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While younger fans may have known him as Plutarch Heavensbee from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Philip Seymour Hoffman was an extremely versatile actor with a number of other great roles under his belt.

Some of his more recent films included The Master (2012), The Ides of March (2011), and Moneyball (2011). He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2005 for his role as Truman Capote in the biopic Capote (2005), beating Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix. Hoffman was widely considered one of the best actors in Hollywood, before his untimely death Sunday at the age of 46. Let’s take a look back at five of his best roles.

Truman Capote in ‘Capote’ (2005)


In what many say is his best performance, Hoffman won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor. He portrayed Truman Capote, a novelist investigating the murder of four members of the Clutter family. Hoffman played the role with just the right amount of charm and wit to drive critics (and the Academy) wild.

Plutarch Heavensbee in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ (2013)


Hoffman appealed to a younger audience with his role as Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. At the time of his death, he had wrapped filming on the sequel, Mockingjay, Part 1, but had seven days of shooting left for Mockingjay, Part 2. Lionsgate issued a statement saying that since the vast majority of his scenes had been completed, they would not be recasting the role.

Freddie Miles in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ (1999)


While his character wasn’t the main focus of the film, Hoffman starred alongside Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in The Talented Mr. Ripley, an adaptation of the 1955 novel by Patricia Highsmith. He played Freddie Miles, a friend of Jude Law’s character Dickie Greenleaf. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards.

Owen Davian in ‘Mission: Impossible III’ (2005)


Everyone loves a good villain, and Hoffman was given the chance to play a great one in Mission: Impossible III. He portrayed arms dealer and kidnapper Owen Davian, opposite Tom Cruise as IMF agent Ethan Hunt. The film is heavy on action sequences and special effects, making it a popcorn blockbuster for the ages.

Lancaster Dodd in ‘The Master’ (2012)


Despite the film not being a box office success, Hoffman received overwhelming critical acclaim for his role in The Master as Lancaster Dodd, the founder of a religious movement known as “The Cause.” The film received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for Hoffman. Director Paul Thomas Anderson has said that he envisioned Hoffman as the character from the beginning.

Some of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s other notable roles include Brandt in The Big Lebowski (1998), Lester Bangs in Almost Famous (2000), and Gust Avrakotos in Charlie Wilson’s War (2007). While these are all excellent films, they are just a few small glimpses into the life of a man who has left quite a mark on the cinematic world. He will be missed.

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  • mel

    He will always be the creepy guy in Boogie Nights for me.

  • Wilma

    Lester Bangs from Almost Famous. ♥

  • Heather

    As much as I loved Catching Fire and his role in it, there are definitely way better roles to pick from to be in the list. Almost Famous, Boogie Nights, the Big Lebowski, etc.

    That being said, he’s such an amazing actor and I’ve kept meaning to see more of his work. I loved Moneyball and have kept meaning to see Capote.

    • Ben_Holmquist

      Agreed. Catching Fire was on the list mainly because it appealed to a younger audience.

    • xiku

      I personally really liked him in Doubt

  • Elphaba Thropp

    I feel ashamed to say that I have only had the opportunity to see him in Catching Fire, but from what I’ve see he was a truly remarkable actor.

  • Kit Cat

    Almost Famous? Pirate Radio? Doubt?

    • Brianna Lofton

      Pirate Radio, yeessss! So funny.

  • Meghan Carlisle

    I like ‘Doubt’ and ‘Patch Adams’ as well. Truly remarkable actor, made whatever movie he was in better.

  • Luigi Barraza Cárdenas

    DOUBT anyone?

  • Kris D

    i like him in these roles but one of my favorites is him in along came polly. that basketball scene with him and ben stiller against those other guys was hilarious. one of my favorite scenes with him. “Make it rain” then totally bricks the shot. then the end of the movie with him in the play and then him helping Stiller with the board. really funny stuff. i think that movie showed that he can rock not only as a drama actor but comedic too.

  • IngloriousJaen

    As much as I love the Catching Fire, I can’t least bit agree with this list. He has done some greater roles than Mission Impossible and Hunger Games.


    He was an amazing actor

  • Julia

    I thought it was Matt Damon in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ when I saw the picture.
    I abusolutely loved him in ‘The Master’, the acting was generally stellar in that movie. And he was amazing in Doubt.

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