The Ten Best Performances of Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman

1967-2014

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In what almost seems like a surreal story, on the morning that NYC prepared to host the biggest event the city has seen in many years, an Oscar winning actor, one of the greatest of his generation, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment, with a needle still stuck in his arm.

The sadness we’re feeling today is beyond words. It would seem every year we’re shocked into reality by the death of a Hollywood actor or actress gone way too soon. Tragically, in too many cases, it’s by their own hand. It’s a cycle that repeats annually and yet, it would seem, it’s the hardest of educations that teaches absolutely nothing. Like Marilyn Monroe, John Belushi, Whitney Huston, Heath Ledger and just last year, our dear friend Lisa Robin Kelly, every actor and performer suffering from addiction problems either believes it will never happen to them or, even worse, just don’t care.

For every survivor like Robert Downey Jr., it would appear we have a hundred that will pay the highest price for a lesson that will never be learned.

Hoffman was one of our favorite actors working today and we’re filled with a mix of heartbreak, frustration and an anger that he has deprived us of another forty years of classic and memorable performances. His artistry will truly be missed. 

In celebration of the life and career of Philip Seymour Hoffman we have collected what we believe are his Top Ten Best Performances. Rather than spend half the day trying to decide which is the best and in what order they should be ranked, we’ve opted to list them in the order they were originally released. Given the magnitude of Seymour’s career the selection process was harder than you might first imagine, we hope you understand this collection really only represents a small fraction of this actor’s amazing body of work.

As you watch these clips you’ll quickly note a sadness that seemed to infuse every one of his performances, Seymour’s characters always seemed to be carrying a profoundly heavy weight of anguish in varying degrees of subtlety, so much so that the actor’s expert understandings regarding the darker side of life eventually became his signature. Today, sadly, like so many artists before him, we understand where that melancholy was born and the ultimate price that is inevitably paid for such talents and afflictions.    

Rest in Peace, Philip, you are already missed.

 

Boogie Nights (1997)

Happiness (1998)

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Flawless (1999)

Almost Famous (2000)

Capote (2005)

Before the Devil Knows you’re Dead (2007)

Doubt (2008)

Mary and Max (2009)

The Master (2012)

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