Published Friday, 07 February 2014
The filmmaker cast the tragic actor in three of his films - Boogie Nights, Magnolia and The Master -and he helped to pay tribute to his late pal at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola service by sharing his favourite memories, many of which prompted warm laughter from mourners including Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and The Master co-stars Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix.
The Wire star John Doman, who was among the 400 guests at the memorial, told NBC News: "It was sad, it was celebratory, it was emotional, it was inspirational, it was terrific."
Playwright Jose Rivera, who worked with Hoffman at the Off Broadway Labyrinth Theater Company, told the Wall Street Journal: "It was quite beautiful. He (Anderson) just had a lot of very personal and lovely memories of Phil. And he made us all laugh; he quoted Phil extensively and we could kind of hear his voice in the room."
After the 90-minute service, Hoffman's coffin was carried out by six pallbearers as his longtime girlfriend, Mimi O'Donnell, and their three young children looked on from the top of the church's steps.
Other stars in attendance at the funeral included Michelle Williams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Ellen Burstyn, John Slattery, Mary Louise Parker, Jerry Stiller, Marisa Tomei and Spike Lee.
A larger, public memorial for Hoffman, who died from a suspected drug overdose last Sunday, is expected to be held later this month.