Somber Farewell For Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman

Family and respected royalty of American stage and screen say goodbye at his funeral.
3:00 | 02/07/14

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Transcript for Somber Farewell For Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
And now, to a very difficult day here in New York City for the children, the family of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. His funeral was held today but very big names honoring an acting great. Here's ABC's Mara schiavocampo. Reporter: At New York's church of St. Ignatius Loyola this afternoon, some of Hollywood's most notable names gathering to say good-bye to one of their own. Meryl Streep, Ethan Hawke, and cate Blanchett among the hundreds attending a packed funeral for stage and screen legend Philip Seymour Hoffman, five days after his death. Filing in behind his casket, his partner of 15 years, Mimi o'donnell, and their three children, tallulah, Willa, and son cooper. Cooper is old enough to know what's going on. He's had a few breakdowns. Reporter: The service was private, but Hoffman's death of an apparent heroin overdose is now sparking a public debate about drug policy. Weighing in, actor and comedian Russell brand, a self-described "Addict in recovery." Writing in "The guardian" newspaper, brand says criminalizing drug use is partly to blame for the hardships of addicts. Calling addiction "A mental illness," which is hugely exacerbated by the laws that criminalize drug addicts. Doctors who treat addiction say the focus needs to be on treatment. We do have good treatments. People can get better. They can lead good lives. Reporter: An important conversation about how to save lives before it's too late. And today's service was reportedly so full, some were turned away. A larger public memorial is planned for later this month. And David, police are still trying to figure out exactly how and where Hoffman got the drugs. Difficult story to start on, but glad to have you as part of the team, Mara. There is still much more

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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