Philip Seymour Hoffman is pictured here with Jim Sorrento at the East Boston Camps in Westford in 1987. He was known as "Phil."
Philip Seymour Hoffman is pictured here with Jim Sorrento at the East Boston Camps in Westford in 1987. He was known as "Phil." (Contributed Photo)

WESTFORD -- Before he was known as Philip Seymour Hoffman, scene-stealer, Oscar-winner and unexpected celebrity death, he was known at Westford's East Boston Camps as "Phil."

Hoffman, who died at the age of 46 Sunday of an apparent heroin overdose, was a counselor at the camp in 1987 during his summer break from New York University.

Hoffman went on to become an actor hailed as the best of his generation. He won an Academy Award for best actor for the 2005 film, "Capote," and was nominated as a supporting actor in "The Master," "Doubt" and "Charlie Wilson's War."

The Associated Press reported Hoffman's body was discovered in his apartment in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

Philip Seymour Hoffman in Westford during his time as a counselor at the East Boston Camps.
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Westford during his time as a counselor at the East Boston Camps. (Contributed Photo)
Two law enforcement officials told the AP he was found with a syringe in his arm and with plastic envelopes of what was believed to be heroin. Some packets were stamped with the ace of hearts symbol, and others with the words "Ace of Spades" and that symbol.

Sun reporter Samantha Allen is looking for residents who know more about Hoffman's summer in Westford. Contact Allen at sallen@lowellsun.com or call 978-970-4658.