper East Side to mourn the death of the Oscar-winning actor who closely guarded his privacy.
Many of the actors attending the noon service had starred in films or plays with Hoffman. Williams lost her former partner, actor Heath Ledger, to an accidental drug overdose in 2008.
Scores of photographers, camera crews and reporters stood on piles of snow in frigid temperatures across from the large church on Park Avenue while fans were kept behind a barricade.
"I saw him in 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' and I thought he showed real genius. I am here paying my respects," said Mary Catherine Wright, who lives nearby, and stood bundled up with tears in her eyes.
"He is remembered by most people for his movie roles, but I think his theater performances were pretty remarkable," she added.
Hoffman, whose body was discovered on Sunday in his Greenwich Village apartment, is survived by his long-term partner, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three young children, Cooper, Tallulah and Willa.
A memorial service is planned for later this month.
Four people were charged with drug offenses, possibly connected to the substances found at the actor's home.
Hoffman, a best actor Oscar winner for his role in the 2005 biographical film "Capote," won accolades for his versatility on the stage and screen.
"He was an old shoe of a guy who could just transform himself," said New York stage actress Noelle McGrath, adding that he was one of the most phenomenal character actors ever.