End Credits #11: Cinema's 2014 Lost Treasures Maximillian Schell, Philip Seymour Hoffman
These are a few of Cinema's sad departures of early 2014 taken from my personal notes soon after the tragic events took place:
Actor Maximilian Schell (December 8, 1930 - February 1, 2014) has passed away at age 83. This is a devastating loss for the acting fellowship and those of us who appreciate their greatest contributions. His was a once seen, never forgotten talent because he brought his characters to LIFE in such a special, charismatic way. He won a Best Actor Academy Award for his magnetic performance in Judgement at Nuremberg (beating out fellow nominee and co-star Spencer Tracy) as defense attorney Hans Rolfe, made an auspicious U.S. motion picture acting debut as a German Captain (stealing scenes from fellow German officer Marlon Brando) in The Young Lions and gave a no holds barred performance in The Man in the Glass Booth. He lit up the screen whenever he appeared, even in commercial fare such as Deep Impact (the title of which sums up my feelings right now).
A most significant loss in the acting community comes right after another. Philip Seymour Hoffman (July 23, 1967 - February 2, 2014) gone forever at 46. What a magnificent talent he possessed. I'm thinking particularly of his performance in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and the tortured soul of Andy that he portrayed so vividly. The drug addiction part of that character being particularly chilling in light of this event. He always made a strong impression in small parts (Scent of a Woman, Hard Eight) or big (Capote, Owning Mahoney). Ditto for the films themselves be they small in critical stature (Twister, Mission Impossible III) or large (Magnolia, 25th Hour). One can marvel at the way he enhanced his co-actors performances by his consummate gift of reacting, especially in delivering those subtle details like his perfectly expressed looks of incredulity. Like Maximilian Schell he had an uncanny ability to project complex thought processes combined with a depth of emotion he owned in full. Unlike Schell his life was cut tragically short. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.