Philip Seymour Hoffman will reportedly be laid to rest in New York City on Friday at a private funeral to be attended only by his family and a few close friends. According to reports, his former long-time partner Mimi O’Donnell is planning the small service with a funeral parlor on New York’s Upper East Side. A memorial service is being planned for later in the month to be held in New York as well. Fans have reportedly been leaving photos and flowers in Hoffman’s honor at the apartment where he was found dead on Sunday.
O’Donnell and Hoffman had three children, 10-year-old Cooper, 7-year-old Tallulah and 5-year-old Willa. The couple reportedly split several months ago, though Hoffman was living just a few blocks from the home formerly shared by the family, in a West Village apartment. Hoffman long had the reputation of being a family man, and in fact had plans to spend time with his three children on the day of his tragic death. It was his failure to show up to pick them up for a visit that sparked O’Donnell to make the request that someone check on the Oscar-winner’s welfare. It was Hoffman’s friend, David Katz, who ultimately discovered Hoffman unresponsive in his bathroom with a needle still in his arm.
O’Donnell is reportedly devastated as she plans Hoffman’s funeral set for Friday. In addition to her long-time partner’s grieving mother, O’Donnell has been receiving many celebrity visitors offering their condolences, among them superstars Cate Blanchett, Joaquin Phoenix and Ethan Hawke. The family has offered a public statement thanking people for their support and requesting that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.
There has been speculation that the Hoffman-O’Donnell split was due to Hoffman’s drug relapse. After 23 years of sobriety, the gifted 46-year-old character actor reportedly relapsed and began using heroin and other drugs again last May. The star had reportedly been going to AA meetings in his West Village neighborhood as he attempted to battle his addiction, but had recently ceased attending. Hoffman appears to have been well aware of the severity of his problem. It has been reported that just last month he told a stranger at the Sundance Film Festival that he was a heroin addict. He apparently also told a friend that he knew he needed to stop using or he would die. O’Donnell has been quoted as saying that she suspected he was high the last time she spoke with him, the night before his death.
Given the circumstances under which he was found, it is generally assumed at this time that Hoffman’s death was the result of a heroin overdose. In addition to having a needle in his arm at the time of his death, reports have emerged that there were as many as 70 heroin packets littering his apartment along with a supply of additional syringes and a variety of prescription medications. An autopsy report just released today, however, is inconclusive. Further tests will be performed to identify the cause of the actor’s death for certain. A timetable for the additional testing has not been provided, but friends and family set to attend the private funeral for Hoffman, reportedly scheduled for Friday, are no doubt anxiously awaiting answers.
By Michele Wessel