Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor and director. Hoffman was known as a versatile performer who brought depth and humanity to all of his roles. He was prolific in both film and theater from the early 1990s until his death at age 46, after which The New York Times declared him "perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation". Raised in Fairport, New York, Hoffman studied acting at the New York State Summer School of the Arts and the Tisch School of the Arts. He began his career in 1991 playing a defendant in a rape case in an episode of Law & Order, and the following year he began to appear in films. He gained recognition for his supporting work throughout the 1990s and early 2000s in minor but seminal roles in which he typically played losers or degenerates, including a conceited student in Scent of a Woman, a hyperactive storm-chaser in Twister, a 1970s pornographic film boom operator in Boogie Nights, a smug assistant in The Big Lebowski, a hospice nurse in Magnolia, a music critic in Almost Famous, a phone-sex conman in Punch-Drunk Love, and an immoral priest in Cold Mountain.