Philip Seymour Hoffman once intervened to persuade Heath Ledger to quit heroin—talking the actor into believing there was a life worth living outside of hard drugs and guiding him into sobriety—a source tells Popdust exclusively.
Sadly, Ledger's new found commitment to staying clean was short lived—the 28-year-old was found dead in his New York apartment in 2008 from an accidental drugs overdose—although he had stayed away from heroin it seems he had found other ways to satisfy his addiction, eventually succumbing to a deadly combination of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.
And, as evidenced by news reports Sunday, despite his best efforts to persuade others to get clean, Hoffman himself continued to struggle with his decades long drug addiction.
As previously reported, Hoffman was discovered dead in his apartment yesterday—authorities believe the 46-year-old died from a heroin overdose, echoing the tragic death of his fellow actor and friend—who lived just blocks away in NYC— whom he had attempted to sober coach years previously.
A close friend of Hoffman's tells Popdust the big hearted Capote star dedicated hours of his time to mentor struggling friends in an effort to help them stay clean, all the while fighting his own, now very apparent, demons.
“Heath was just one of many friends Phil tried to help along the way," the source says. "He had endless time and patience whenever it came to someone struggling with drugs or alcohol.
"He would spend hours talking people down from the ledge and would do everything and anything in his power to help those who were in a dark place or a hole.
“Phil was very active in the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship and didn't hesitate for one second when Heath's people reached out to him to ask for his help getting him sober. They had been friendly for years and Phillip spent hours talking to Heath, counseling and helping him, persuading him to choose life over drugs.
"That's what is so incredibly tragic about Phil's death—he would spend all this time on others giving them reasons to stay away from drugs and to live and yet when it came to himself it's like he was spent, there was nothing left."
Prior to checking into rehab last year, Hoffman had 23 years sober under his belt and helped countless young men and women with their addictions.
“Phil happily took Heath under his wing. He took him to all the best meetings and even some private invite only ones where celebrities go so they can share openly without worry.
"Heath would get a few weeks clean and Phil would be so happy and optimistic, but then Heath would pick up again. He had trouble sleeping, so he could only go a few days without taking prescription drugs to help him pass out—and that would always eventually lead him back to drinking and harder drugs.
"Even though Heath relapsed, Phil never gave up on him. He had so much respect for Heath’s talent and really wanted to see him succeed. It broke his heart when he died. He saw a lot of himself in Heath.
"They were both really intense, passionate people and Phil truly believed that if he could get sober, Heath could, too. The biggest irony of all is that this disease took both of them in the end."