Family, Friends Mourn Philip Seymour Hoffman At Upper East Side Funeral
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Philip Seymour Hoffman’s private funeral was held in Manhattan on Friday, with stars Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Ethan Hawke, Brian Dennehey, Amy Adams and Ellen Burstyn paying their respects to an actor widely considered among the best of his generation.
The coffin holding Hoffman’s body was brought out of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola by pallbearers and put in a hearse, and family and guests streamed out Friday afternoon. Streep hugged Diane Sawyer as they left.
PHOTOS: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Funeral
The list of mourners also included Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Joaquin Phoenix, Louis C.K., Mary Louise Parker, John Slattery, Jerry Stiller, Marisa Tomei, Spike Lee and Sawyer’s husband, the director Mike Nichols.
Playwright David Bar Katz, who found Hoffman’s body, looked visibly upset as he arrived.
“I loved the guy. Great artist. I was only able to work with him one time but, love him. Big loss, big loss,” Spike Lee told WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola following the service.
“He was an incredible person, he was a good man and a great talent and I think it’s really a loss for humanity,” friend John Doman told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown. “It’s just a tremendous loss.”
“He touched so many people. Not just his fans but within the industry as well and so we’re just here to kind of honor him,” Milo Carbia said.
Mourners said the private service was moving.
“It was many things. It was sad, it was celebratory, it was emotional, it was inspirational. It was terrific,” Doman told CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes. “He brought everything to every role he did. And I think it’s really a loss for humanity because he brought so much to so many people.”
Loved ones described Hoffman as a devoted father to his three young children and a humble entertainer.
“If you saw Phil walking down the street, you wouldn’t think he had the importance he really did,” the actor’s cousin Bryan Loucks told Grymes. “He just did a lot of good things for a lot of people.”
Police did not allow anyone to linger on the block outside the church and the media was penned in an area far from the mourners.
On Thursday evening, family and close friends gathered for a private wake at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in Manhattan.
Among them was Blanchett, Adams, Phoenix, Sawyer, Billy Crudup and Williams, who buried her face in her coat as she walked into the funeral home.
Hoffman’s longtime girlfriend, Mimi O’Donnell, arrived with their three children Cooper, Tallulah and Willa. Inside, the children placed mementos inside their father’s casket and covered it with white roses.
As Hoffman’s family and fans mourn, the investigation into his death continues.
Hoffman, 46, was found dead Sunday of an apparent heroin overdose in his apartment. He had been open about a past that included addiction and rehab.
More tests are needed to determine what exactly killed Hoffman, who was found with a syringe in his arm and what authorities said were dozens of packets of heroin in his apartment. Autopsy results were inconclusive, authorities said this week.
Police arrested three suspects in the investigation into Hoffman’s death.
Fashion student Juliana Luchkiw, 22, and her boyfriend, 22-year-old club DJ Max Rosenblum, left court Thursday after spending two nights in jail. The two are charged with misdemeanor cocaine possession.
Police are looking into whether they are connected to Hoffman or the drugs found inside his apartment.
“My client is absolutely not involved in the sale of any drugs and certainly not involved in selling drugs to Mr. Hoffman,” Luchkiw’s attorney Steve Turano said.
Detectives raided the building where they live on Mott Street after getting a tip Hoffman may have been buying his drugs there.
Inside the couple’s apartment, police said they found cocaine and empty baggies stamped with a distinctive marking similar to the drugs found at Hoffman’s apartment.
Investigators say they also seized a large amount of heroin from 57-year-old Robert Vineberg. He too lives in the building and sources say he had Hoffman’s cell phone number.
He is charged with felony drug possession with intent to sell.
Hoffman was nominated for Academy Awards four times and won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in “Capote.” He also was nominated three times for a Tony Award.
Broadway honored him Wednesday night by dimming its lights for a minute, a memorial common for renowned stage actors. Thespians also gathered that night for a vigil.
A larger memorial service is being planned for later this month.
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