One of the first things that popped to mind when I learned of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death yesterday was this. Heath Ledger. He died in 2008 and was also an actor.
The first connection I made was drugs. The second was age. And the third was proximity of where they died. These connections occurred almost simultaneously, bang, bang, bang.
Hoffman was found dead yesterday in New York City’s Greenwich Village area, just 1 1/2 miles north of Ledger’s death site in Soho. That is about a 45-minute walk for most of us. Though Hoffman at age 47 was 13 years older than Ledger, both died prematurely, at a time when longevity in the U.S. approaches 80 years. Ledger, according to reports, OD’d on prescription drugs. As I write, the autopsy on Hoffman’s death has not been made public, though a syringe was found stuck in his left arm and heroin in bags nearby.
Ironically, I just read, it was Hoffman who counseled Ledger to give up heroin.
The message I draw from the death of two actors is simple. Fame, money, friends, adoration, a promising future, children, you name it, has little effect on our inner demons. I just feel sad, for them, their family and friends, and, ultimately, everyone in this enigma we call life.