Ahad, 2 Februari 2014

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

US actor Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in New York

Posted: 02 Feb 2014 02:55 PM PST

NEW YORK, Feb 02, 2014 (AFP) - Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment of a suspected drug overdose on Sunday, law enforcement officials said. He was 46.

The enigmatic star, who was hailed as the finest character actor of his generation, won an Oscar in 2006 as best actor for "Capote" and was nominated for three further Academy Awards.

A substance thought to be heroin was found at the scene when police responded to the actor's home in Manhattan's West Village after receiving a call from one of his friends.

"It appears to be an alleged overdose," one police official told AFP. The actor was found on the bathroom floor with a syringe in his arm, wearing shorts and a T-shirt, the officer added.

"Two glassine envelopes contained alleged heroin," another officer told AFP. There were no pills and no sign that the actor had been drinking, the first officer had said earlier.

Law enforcement officials refused to comment further until after the arrival and report of the medical examiner.

Hoffman, whose two-decade career made him one of the most liked and respected actors in Hollywood, leaves behind his partner, costume designer Mimi O'Donnell, and three children.

His family released a brief statement through the media saying they were devastated, thanking people for their love and support.

"This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving.

 Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers," the statement added.

New York detectives and officers secured the street outside the actor's home, and were seen entering and exiting the red brick, six-floor apartment building, an AFP reporter said.

A crowd of journalists and neighbors gathered, and a red rose and a bouquet of white roses were laid at the entrance.

One neighbor who gave her name as Janine, said she was accustomed to seeing the actor and his family out and about.

"They were always in the 'hood," she told AFP. "My husband saw him last week... They were a part of the community here."

Tributes quickly poured in from fellow celebrities and actors, who took to twitter to express their sorrow.
"A truly kind, wonderful man and one of our greatest actors - ever," wrote Mia Farrow.

Born Philip Hoffman in July 1967 in New York state, he was the third of four children of a Xerox executive and a feminist housewife who divorced when he was nine.

He earned a drama degree from New York University in 1989, though he fell into alcohol and drug abuse for a while.

Incorporating his grandfather's name, Seymour, between his given names, he made his big screen debut in a 1991 independent film called "Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole."

In 1997, he made waves as a closeted gay crew member in Paul Thomas Anderson's porn industry tale "Boogie Nights," followed by a quirky turn in the Coen brothers' "The Big Lebowski" (1998).

In Anthony Minghella's crime thriller "The Talented Mr Ripley," he stole the show from co-stars Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow with his supporting role as slippery and duplicitous preppie Freddie Miles.

The late Minghella once said that Hoffman was an extraordinary actor "cursed, sometimes, by his own gnawing intelligence, his own discomfort with acting".

"There are few actors more demanding in front of camera, less demanding away from it."

But, for all his success, Hoffman was a reluctant occupant of the limelight and in an interview with the Guardian published in October 2011 said he thought everyone struggles with self-love.

"I think that's pretty much the human condition, you know, waking up and trying to live your day in a way that you can go to sleep and feel OK about yourself," he was quoted as saying.

After his Oscar-winning turn in "Capote", Hoffman had three more Oscar nominations as a supporting actor in "Charlie Wilson's War" in 2008, "Doubt" in 2009 and "The Master" in 2013.

Dylan Farrow breaks silence on Woody Allen abuse allegation

Posted: 02 Feb 2014 12:13 AM PST

NEW YORK: The adopted daughter of Woody Allen has spoken for the first time about the alleged sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of the legendary Hollywood director during her childhood.

In an open letter published on a New York Times blog, Dylan Farrow, adopted by Allen during his relationship with actress Mia Farrow, detailed being abused by the director when she was seven years old.

"He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother's electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me," Farrow, 28, wrote in the letter.

"He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we'd go to Paris and I'd be a star in his movies."

It is the first time Dylan Farrow has spoken publicly about the unproven allegations of abuse which emerged more than two decades ago in the aftermath of Allen's acrimonious split with Mia Farrow in 1992.

Allen, 78, who left Mia Farrow after starting a relationship with the actress's adopted daughter from a previous marriage, Soon-Yi Previn, has always vigorously denied abusing Dylan Farrow.

A New York judge in the 1994 custody battle between Allen and Farrow ruled that the abuse allegations were inconclusive, but at the same time lambasted the director as "self-absorbed, untrustworthy and insensitive."

Allen's representatives could not be immediately reached for comment on Saturday after Dylan Farrow's revelations. The New York Times reported that he had refused to comment.

His adopted daughter accused the Hollywood establishment of sweeping Allen's alleged crimes under the carpet by continuing to honor his films.

The director's latest movie, Blue Jasmine, is nominated for three Academy Awards at next month's Oscars, including best original screenplay for the director.

Farrow called on three of the stars of Blue Jasmine - Australian actress Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin and Louis C.K. - to examine their relationship with Allen, asking pointedly: "What if it had been your child?"

"Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up," she wrote.

"That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, 'who can say what happened,' to pretend that nothing was wrong.

"Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines.

"Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse."

Allen was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes in Beverly Hills last month, an honor that was collected by his former partner and muse Diane Keaton.

At the time, both Mia Farrow and her son, Ronan Farrow, slammed the award.

"Missed the Woody Allen tribute," Ronan Farrow remarked on Twitter. "Did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age seven before or after Annie Hall?"

Mia Farrow later added: ":A woman has publicly detailed Woody Allen's molestation of her at age seven. Golden Globe tribute showed contempt for her and all abuse survivors."

When the abuse allegations first surfaced in 1992, Allen said they had been manufactured by Mia Farrow as part of the couple's custody battle.

"This is an unconscionable and gruesomely damaging manipulation of innocent children for vindictive and self-serving motives," Allen said in a statement at the time. - AFP
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