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When Miles met Philip

Philip Seymour Hoffman

I was genuinely shocked and deeply saddened to learn on Sunday of the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. A remarkably gifted actor and by all accounts a decent and gentle soul, the Academy Award-winner was so incredibly talented that his passing marks a serious loss for American movies and theater. Please remember him and his family in your thoughts and prayers while considering the following, a story from about Hoffman’s one encounter with Miles Davis.

The actor recalls, “I was a lifeguard in my early 20s at this place, the Metropolitan Towers … in Manhattan, and no one swam at this place. Somebody told me that Miles Davis lived there and so Miles Davis walked in and I didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable so I pretended I didn’t know him.
“He was wearing a Speedo (swimming trunks) with sunglasses and he had a towel and he got in the pool with his sunglasses and doggie-paddled about five laps, got out, took his sunglasses off and started talking to me because I don’t think that he knew that I knew who he was.
“For about half an hour we sat there and looked out over Manhattan; he told me buildings he owned… accidents he got into, girlfriends, everything except music… and at the end of it he said, ‘I’m Miles…’ and he walked away.”

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