Skip to main content

Coroner: Philip Seymour Hoffman died of acute mixed drug intoxication

By Ray Sanchez, CNN
updated 6:50 PM EST, Fri February 28, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Academy Award-winning actor was found dead February 2 with a needle in his arm
  • Coroner says he died of acute mixed drug intoxication
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta says chronic drug users may not necessarily feel effects of drugs

New York (CNN) -- Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead February 2 on the bathroom floor of his New York apartment with a syringe in his left arm, died of acute mixed drug intoxication, including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine, the New York medical examiner's office said Friday.

The manner of death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner's office said in a statement.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, said that as addicts take mixtures of drugs more chronically, they may not necessarily feel the effects of the narcotics, which still suppress the respiratory system.

"They're not feeling it, but it's still having an impact on their ability to breathe, and that's the real problem," he said. "It's called stacking. You can stack the same drug too close together, or you can start to stack other drugs, one on top of the other. That's how people get into trouble. They do call it accidental death as well."

Philip Seymour Hoffman appears in 2013's "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." Hoffman played the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, the head gamemaker in the film. He was expected to appear in more films of the "Hunger Games" franchise, but he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on February 2. Hoffman died of acute mixed drug intoxication, the New York medical examiner's office said. Click through the gallery for more highlights of his career. Philip Seymour Hoffman appears in 2013's "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." Hoffman played the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, the head gamemaker in the film. He was expected to appear in more films of the "Hunger Games" franchise, but he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on February 2. Hoffman died of acute mixed drug intoxication, the New York medical examiner's office said. Click through the gallery for more highlights of his career.
Philip Seymour Hoffman: Master of film
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
>
>>
Philip Seymour Hoffman Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman in his own words
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
Philip Seymour Hoffman in his own words Philip Seymour Hoffman in his own words

Police found nearly 50 envelopes branded "Ace of Spades" filled with what they believe was heroin in the actor's Manhattan apartment, two law enforcement sources familiar with the inquiry said.

Used syringes, prescription drugs and empty bags that authorities suspect were used to hold heroin also were found in the apartment where Hoffman, 46, was found dead, sources said.

He was expected to pick up his children that day but didn't show up, the official said. Playwright David Katz and another person went to the apartment and found him dead, the official said.

Police officers found him in a T-shirt and shorts with his eyeglasses still on his head.

Robert Vineberg, a 57-year-old musician, was arrested in connection with Hoffman's death and released on bail earlier this month. Vineberg was among four people arrested in Manhattan in the days after Hoffman's death.

Prosecutors said Vineberg, who was arrested on a felony charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance, had just under 50 small bags of heroin as well as packaging paraphernalia in his apartment during a raid. In another one of his apartments in the same Mott Street building, prosecutors said, 250 small bags of heroin were found.

Vineberg was found to have the actor's phone number stored in his cell phone, a law enforcement official told CNN.

Two other people arrested in connection with Hoffman's death -- Juliana Luchkiw and Max Rosenblum, both 22 -- were released earlier this month until their next court dates.

Prosecutors did not file charges against a fourth person arrested in the raid.

Hoffman was mourned in New York February 7 in a star-studded private funeral attended by family and close friends.

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."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Philip Seymour Hoffman
updated 5:11 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Philip Seymour Hoffman didn't want his children to become "trust fund kids" so he left his fortune to his girlfriend, a court document said.
updated 4:21 PM EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
One of the people arrested as part of a police investigation into drugs found in actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's apartment was given a no-jail-time plea deal, according to his attorney.
updated 6:50 PM EST, Fri February 28, 2014
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of acute mixed drug intoxication, including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine.
updated 6:00 PM EST, Wed February 19, 2014
Philip Seymour Hoffman's last wish for his son was that he grow up in New York, Chicago or San Francisco, according to the late actor's will.
updated 10:19 AM EST, Tue February 4, 2014
The day before he was found dead in a Manhattan apartment, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman went to his favorite coffee shop for a four-shot espresso.
updated 7:46 AM EST, Tue February 4, 2014
He was -- in every sense of the word -- Hollywood royalty, with critically acclaimed performances in some of the biggest films of the last decade and friendships with A-list actors.
updated 12:17 PM EST, Wed February 26, 2014
The media got it wrong when it came to reporting about actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, the late Oscar winner's friend said in an exclusive broadcast interview on CNN's "New Day."
updated 5:22 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
A look at some of Philip Seymour Hoffman's memorable roles.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
The autopsy results aren't in yet, but police believe heroin played a role in the death of Academy Award winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman -- if not the primary role.
updated 11:42 AM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
Philip Seymour Hoffman and others who died during production
updated 9:06 PM EST, Sun February 2, 2014
Memorable quotes from Philip Seymour Hoffman.
updated 7:45 AM EST, Tue February 4, 2014
At 33 years old, Jamie is trying to get clean.
updated 7:48 AM EST, Tue February 4, 2014
Call him Phil.
updated 11:53 PM EST, Mon February 3, 2014
CNN's Anderson Cooper looks back at the life and work of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
updated 7:49 AM EST, Tue February 4, 2014
He was a beefy 5-foot-10 but won an Oscar for playing the slight, 5-foot-3 Truman Capote. He had the booming voice of a deity but often played schlubs and conflicted characters.
updated 3:50 PM EST, Mon February 3, 2014
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment Sunday of an apparent drug overdose, law enforcement sources said.
updated 7:50 AM EST, Tue February 4, 2014
There was no one else like him, certainly not in our time, likely not ever.
updated 12:29 PM EST, Wed February 5, 2014
I have a memory of standing by the fence in my neighbor's yard. I was 6. My sister and I have had to run next door because mom's been wasted for weeks on end, and now she's got a shotgun.
updated 7:47 AM EST, Tue February 4, 2014
In many ways, my life is ordinary and extraordinary at the same time.
ADVERTISEMENT