Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Michelle
Williams, Joaquin Phoenix, Mary Louise Parker and Chris Rock
were among the Hollywood stars who attended the service at the
Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on Manhattan's Upper East Side to
mourn the death of the Oscar-winning actor.
Blanchett, who spoke at the funeral along with director Paul
Thomas Anderson, braved the cold in a long black coat as the
hearse bearing Hoffman's coffin pulled away from the church on
She declined to comment as tears streamed down her face.
New York director and screenwriter Amos Poe said the funeral
"was beautiful, just like Phil."
Many of the actors at the service had worked with Hoffman.
Williams lost her former partner, actor Heath Ledger, to an
accidental drug overdose in 2008.
Scores of photographers, camera crews and reporters stood on
piles of snow across from the large church, while fans were kept
behind a barricade.
"I saw him in 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' and I thought he
showed real genius. I am here paying my respects," said a
tearful Mary Catherine Wright, who lives nearby.
"He is remembered by most people for his movie roles, but I
think his theater performances were pretty remarkable," she
Hoffman, whose body was discovered on Sunday in his Greenwich
Village apartment, is survived by his long-term partner, Mimi
O'Donnell, and their three young children, Cooper, Tallulah and
A memorial service is planned for later this month.
PHENOMENAL CHARACTER ACTOR
Although Hoffman was found with a syringe in his arm, the cause
of his death was still undetermined on Friday pending the
results of further studies.
Four people were charged with drug offenses, possibly connected
to the substances found at the actor's home. The charges against
one were subsequently dropped and the other three have denied
[to top of second column]
Hoffman, a best actor Oscar winner for his role in the 2005
biographical film "Capote," won accolades for his versatility on the
stage and screen.
"He was an old shoe of a guy who could just
transform himself," New York stage actress Noelle McGrath said at an
earlier vigil, adding that he was one of the most phenomenal
character actors ever.
From his Tony-nominated role as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's
Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Death of a Salesman" to complex
characters in such films as "Happiness," in which he played an
obscene phone caller, and "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead,"
Hoffman transfixed audiences with his talent.
He also earned Tony award nominations for "Long
Day's Journey Into Night" and "True West."
On the big screen, the actor appeared in blockbusters such as "The
Hunger Games" series and garnered best supporting actor Oscar
nominations for "The Master," "Doubt" and "Charlie Wilson's War."
Although he talked openly about his past struggles with substance
abuse, Hoffman's untimely death was a shock and came just as police
spoke of more heroin hitting the streets of New York.
"Unfortunately, our city, like America, has got a continuing,
constantly changing narcotics problem," New York NYPD Commissioner
Bill Bratton said after a crime commission meeting on Friday.
"The issue of heroin, which has been so much referenced in the death
of Mr. Hoffman, is appearing to be increasing again," he added.
Friends and Hollywood stars also paid their respects at a wake on
Thursday, and Hoffman was remembered at a candlelight vigil outside
the Labyrinth Theater Company in Greenwich Village on Wednesday
He had been a member and a former artistic director of the New York
company, which is one of the nation's leading ensemble theater
(Writing by Patricia Reaney; editing by
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