Philip Seymour Hoffman: Aaron Sorkin, Broadway pay tribute

Story highlights

  • On February 5, Broadway dimmed its lights for Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • A candlelight vigil was held outside his theater company
  • Hoffman's "Hunger Games" co-star Elizabeth Banks is in a state of shock
  • Aaron Sorkin believes his death will help keep others from abusing drugs

For one minute on Wednesday night, the marquee lights of Broadway went dark in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman's memory.

The 46-year-old actor was a respected and vital member of New York's theater community, as was evidenced by the outpouring of mourners who showed up for a candlelight vigil held by the LAByrinth Theatre Company, of which Hoffman was a member and an artistic director.

He was found dead in his New York apartment of an apparent drug overdose Sunday.

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"We come together in a spirit of terrible mourning and incredible loss," LAByrinth member and Jesuit priest Father Jim Martin told the crowd gathered in front of the Bank Street Theater. "But we also come together to celebrate a remarkable life."

Across Hollywood, a number of Hoffman's colleagues are offering similar tributes as they cope with his death.

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"It's a shock, a total shock," Hoffman's "Hunger Games" co-star Elizabeth Banks told "Extra!" on Wednesday. "He was an incredible actor; everyone respected and loved him. I really enjoyed my time with him. We were playing against each other in Candy Crush just last week. So I'm really, really, really sad."

And to Aaron Sorkin, another venerated creator whose bond with Hoffman cemented during their work on 2007's "Charlie Wilson's War," Hoffman's death may become someone else's saving grace.

In a tribute in Time magazine, Sorkin recalls the "mini-AA meetings" he and Hoffman would have on the Paramount lot while on breaks, stretches of time where they could share stories as fathers of young kids and as recovering drug addicts.

"I told him I felt lucky because I'm squeamish and can't handle needles. He told me to stay squeamish," Sorkin writes. "And he said this: 'If one of us dies of an overdose, probably 10 people who were about to won't.' He meant that our deaths would make news and maybe scare someone clean."

In the end, Sorkin believes, that will be added to his already astonishing history.

"(Hoffman) didn't die because he was partying too hard or because he was depressed -- he died because he was an addict on a day of the week with a 'y' in it," Sorkin said. "He'll have his well-earned legacy -- his Willy Loman that belongs on the same shelf with Lee J. Cobb's and Dustin Hoffman's, his Jamie Tyrone, his Truman Capote and his Academy Award. Let's add to that 10 people who were about to die who won't now."