Where do we even start? For a while, Philip Seymour Hoffman — who was found dead in his apartment Sunday morning from what appears to be a drug overdose — seemed like America’s go-to sad sack, but that does absolutely no justice to his staggering range, or to the humanity he brought to his parts. Look on his filmography and despair at its unthinkable breadth – from Happiness to The Talented Mr. Ripley, from State and Main to Flawless, from Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead to The Master. He didn’t transform into these parts, he consumed them – in the best, most brilliant way possible. What was it that made them so clearly his? Maybe it was the vulnerability he brought to even his most disposable roles — the fact that, even at their worst, there was something to these characters, something in them we recognized in ourselves. Maybe that’s why this bewildering, tragic death hurts so much: because he feels like someone we knew, even if we only knew him from a movie screen. And because he felt like someone who understood us at our weakest, most fragile moments. Here are twelve of his best and most interesting parts. There are at least twelve others that could easily be on this list, and that doesn't even get into his astounding work in the theater. (Please share your own favorites in the comments.)BEGIN SLIDESHOW
Most Watched on Vulture
Most Viewed Stories
How Does the New It Movie Deal With Stephen King’s Orgy Scene?
Jennifer Lawrence Sounds Like a Horrible Person to Be Stuck on a Plane With
The Good Place Season Two Is So Forking Great
Why Stephen Colbert Invited Sean Spicer to the Emmys
The Jerry Seinfeldiest Joke That Jerry Seinfeld Ever Jerry Seinfelded
How the Laura Palmer House’s Actual Homeowner Ended Up in Twin Peaks: The Return’s Final Scene
What’s New on Netflix: September 2017
Stephen King: ‘It’s Fascinating’ People Are More Offended by It’s Child Orgy Than Its Child Murders
Let’s Talk About That Scene in Mother!
MoviePass Is Luring Millennials Back to the Multiplex. Why Is Hollywood So ‘Meh’?
Latest News from VultureLinda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger Will Be Back in New Terminator Movie
The original Sarah Connor is returning to the franchise for the first time since 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day.Jimmy Kimmel’s Takedown of Senator Bill Cassidy’s New Health-Care Bill Gets Personal
Senator Bill Cassidy didn’t write a bill that passed his own ” Jimmy Kimmel test” protecting children with pre-existing conditions.American Horror Story Recap: A-Tisket, a Casket
The clowns aren’t a figment of Ally’s imagination, but what if everything else is?Hillary Clinton Reviews Donald Trump’s United Nations Speech on Late Show
She has some notes on “Rocket Man.”Jax and Brittany Take Kentucky Recap: Never Wrestle a Pig
We’re a long, long way from a proposal.Johnny Depp’s Ex-Management Company Is Now Dragging His Friends and Family Into Legal Dispute
The Management Group claims Depp is throwing his friends and family “under the bus” with his lawsuit against the company.Taikia Waititi In Talks To Direct Akira For Warner Bros.
Can WB keep this director on board?Mother! Is Attempting to Use Its Bad Press to Attract More Movie Goers
A new ad uses divisive responses to the Darren Aronofsky film as a selling point.It Looks Like That Damon Lindelof Watchmen Series At HBO Is Actually Happening
According to Damon Lindelof’s Instagram, the work has begun.How Well Do Ghosted Stars Adam Scott and Craig Robinson Know Each Other?
The comics quiz each other about hometowns, early gigs, and beverage preferences.
The competitive-cooking mockumentary will be released on November 17.At Least Some of Hollywood Is Really Pissed About Sean Spicer’s Emmys Cameo
“Has the aura of a giant festering abscess. Strange, since he was so charismatic at the (elevated) podium.”YouTuber Hank Green Is Writing His First Novel, Confusing People Who Thought John Green Was the Book-Writing Brother
Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is out fall 2018.Perfume Genius’s ‘Wreath’ Video Is a Tribute to the Human Form
And it showcases the power of personal expression.The Good Place Season Two Is So Forking Great
The series solidifies its status as the most intellectually engaging comedy on television.How the Laura Palmer House’s Actual Homeowner Ended Up in Twin Peaks: The Return’s Final Scene
“I was standing in the kitchen and David walked up to me and said, Have you ever acted?”Hillary Clinton Just Notched Another Popular Vote Win
Rachel Maddow’s interview with Clinton was the top-rated cable news broadcast last week.MoviePass Is Luring Millennials Back to the Multiplex. Why Is Hollywood So ‘Meh’?
“If we’re doubling the frequency of the customers who’ve been abandoning you, you’d think they’d cut us in on some of your increased profits.”Rob Reiner and a Few Good Men Are Investigating Russia
Morgan Freeman makes a cameo as president. Naturally.Three-Sentence Reviews: Peter Saul’s Fake News, Trevor Paglen’s Zombie Conceptualism, and 7 More September Shows
Thank God for Peter Saul.