Autopsy scheduled in death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 03, 2014 2:28 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An autopsy will be conducted on Monday on acclaimed stage and film actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday of an apparent drug overdose, an official said.

The 46-year-old Oscar winner was discovered in the bathroom of his Greenwich Village apartment with a syringe in his arm. Two small bags of a substance thought to be heroin were found.

New York City police were investigating Hoffman's death and were trying to determine the source of the substance that apparently killed an actor many considered one of the finest of his generation.

"The examination is scheduled for today," said Julia Bolcer, spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner, adding that she was not sure when the results would be available.

"Sometimes we have to perform additional testing," she said.

A day after the shock of his sudden death, tributes to Hoffman continued pouring in.

"He was a fixture in the neighborhood. It's heartbreaking," said a tearful Tara Driver, an art education student who lived nearby.

A bouquet of white roses near the entrance to Hoffman's home bore the message, "Rest in peace PSH. We love you."

The death of Hoffman, who won the best actor Oscar winner for his role as writer Truman Capote in the 2005 film "Capote," raises new concerns about drug addiction in the entertainment industry.

If a heroin overdose is confirmed, Hoffman will join the list of entertainers who have succumbed to drugs in the last decade. "Glee" actor Cory Monteith, 31, died of an accidental overdose of heroin and alcohol in October in Vancouver. Drugs were also the cause of death of Australian actor Heath Ledger in 2008 and singer Whitney Houston in 2012.

Hoffman spoke in the past of struggling with drugs, including a 2006 interview in which he told CBS News he had at times abused "anything I could get my hands on. I liked it all."

Hoffman's family issued a statement on Sunday saying they were devastated by his death. He is survived by three children and his longtime partner Mimi O'Donnell.

(This version of the story was refiled to delete extraneous characters from headline.)

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; additional reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Mary Milliken)