Hey, Summer Campers!
Summer camp has been around since 1861, so it goes without saying that there are a lot of former summer campers out there in the world today. Some have gone on to become famous celebrities. Former summer campers have populated the music business, professional sports leagues, television and movies, etc. Remembered forever in our hearts, today we’re talking about a movie star who the world lost earlier this year: Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Yes, in his younger days, Philip enjoyed summer stays among the 122 acres at Ontario County’s 4-H Camp Bristol Hills in New York. 4-H Camp Bristol Hills is a division of the Cornell Cooperative Extension on Ontario County. He went to camp alongside his younger siblings Gordy and Emily in the 80’s. And by 1987 he worked as a camp counselor.
Rather active as a kid, Philip had a great time playing sports at camp, especially his favorites, baseball and wrestling. When he went to see a stage production Arthur Miller’s play ‘All My Sons’, however, Philip realized his true passion was the theater. “I was changed—permanently changed—by that experience,” Philip later recounted. “It was like a miracle to me.”
He was chosen to attend the New York State Summer School of the Arts when he was 17 and it was there that he befriended people with whom he would later collaborate on important projects that shaped his acting career. One of his colleagues, a Bennet Miller, is quoted for noting, “We were attracted to the fact that he was genuinely serious about what he was doing. Even then, he was passionate.”
After receiving his drama degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1989, Philip started appearing in supporting roles all throughout the following decade. He eventually made a reputation for himself as the actor who only did supporting roles—he’s in a lot of movies! But as he stepped into leading roles, he blew audiences away with his portray of author Truman Capote in the 2005 film, ‘Capote’ which landed him an Academy Award for Best Actor.
He only continued to impress audiences as he really grew into his career. Unfortunately, his career and life were cut short due to heart failure in February earlier this year. The world is sure to miss his charming presence on the big screen.