Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead

February 3, 20140 Comments

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment Sunday of an apparent drug overdose, law enforcement sources said.

Hoffman, 46, was found on the bathroom floor and pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators found two bags of what is believed to be heroin inside the fourth-floor apartment.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone. This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving,” Hoffman’s family said in a statement. “Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.”

Hoffman was last seen alive at 8 p.m. Saturday, a law enforcement official said. He was expected to get his children on Sunday, but didn’t show up. Playwright David Katz and another person went to the apartment and found him dead.

A needle was in the actor’s left arm, and eight empty glassine-type bags that usually contain heroin were found in the apartment sources told CNN. The bags were stamped with “Ace of Hearts” and “Ace of Spades” — street names for the heroin.

Last year Hoffman revealed that he had entered rehab to deal with a drug problem, telling TMZ that he’d kicked a substance abuse habit for 23 years but recently relapsed. In a 2011 interview with “60 Minutes,” he discussed his past struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.

“Anything I could get my hands on, I liked it all,” he said. Asked why he decided to sober up, he replied, “You get panicked. … I was 22 and I got panicked for my life, it really was, it was just that. And I always think, ‘God, I have so much empathy for these young actors that are 19 and all of a sudden are beautiful and famous and rich.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God. I’d be dead.'”

According to TMZ, Hoffman said last year that he’d fallen off the wagon, started taking prescription pills and slipped into snorting heroin. After he returned from rehab, Hoffman rented the apartment where his body was found Sunday, two neighbors said. The rest of his family lived elsewhere in the neighborhood.

As fans and neighbors gathered outside the apartment building where Hoffman was found, police were combing his apartment for evidence. As part of the investigation, authorities are looking into whether anyone was with the actor when he died.

An autopsy will be conducted on Hoffman’s body Monday, said Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for New York City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner.

Law enforcement sources told CNN that detectives will track Hoffman’s recent activities to see where he purchased what appears to be heroin. Moving on the theory that Hoffman’s death was a drug overdose, they’ll now try to seek exactly where he bought it, the sources said. This will involve searching his phone and trying to track some of his movements.

He is survived by three children and his longtime partner, Mimi O’Donnell.

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