A Painful Memorial

Philip Seymour Hoffman, playwright, American Playwriting FoundationYesterday’s New York Times included a front page story and full-page announcement of the establishment of “The American Playwriting Foundation,” to make annual $45,000 grants for creators of new American plays, one of the largest awards available for this purpose today. The Foundation was established in honor of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, “who relentlessly sought out truth in his work and demanded the same from his collaborators.”

Initial funding for the Foundation came from the National Enquirer, which published an interview with someone falsely claiming to be Hoffman’s friend David Bar Katz. In its haste to print this information, the newspaper “made a good faith error” by inadequately checking its source. Katz’s subsequent lawsuit led to an apology, and “instead of seeking a purely personal reward for the harm done to him, Mr. Katz brought the lawsuit as a vehicle to . . .create something positive out of this unfortunate turn of events.”

Out of one man’s tragedy, another’s unselfishness, and the foolishness of an entity with more money than sense, miraculously, something good may rise.

My 7/28/14 review of Hoffman’s last major role, in what is both movie title and obituary, “A Most Wanted Man.”