Time was in Primary School, students' pictures of February would be represented by snowdrops and whatnot. But that's unlikely to happen nowadays, as 1) Michael Gove would replace art with testing the shit out of everything if he had half a chance and 2) early Spring vistas more closely resembles a busy Saturday car park in Atlantis.
Outsized reaction to celebrity death is not a new thing, it even has its own entry on Wikipedia: Mourning sickness. Its zenith in this country was the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, a period in our history during which we behaved so peculiarly that we still can't look each other in the eye whilst talking about it. A madness took us, like a Bacchanalian orgy, only with less orifice-filling and more commemorative crockery.
We like brilliant men to be brilliant at all times and so we brush aside any indication that brilliant men might, like us ordinary men, be capable of brokenness, which means men like Hoffman and Heath Ledger before him, though richly brilliant, often end up dying the impoverished death of broken men who have been impossibly fractured by some intimate failure.