Father Jim Martin, a Jesuit priest and member of the company,
led a community prayer during the somber outdoor ceremony at the
Labyrinth Theater Company, where Hoffman formerly served as
"We come together in a period of terrible mourning and
incredible loss, and a period of overwhelming grief and sadness,
but also to celebrate a remarkable life," he said.
"We will remember Phil in our own ways. We will remember how he
touched our hearts."
Hoffman was found in his Greenwich Village apartment on Sunday
with a syringe in his arm and plastic bags containing a
substance believed to be heroin. The exact cause of death is
still unknown, pending further studies, according to a
spokeswoman for New York City's Chief Medical Examiner.
Four people arrested in New York have been charged with drug
offenses possibly connected to narcotics found at Hoffman's
Hoffman, 46, a best actor Oscar winner for his role in the 2005
biographical film "Capote," had been a member of the Labyrinth
since 1995 and also served as its artistic director.
Friend and colleague Eric Bogosian praised Hoffman for his
courage and humility, as well as his prodigious output in
theater and films over 20 years.
"I think it is important to note not only Phil's power as a
great, great talent but as a person as well," he said.
New York theater actress Noelle McGrath described Hoffman as one
of the most phenomenal character actors ever.
"He was an old shoe of a guy who could just transform himself,"
[to top of second column]
Mimi O'Donnell, Hoffman's long-time partner and the
mother of his three children, is the artistic director of the
Labyrinth Theater Company, one of the nation's leading ensemble
A representative for Hoffman said he will be buried in a private
funeral service for family and friends in New York. A memorial is
planned for later this month.
The Labyrinth, which was founded in 1992, also launched a donation
campaign in Hoffman's memory.
"Some of the brightest and most original new talents of the last 20
years found their own success because of Phil's steadfast effort and
deep commitment to this non-profit theater," the campaign said on
Broadway marquees were dimmed for a minute on Wednesday evening in
Hoffman's honor. In addition to his film roles, including best
supporting Oscar nominations for "The Master" in 2013, "Doubt" in
2009 and "Charlie Wilson's War" in 2008, Hoffman was known for his
work in the theater.
He earned Tony award nominations for his role as Willy Loman in
"Death of a Salesman" and for his parts in "Long Day's Journey Into
Night" and "True West."
Hoffman was also working on the final installment of the movie
version of "The Hunger Games."
(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; editing
by Cynthia Osterman)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.