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A prince of an actor [Letter]

9:45 AM EST, February 10, 2014

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It is most difficult to come to terms with the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman ("A fatal addiction," Feb. 3).

Mr. Hoffman was one of our miracles. All those who admired him were enriched by his prodigious talent, and his tragic death is a great loss to American art and culture.

In his instructions to the actors, Hamlet tells them " to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature." No one in our time did that better than Philip Seymour Hoffman. His death brings to mind the final lines of Stephen Spender's poem "I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great:"

Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun/ And left the vivid air signed with their honor.

A superb actor and great spirit is gone. He was taken from us far too soon. Our consolation is the body of film performances he left us. That will live on — and with it, so will Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Good night, sweet prince.

Joseph Arcieri, Towson

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