Philip Seymour Hoffman: Theatre Prize!

A playwriting prize is to be named after late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, funded by a libel settlement from US paper The National Enquirer.

The $45,000 (£27,000) bursary was suggested by the Oscar winner’s friend David Katz, who sued the publication over an article about their friendship.

The story was printed just days after Hoffman’s death earlier this month and subsequently retracted.

Katz’s lawyer said the prize would be funded “for years to come”.

David Burnstein told the New York Times that Katz, who is a playwright, wanted the undisclosed settlement to be used positively, and had set up the American Playwriting Foundation as a result.

He said he had spoken often with Hoffman about how “it’s a tragedy playwrights can’t survive being playwrights – about how nice it would be if you could make your rent and still have an occasional steak.”

The annual prize will be known as the Relentless Award, in a nod to the late star’s pursuit of artistic truth and integrity.

A panel of four theatre writers, including Mr Katz, will form a selection committee to choose the recipient of the bursary, whose work must be previously unproduced.