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Philip Seymour Hoffman mourned at private funeral

By Ray Sanchez, Kristen Hamill and Rande Iaboni , CNN
updated 5:45 PM EST, Fri February 7, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman mourned privately by family and friends
  • Funeral attended by Cate Blanchett, Louis C.K., Diane Sawyer, Mike Nichols, others
  • Hoffman, 46, died Sunday of an apparent heroin overdose

New York (CNN) -- Philip Seymour Hoffman was mourned in New York on Friday with a star-studded private funeral attended by family and close friends.

In the late morning, friends of one of the greatest actors of his generation began streaming through the bronze doors of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on Park Avenue, the 116-year-old landmark that hosted the funerals of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lena Horne.

A black hearse pulled up to the church shortly after noon Friday as a couple of dozen fans and mourners gathered nearby to pay their respects.

Six pallbearers carried Hoffman's coffin into the church's Baroque-style interior, where friends such as Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Louis C.K., ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer and director husband Mike Nichols, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Brian Dennehy, Michelle Williams and others awaited.

Nichols directed Hoffman in his acclaimed portrayal of Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman" on Broadway. Hoffman and Blanchett co-starred in "The Talented Mr. Ripley." Phoenix appeared with him in "The Master."

Hoffman's longtime partner, Mimi O'Donnell, held their young daughter atop the church's marble stairs as traffic was momentarily halted on Park Avenue and quiet enveloped the normally bustling thoroughfare.

At about 1:30 p.m., pallbearers in black suits emerged from the church with Hoffman's coffin, carrying it to a hearse as O'Donnell and the couple's children stood at the top of the stairs. Hoffman's mother, Marilyn O'Connor, stood behind O'Donnell.

The Oscar-winning actor was found dead in his Manhattan apartment Sunday of an apparent drug overdose, law enforcement sources said.

Hoffman, 46, was found on the bathroom floor of his apartment, a needle in his arm. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators discovered close to 50 envelopes of what they believed was heroin in the apartment, law enforcement sources said. They also found used syringes, prescription drugs and empty plastic bags of a type commonly used to hold drugs, the sources said.

On Tuesday, police arrested four people in connection with the drugs found in Hoffman's apartment and recovered 350 small plastic bags of what is believed to be heroin. The district attorney's office declined to prosecute one suspect. Two others were released pending court appearances. A fourth suspect, Robert Vineberg, charged with a felony count of criminal possession of a controlled substance, pleaded not guilty. He is due to appear in court February 14.

A spokeswoman for the New York medical examiner's office said Wednesday a determination of the cause and manner of Hoffman's death is pending further study, including toxicology reports.

A larger memorial service is being planned for later this month.

On Thursday night, family and close friends attended a private wake at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home.

The night before, Broadway honored Hoffman by dimming its marquee lights for a minute and fellow actors held a vigil.

Hoffman, who was nominated for Academy Awards four times, won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in "Capote." He earned Academy Award nominations for roles in "Charlie Wilson's War," "Doubt," and "The Master."

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