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Philip Seymour Hoffman's NYC funeral attracts Hollywood stars

Mimi O'Donnell, center, estranged partner of actor Philip

Mimi O'Donnell, center, estranged partner of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, comforts her daughter Tallulah, along with daughter Willa, left, and son Cooper, as Hoffman's coffin is loaded into a waiting hearse after his funeral Feb. 7, 2014, in Manhattan. Hoffman, 46, was found dead of an apparent heroin overdose. Credit: AP

Stars, friends and family mourned the loss of the Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at a private funeral in Manhattan Friday.

Celebrities who attended the service included Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Spike Lee, Joaquin Phoenix, Brian Dennehey, Amy Adams and Ellen Burstyn. The priest who officiated at the funeral in the Church of St Ignatius Loyola on Park Avenue had helped Hoffman prepare for his Oscar-nominated role in "Doubt."

Hoffman's longtime companion, Mimi O'Donnell, stood with their three children at the top of the church stairs as the casket was carried out after the service.

Youngest daughter Willa, 5, clad in purple, walked down a step or two, while holding her mother's hand and bent forward to prolong her view of the casket.

"As Phil would say, 'It's brutal,' " said actor Peter Gerety, whose credits include "The Wire."

Gerety said he bonded with Hoffman, whom he met 23 years ago in Seattle, over their shared problems with alcohol. We told each other that "we needed to do something about it -- and we did," Gerety said.

Hoffman, 46, made no secret of his struggles with addiction. After 23 years of sobriety, he reportedly checked himself into rehab for 10 days in 2013 following a relapse the previous year.

The actor died in his West Village apartment on Sunday; the official cause of death has not been determined but he was found with a needle in his arm and bags of heroin in his apartment.

Hoffman also starred on Broadway in such plays as "Death of a Salesman" and earned three Tony nominations. He deepened the world's understanding of humanity through his diverse film roles -- from the shrewd, no-holds-barred CIA operative in "Charlie Wilson's War" to his Oscar-winning tour de force as the writer, Truman Capote in the eponymous film.

"Phil was an extraordinary person, very loving, very caring; he brought everything to every role he played, he brought humanity," said friend and actor John Doman.

Fans mingled with tourists and industry professionals on the snow-lined sidewalk outside the Upper East Side church, where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' funeral service was held.

Christine McGarry, 48, a Bethpage native who now lives in San Francisco said: "I thought he was an amazingly gifted actor, and I loved everything I saw him in, he had such depth."

Paul Thomas Anderson, who directed Hoffman in "Boogie Nights" gave the eulogy, according to Bryan Loucks, one of Hoffman's cousins.

St. Ignatius was chosen partly because Father James Martin, who celebrates Sunday Mass at the parish, helped Hoffman learn how to portray a priest suspected of child abuse in "Doubt," Loucks said.

Hoffman's wake, attended by friends and stars, was held at a nearby funeral home on Thursday evening. A larger, more public memorial service is expected later this month.

With AP


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