Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the best - FOX 35 News Orlando

Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the best

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

An Oscar-winning legend now gone long before his time, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in his Manhattan apartment Sunday morning.

Hoffman was a true talent, described by critics, the public and his peers as one of the best actors of his generation, if not the very best. He knew exactly how to show movie-goers the struggles of others: A man struggling with his demonic impulses, a man struggling with the death of rock and roll and a man struggling to make sense of tragedy.

From incredibly powerful roles in "Almost Famous" and "Boogie Nights" to Oscar-nominated turns in "The Master" and "Doubt," Hoffman was an actor who kept audiences wondering what he would do next.

Hoffman, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote, revealed to the public eight years ago that his struggle with drugs has been an ongoing fight for sobriety.

But in private, Philip Seymour Hoffman kept his own struggles to himself. On the morning of Sunday, Feb. 2, his struggles came to a tragic end. Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment of an apparent drug overdose. He was 46 years old.

Upon graduating from NYU's drama school, Hoffman was lured into New York's drug scene – and knew instantly that he had to get out. He checked himself into rehab and got sober at the age of 22. He was then clean for 23 years before relapsing, when he underwent detox treatment in May of 2013 for substance abuse.

But despite his struggles, whether they be in real life or on the silver screen, Hoffman said that it was all about learning. He didn't often sit down for interviews, but Good Day Chicago's Jake Hamilton was lucky enough to have talked with him at the Toronto International Film Festival. The actor gave some insight into what life is all about.

"An actor's life is all about learning. We learn new things all the time. Just kind of a cool thing about being an actor," Hoffman said. "Trying to learn to play the piano – whether you're learning an accent or learning a language, I've learned many things. It's learning something, that's what somebody goes through. It's a very cool thing."

In Hamilton's experience, Hoffman was never an easy man to interview. He was often quiet and distant, and he made you work for a good answer. But Hoffman was a real actor, who had real things to say. There aren't many in Hollywood Hamilton can say that about.

While he may be gone, Hoffman's legacy lives on. What better way to remember his life than in admiration of how he brought life to others?

The silver screen flickers on. As long as it does, so will he.

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