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Posted: 2:08 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014

Oscar-winning Philip Seymour Hoffman, who'd been in Atlanta filming "Mockingjay," dies at 46 

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"Catching Fire" at the Swan House
This scene from "Catching Fire" takes place in the Swan House dining room.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman and Atlanta Fish Market manager Sean Ehrman photo
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Buckhead last fall. He was here filming "Mockingjay," the third in the "Hunger Games" series.
Catch glimpses of Atlanta in ‘Catching Fire’ photo
Lionsgate
This scene from “Catching Fire,” featuring Donald Sutherland (left) and Philip Seymour Hoffman, was filmed in the dining room of Atlanta’s elegant Swan House.
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Atlanta Fish Market hostess Courtney Smith photo
Philip Seymour Hoffman, shown here in Buckhead last fall, filmed the blockbuster "Catching Fire" in Atlanta and was back for "Mockingjay."

By Jennifer Brett

Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who filmed the 2013 hit "Catching Fire" in Atlanta and had been here more recently working on "Mockingjay," the third in the series, has died in New York of an apparent drug overdose, the Associated Press reported. He was 46.

NBC News reported that Hoffman's body was found Sunday in his New York apartment with a syringe in his arm; bags believed to contain heroin also were discovered.

The acclaimed actor, who earned an Oscar for his role in "Capote" and was nominated for his roles in "The Master," "Doubt," and "Charlie Wilson's War," was featured extensively in "Catching Fire," the blockbuster sequel to "The Hunger Games." He played the clever Plutarch Heavensbee in the "Hunger Games" series filmed the numerous scenes in recognizable Atlanta locations including Buckhead's historic Swan House.

During his time in Atlanta Hoffman especially enjoyed Piedmont Park, said Carter Phillips, a talent accommodations real estate agent who negotiated a lease for Hoffman. The actor, who had been staying in a private home in Midtown, was due to be in Atlanta until early April, Phillips said. 

"He was really soft spoken and kind," Phillips said. "I had this idea that he would be really intense, maybe, but no. I couldn't see any turmoil in his eyes. I felt like everything was right on with him."

Although Hoffman had spent time in rehab, he seemed very committed to a healthy lifestyle, Phillips said. 

"He loved to be near (Piedmont Park)," Phillips said. "He loved to ride his bike in the park. He wanted to enjoy the outdoors."

The two checked out properties in the area on foot. 

"One time we were walking casually and two joggers ran by," Phillips said. "They turned around and went, 'We loved your movie 'The Master!' and, they just kept running."

Hoffman chuckled and just kept walking.

"He seemed like a very content guy," Phillips said. "He was very sure of his accomplishments but he didn't seem like he had a big head. We talked about his upcoming film projects. He was excited about that. He had a lot going on."

When he heard the sad news Sunday, Phillips was hoping it was another Internet prank. 

"I saw it online and thought it was a hoax, I hoped it was," he said. "We've been robbed. He is a real loss. Forty-six? Nobody should die at that age."

Hoffman was spotted dining out at spots around Buckhead during his time here, where sources said he was an unfailingly gracious and friendly visitor.

It's unclear what his passing means to the "Mockingjay" filming schedule. In November, "Fast and Furious" series star Paul Walker died in a Los Angeles area car wreck during a filming hiatus for "Fast and Furious 7," which had been filming in Atlanta. After a period of mourning and regrouping the studio decided to move forward, donating a portion of proceeds of "Fast and Furious 6" DVD sales to a charity Walker championed. The script reporting will be up for retooling to retire Walker's character. 

"Mockingjay" has been filming in downtown Atlanta and was supposed to continue filming there this week. It's unclear if the filming schedule will pause.

Please check back for updates.

About Jennifer Brett

Jennifer Brett writes The Buzz blog for accessAtlanta.com

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: America's royals?

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