Born on July 23, 1967, Phillip Seymour Hoffman is an American actor and theater director. Hoffman was born in Rochester, New York. He is the son of Gordon S. Hoffman, a former excutive with Xerox, and Marilyn L. O’Conner, a family court judge, lawyer and civil rights activist. He has one brother, Gordy and two sisters, Jill and Emily. Gordy is also a director and script writer. When he was only nine years old, Hoffman’s parents divorced.
Hoffman attended the 1984 Theater School at the New York State Summer School of the Arts. When he was finished with high school, Hoffman attended the Circle in the Square Theater’s summer program. In 1989, Hoffman received a BFA (Batchelor of Fine Arts) in drama from New York University’s Tisch of the Arts. While at NYU he was one of the founding members of a theater company called the Bullstoi Ensemble. It was short lived.
Hoffman’s first television role was in the television series Law and Order in 1991. He played the role of a defendant. In 1992, he appeared in four feature films. The most successful of the films was The Scent of a Woman. He played a not so nice classmate of Chris O’Donnell’s character. Hoffman had been a stocker for a grocery store until the film roles gave him his start.
Hoffman has established a long, active and successful acting career. He has played many different and unique supporting roles. He has worked with such directors as The Coen Brothers, Cameron Crowe, Spike Lee, Todd Solondz, Robert Benton, David Marnet, Anthony Binghella and Paul Thomas Anderson. He has landed roles in four of Anderson’s feature films. They are Boogie Nights, Hard Eight, Punch-Drunk Love, and Magnolia. He also had a role in a documentary about the 2000 United States elections, titled Last Party 2000.
Throughout most of his career, Hoffman has rarely been given the chance to play the lead role. In 2002, however he starred as a widower, trying to deal with his wife’s suicide. The film was titled Love Liza, and the screenplay was written by his brother Gordy Hoffman. In 2003 he played a embezzeling bank employee in the film Owning Mahoney. He played a compulsive gambler in the role.
Hoffman has continued his film career with roles in such films as Cold Mountain, Along Came Polly, and Mission Impossible III. The HBO miniseries , Empire Falls gave Hoffman his first Emmy nomination. He lost to his castmate and personal idol Paul Newman. He received a second Emmy nomination for the Daytime Emmy Awards for voiceover work in the television series Arthur.
In 2005, Hoffman came into his own, with the role of Truman Capote, in the film Capote. The role won him the Academy Award for Best Actor, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor-Motion Picture Drama, The Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor-Motion Picture and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. At least ten film critic associations also awarded him Best Actor awards. These include the Toronto Film Critics, the National Board of Review and Los Angeles Film Critics.
In 2007, Hoffman received a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, for his part in the film Charlie Wilson’s War. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the same role in 2008. Hoffman continues to act and receive awards for his work.
Hoffman is in a relationship with designer Mimi O’Donnell. The two have one son, Cooper Alexander, born in March 2003, and two daughters, Tallulah, born in November 2006 and Willa, born in October 2008.