Hoffman first came to the public eye in a big way in 1997 when Boogie Nights was released. From there his career slowly, steadily, improved, culminating in his 2005 Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor in the title role in Capote. He also received numerous other awards and nominations, including three more Oscar nominations.
Hoffman was known for a largely quiet acting style. His characters seldom screamed or acted out. Even his villain characters, such as Owen Davian in the under-rated Mission Impossible III, tended to be quiet characters.
But that quiet apparently hid some serious demons. Hoffman went public with drug problems last year when, after a long span of sobriety, he checked into a rehab center. It seems, sadly, that the rehab was ineffective, as it is believed he died from a heroin overdose.
Hoffman was a brilliant and talented actor who will be severely missed.