Seymour Hoffman died of accidental overdose: official
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[March 01, 2014]
By Patricia Reaney
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Philip
Seymour Hoffman, who was found in his New York apartment on February
2 with a needle in his arm, died of an accidental overdose of drugs,
the New York City Chief Medical Examiner said on Friday.
The cause of death was acute drug intoxication, including
heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine, according to
Julie Bolcer, spokeswoman for the Medical Examiner's Office.
She added that it is the final determination in Hoffman's death.
Only the cause and manner of death will be released to the
A drug overdose had been suspected when Hoffman, 46, was
discovered in his apartment along with dozens of small plastic
bags containing a substance believed to be heroin. The
confirmation puts the actor, regarded as one of the best of his
generation, on a growing list of entertainers who succumbed to
"Glee" actor Cory Monteith, 31, died in Vancouver of an
accidental overdose of heroin and alcohol in October. Drugs were
also the cause of death of Australian actor Heath Ledger in 2008
and singer Whitney Houston in 2012.
Overdoses from legal or illegal drugs also have claimed the
lives of entertainers including Marilyn Monroe, John Belushi,
Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
Hoffman is survived by his long-time partner, Mimi O'Donnell,
and their three young children, Cooper, Tallulah and Willa.
The actor's tragic death coincides with an increase in U.S.
heroin use, which government officials say has reached epidemic
proportions in the past five years. Fatal heroin overdoses have
risen 45 percent from 2006 to 2010, according to the Office of
National Drug Control Policy.
Hoffman, a best actor Oscar winner for his role in the 2005
biographical film "Capote," won accolades for his versatility
and mesmerizing performances on the stage and screen.
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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."
His screen roles included "The Master," "Doubt" and "Charlie
Wilson's War," for which he won best supporting actor Oscar
nominations, and appearances in blockbusters such as "The Hunger
(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing
by Gunna Dickson)
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