(CNN) -- Authorities investigating
the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman found close to 50 bags
containing what is believed to be heroin in his apartment, two law
enforcement sources familiar with the probe said Monday.
also found several bottles of prescription drugs, and more than 20 used
syringes in a plastic cup, the sources told CNN.
Hoffman, 46, was found on
his bathroom floor with a syringe in his left arm and two bags of what
is believed to be heroin inside the apartment, according to law
The New York medical examiner's office plans to conduct an autopsy on Monday.
"We are devastated by the
loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and
support we have received from everyone," Hoffman's family said in a
statement. "This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect
our privacy during this time of grieving."
The Oscar-winning actor was last seen alive at 8 p.m. Saturday, a law enforcement official said.
He was expected to get his children on Sunday, but didn't show up, the official said. Playwright David Katz and another person went to the apartment and found him dead, the official said.
A needle was in the
actor's left arm, and eight empty glassine-type bags that usually
contain heroin were found in the apartment, law enforcement sources told
The bags were stamped with "Ace of Hearts" and "Ace of Spades" -- street names for heroin, the sources said.
Hoffman loved 'deep, dense characters'
Hoffman won an Academy
Award for best actor for the 2005 biopic "Capote" and drew critical
acclaim for his roles in a wide variety of films.
He was a beefy
5-foot-10-inch man, but was convincing as the slight, 5-foot-3-inch
Truman Capote. He had a booming voice like a deity's but often played
shlubby, conflicted characters.
"He just loved those
deep, dense characters. That's where I think he found his true calling,"
said Bradley Jacobs, a senior editor of Us Weekly.
Hoffman's big break in Hollywood came with a small role as Chris O'Donnell's classmate in the 1992 film "Scent of a Woman."
For years, Hoffman was
the kind of anonymous character actor who earned critical raves but was
often unnoticed by the general public. He used his abilities to take
chances with such directors as a then-unknown Paul Thomas Anderson, with
whom he worked in "Hard Eight" (and several ensuing films) and Todd
"I think about that a
lot," he told Esquire in 2012 of his anonymity. "I feel it cracking
lately, the older I'm getting. I think I'm less anonymous than I was."
As an actor, Hoffman
could be heartfelt and giving, as with his male nurse in "Magnolia" or
rock critic in "Almost Famous," or creepily Machiavellian, like the
gamemaster in the latest "Hunger Games" movie or a "Mission: Impossible"
He also appeared in "Charlie Wilson's War," "Doubt" and "The Master," for which he was nominated as best supporting actor.
He appeared last month at the Sundance Film Festival, where a movie he starred in, "God's Pocket," premiered.
"He seemed really in
good spirits, and it's just so shocking," said CNN Entertainment
Commentator Krista Smith, who interviewed Hoffman at the festival.
"Because, just looking at his body of work and knowing how many actors
revered him and how they look up to him. ... The one thing that was so
special about him is that he crossed all platforms ... Every genre, he
managed to fit in and just be brilliant at whatever he was doing."
Beloved resident of New York neighborhood
But despite his love of performance, Hoffman was a private person who rarely spoke about his family, Jacobs said.
In New York's Greenwich
Village neighborhood where he lived, it was common to see the actor
riding a bicycle and walking his children to the public school they
"He'd go quietly about
his business with his children. I still remember the day he won the
Oscar, him walking his kids to school, not long after. And people were
giving him high fives," said CNN's Rose Arce, whose daughter attended
school with Hoffman's children.
After his Oscar win at the Academy Awards in 2006, Hoffman thanked his mother for taking him to his first play.
"She brought up four
kids alone and she deserves a congratulations for that. ... And she took
me to my first play and she stayed up with me and watched the NCAA
Final Four, and my passions, her passions became my passions. And, you
know, be proud, Mom, because I'm proud of you and we're here tonight and
it's so good," he said in his acceptance speech.
Hoffman's father was a
salesman and his mother was a family court judge, a biography on the
Turner Classic Movies website says. He landed his first professional
stage role before graduating from high school and went on to study
acting at New York University.
Hoffman stayed active on
stage even as his star rose in Hollywood. He starred in a Broadway
production of "Death of a Salesman" in 2012 and was co-artistic director
of the Labyrinth Theater Company in New York.
He is survived by three children and his longtime partner, Mimi O'Donnell.
Last year Hoffman
revealed that he had entered rehab to deal with a drug problem, telling
TMZ that he'd kicked a substance abuse habit for 23 years but recently
In a 2011 interview with "60 Minutes," he discussed his past struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.
"Anything I could get my hands on, I liked it all," he said.
Asked why he decided to
sober up, he replied, "You get panicked. ... I was 22 and I got panicked
for my life, it really was, it was just that. And I always think, 'God,
I have so much empathy for these young actors that are 19 and all of a
sudden are beautiful and famous and rich.' I'm like, 'Oh my God. I'd be
According to TMZ,
Hoffman said last year that he'd fallen off the wagon, started taking
prescription pills and slipped into snorting heroin.
The actor's public
comments about his battle with substance abuse illustrate the struggles
many addicts face, according to HLN's Dr. Drew Pinsky, an addiction
"Someone with opiate addiction, they are doing pushups their whole lives. And they must work on it all the time. And
even working on it, there's a high probability of relapse. And God
willing, they get adequate treatment, and they re-engage in treatment,
and things go well," Pinsky said. "But often, it's a frequently fatal
condition. We just simply have to continually remind ourselves of that.
And now it has taken a glorious, glorious talent from us."
After he returned from
rehab, Hoffman rented the apartment where his body was found Sunday, two
neighbors said. The rest of his family lived elsewhere in the
'He was a giant talent'
Word of Hoffman's death sparked a flood of reactions from actors, directors, studio heads and fans.
"This is a horrible day
for those who worked with Philip," actor Tom Hanks said in a statement.
"He was a giant talent. Our hearts are open for his family."
Lionsgate, the studio
behind "The Hunger Games" movies, described Hoffman as "a singular
talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation."
Robert DeNiro, who starred opposite Hoffman in the 1999 movie "Flawless," said he was "very, very saddened" by Hoffman's death.
"This is one of those
time where you say 'this just shouldn't be. He was so young and gifted
and had so much going, so much to live for.'"
For Mike Nichols, who directed Hoffman in his Oscar-nominated turn in "Charlie Wilson's War," there were no words, just grief.
"No words for this. He was too great and we're too shattered," he said in an e-mailed statement.
As fans and neighbors
gathered outside the apartment building, police were combing his
apartment for evidence Sunday. As part of the investigation, authorities
are looking into whether anyone was with the actor when he died, law
enforcement officials said.
Law enforcement sources
told CNN that detectives will track Hoffman's recent activities to see
where he purchased what appears to be heroin.
Working on the theory
that Hoffman's death was a drug overdose, they'll now try to seek
exactly where he bought it, the sources said.
This will involve searching his phone and trying to track some of his movements, the sources told CNN.
Heroin use on the rise, authorities warn
Authorities have warned that heroin addiction is soaring and noted an uptick in the availability of the drug.
Last week, the Drug
Enforcement Administration announced a heroin mill bust in the Bronx,
New York, after they seized $8 million worth of the drug.
The DEA has warned that
people who are addicted to opioid prescription pills are now finding
highly pure heroin easier and cheaper to obtain.
It produces a similar,
if more dangerous, high because unlike the pills, there is no way to
regulate the dosage of heroin, given the undetermined purity.
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