Personal detailsName: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Born: 23 July 1967 (Age: 47)
Where: Fairport, New York USA
Height: 5' 9"
Awards: Won 1 Oscar, 1 BAFTA, and 1 Golden Globe
All about this star
It was as natural as rain, as predictable as stealth taxes - one day Philip Seymour Hoffman would win an Oscar. What was surprising was that when it happened, in 2006, he was voted Best Actor and not Best Supporting Actor, for over the last 14 years Hoffman had delivered a series of usually small but almost always scene-stealing performances. Remember the smarmy preppy betraying Chris O'Donnell in Scent Of A Woman? The annoyingly officious cop decked by Paul Newman in Nobody's Fool? The puppy-like production boy rejected by Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights? The fantasist creep-caller in Happiness? The absurdly efficient PA of The Big Lebowski? The sweet nurse reuniting Tom Cruise and Jason Robards in Magnolia? The shamelessly seedy tabloid creep in Red Dragon? The pervy priest in Cold Mountain? All Hoffman, all brilliant.
The lead roles were few and far between, the financial imperative unfortunately dictating that looks matter. So, when given the chance, Hoffman really pulled out the stops. His drag queen, giving music therapy to a stroke-suffering Robert De Niro in Flawless, was compellingly human. His widowed petrol-sniffer in Love Liza, crushed by confusion and depression, was heartbreaking. And then there was Capote, with his awesome display as the famed author, his morals withering as he hunts down the data for In Cold Blood. Hoffman was clearly among the very best. Maybe he WAS the best.
He was born Philip Hoffman on the 23rd of July, 1967, in Fairport, New York state, a village of approximately one square mile set within the spread-out former farming town of Perinton, itself a suburb of Rochester and close to Lake Ontario. Hoffman himself has described the place as being much like Kansas, but in the past it had been known for its industry. After the building of the Erie Canal, Fairport had been an active port and had thrived through its selling of baking soda, pectin and the original open-top sanitary can, a breakthrough in the safe use of factory-canned goods.
Fairport was rural conservative and far from cosmopolitan (come 2000 its population was still 97% white). But the Hoffmans were relatively well-to-do and certainly more geared towards a cultured life. Philip's father, Gordon S. Hoffman, was a Protestant and a salesman for Xerox, travelling the country to update systems in the early days of computers. His mother Marilyn, meanwhile, a Catholic, was a homemaker keen to widen the minds of her four children - Jill, Gordon Jr, Philip and Emily. In this she would succeed dramatically.