Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman Top 2014 Entertainment News

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Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman are, sadly, the top entertainment news stories of 2014 as the loss of the beloved and deeply talented entertainers who decided, either by choice or behavior, to leave us too soon still resonates.

 

The deaths of Robin Williams, 63, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, 46,  are stunning reminders that life inside the fishbowl seemingly complete with every person's dream of fulfillment can often be a nightmare for those who live it.

Plagued by decades of depression, Robin Williams the comic genius of stage and screen decided to end his own life committing suicide on August 11, 2014 at his home in Paradise Cay, California.

The shock reverberated around the world with friends, family and colleagues understanding and still unable to cope with the tragedy. His death rocketed to the top of news searches and the media outpouring and coverage was best described by Comic Relief co-host and best friend Billy Crystal who describe walking through the airport upon hearing the news and seemingly passing through a very surreal experience as every magazine in every kiosk had Robin on the cover or the headlines.

Long time friend and Comic Relief Co-host, Whoopi Goldberg, along with Crystal spoke candidly about the loss of their friend and Goldberg, holding back tears ended the show by honoring him with a theater tradition of dimming the lights.

Jimmy Fallon paid tribute with the words of the poet Walt Whitman also used in the film Dead Poets Society, '"O Capitan! My Captain" you will be missed. "Conan O'Brian shocked the world by delivery the sad news to his studio audience just as it was breaking.  Tributes were heartfelt, genuine and continue to this day extending to every aspect of the deeply feeling, generous, burdened, kind and loving man.

The other most shocking death came in early February, a day after the edict of winter's continuance was issued, the devastating news cast a deep pall over the acting community as the news that Phillip Seymour Hoffman had died from an accidental overdose of Heroin.

The Academy Award winning talent who rendered such unforgettable performances on both stage and screen as Truman Capote in the film Capote for which he won an Oscar and nominated for his third  Tony for the performance as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman of which the late Mike Nichols directed him and Won the Tony for Best Director.

Seymour Hoffman had, like Robin Williams, suffered years of depression and drug and alcohol abuse. Williams and medical records substantiated, was sober at the time of his suicide, Hoffman however, had slide into the dark abyss of hidden drug addiction a chapter friends and family had thought was closed.

Hoffman, father of two young children with his long time partner, Mimi O'Donnell lived separately in a Greenwich Village apartment. He was found by his assistant with a needle in his arm and more than 70 bags of Heroin scattered in his home.

His performance of 2014, A Most Wanted Man, is considered is best work to date and could earn him his fifth Academy Award Nomination and second win.

To the cinematic community the loss is unfathomable. 

Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols also passed away this year. The Academy Award winning director and husband to ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer died of natural causes. He was 83. He left behind a loving family and a body of work that will transcend time.

A survivor of Nazi Germany, he escaped death at seven years old, when he and his brother were sent, alone, to the United States, where his father had migrated to sometime before.

His belief in himself and his purpose knowing he was living on borrowed time articulated during a conversation with James Lipton on Inside the Actor's Studio motivated him to use his life wisely for which the cinematic world and film lovers everywhere remain indebted and grateful.

 

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