Former drama teacher remembers Hoffman
Updated: Tuesday, March 4 2014, 03:07 PM EST
Fairport, N.Y. – Growing up in Fairport, New York, Philip Seymour Hoffman was simply known as “Phil.”
A neck injury ended his wrestling career in the 10th grade at Fairport High School, and he reluctantly auditioned for the winter production of MASH. In his first role ever – Hoffman was cast as Radar.
The actor’s drama teacher, Midge Marshall, said he got a thirst he would never lose.
Hoffman never forgot his hometown and returned frequently to help raise money and awareness of theater projects.
And 14 years ago, he helped his mom, Judge Marilyn O’Connor, campaign for office.
He took his mother to the Academy Awards in 2005, when he won his Oscar for his role in the film Capote.
Marshall saw Hoffman last year in his Broadway performance of Death of a Salesman. It was a reprisal of a role he first played in high school, when he earned his first standing ovation.
Inside the school he is honored on the Fairport Wall of Fame.
He attended the ceremony in 2006, and then stayed to work with the drama students.
People here speak with pride about him as one of their own, but today there is sadness too.