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Phillip Seymour Hoffman Kept an LGBTQ Presence in Films

Phillip Seymour Hoffman Kept an LGBTQ Presence in Films

Phillip Seymour Hoffman is inarguably one of the finest stage and screen actors of his generation. His dramatic and untimely death due to an apparent accidental heroin overdose leaves his fans not only shocked by how he died (a hypodermic needle in his arm), but also leaves us shocked in how his death now leaves us with an everlasting insatiable desire for more performances by him.

As a consummate performer, Hoffman’s body of work adds up to more than fifty films in an acting career than began in 1991 with the little known independently produced black-and-white film "Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole."  As a character actor Mr. Hoffman portrayed a wide range of eccentric and motley characters from his recent 2012 Broadway performance of Willy Loman, the protagonist in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," winning him a third Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play to his beginning years in 1992 in small roles in “Leap of Faith,” and  “Scent of a Woman.”

As a thespian who never shied away from challenging or controversial roles what's not mentioned much or lauded in Mr. Hoffman’s repertoire is the many gay-themed roles and movies he did at times that could have been a potential risk to his beginning career as a heterosexual man. Not known to be publicly out on LGBTQ rights like his straight colleagues in the business such as Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, and Robin Williams, to name a few, Hoffman, in his quiet and unassuming way and through his inimitable style,  "brought nuance to LGBT roles throughout his career, elevating their status in popular cinema," Brian Klonoski wrote in "Why Phillip Seymour Hoffman Was an LGBT Hero."

"When I play somebody gay, I never think of it as "I'm playing a gay character." It's interesting to play all the different aspects of the character. There's something else about the character that's pulling me there that I identify with. With Flawless, it's not that he was gay—I found it more interesting that he thought he was a woman. With Capote, it's the story that he had as an artist. And in Boogie Nights, he was so completely stunted I don't even think he knew his attractions were of a gay nature," Hoffman stated in a 2005 interview with OUT magazine

Long before Hoffman's 2005 biopic "Capote" that won him