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February 2, 2014

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in NYC apartment

NEW YORK — Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in "Capote" and created a gallery of other vivid characters, many of them slovenly and slightly dissipated comic figures, was found dead Sunday in his Greenwich Village apartment with what law enforcement officials said was a syringe in his arm. He was 46.

The two officials told The Associated Press that glassine envelopes containing what was believed to be heroin were also found with Hoffman. Those items are being tested.

The law enforcement officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about evidence found at the scene, said the cause of death was believed to be a drug overdose.

Hoffman — no matinee-idol figure with his tubby, lumpy build and limp blond hair — made his career mostly as a character actor, and was one of the most prolific in the business.

The stage-trained actor's rumpled naturalism made him one of the most admired performers of his generation. He was nominated for Academy Awards four times in all.

Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about 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 at a rehabilitation facility.

The law enforcement officials said Hoffman's body was discovered in a bathroom by a friend who made the 911 call and his assistant.

His family called the news of Hoffman's death "tragic and sudden.

""We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone," Hoffman's family said in a statement.

In one of his earliest roles, he played a spoiled prep school student in "Scent of a Woman" in 1992. One of his breakthrough roles came as a gay member of a porno film crew in "Boogie Nights," one of several movies directed by Paul Thomas Anderson that he would eventually appear in.

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