Dustin Hoffman (8.8.1937)
Dustin Hoffman is an Oscar-winning American screen and stage actor. He has sustained a successful acting career since the 1960s.
Dustin Hoffman: Childhood
Dustin Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California, to Lillian and Harry Hoffman. His Russian-born father worked as a prop supervisor and set decorator at Columbia Pictures, before he became a furniture salesman. His family are Jewish, although he did not have an overtly religious upbringing.
In 1955, Dustin Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School. He enrolled at Santa Monica College, intending to study medicine, but after a year, he left to join the Pasadena Playhouse.
Dustin Hoffman: Acting Career
Dustin Hoffman's acting career began when he started acting at the Pasadena Playhouse with Gene Hackman. After two years there, he moved to New York City with Hackman. Hoffman worked briefly as a teacher in New York, to supplement the meager income that he earned doing occasional TV commercials.
In the early 1960s, Dustin Hoffman joined the famous Actors Studio, where he learned the art of method acting. The film producer Sidney Pink discovered Hoffman and cast him in Madigan's Millions. For the rest of the decade, Hoffman acted in a number of TV shows and films, including the police drama Naked City and The Defenders.
Dustin Hoffman's big break came in 1966, when Mike Nichols cast him in The Graduate. Initially, Robert Redford and Warren Beatty had been considered for lead role, which eventually went to Hoffman, who turned down a role in Mel Brooks' The Producers to be a part of the film. In the film, he starred opposite Anne Bancroft, who was Brooks' wife.
In 1968, Hoffman won a Drama Desk award for his role in the Broadway musical Jimmy Shine. His next major film role, though, was in Midnight Cowboy, in which he starred alongside Jon Voight. Two years later, he starred in Little Big Man, with Faye Dunaway and Chief Dan George.
Hoffman's next two major ventures were 1971s Straw Dogs - which starred Susan George and was directed by Sam Peckinpah - and Papillon, in which he starred opposite Steve McQueen.
For 1974's Lenny, Hoffman received his third Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards, having already been nominated for The Graduate and Midnight Cowboy. 1976 saw Hoffman star in Marathon Man and All The President's Men. The former starred Laurence Olivier and the latter starred Robert Redford. Then, in 1978, he played the role of a thief in Straight Time, having turned down the option of directing the film.
The following year, Dustin Hoffman starred opposite Meryl Streep in the critically-acclaimed Kramer vs. Kramer. His performance in the film earned him his first Academy Award, with Streep winning the Best Supporting Actress gong.
In 1982's Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman played the role of Michael Dorsey; a struggling actor. Working alongside Jessica Lange, Hoffman earned his fifth Academy award nomination.
1988 was another landmark year for Hoffman, as he starred in the hugely successful Rain Man, opposite Tom Cruise. He won his second Academy Award for his performance.
The 1990s saw Dustin Hoffman continue to work steadily, in films such as 1990's Dick Tracy, 1991's Billy Bathgate (with Nicole Kidman) and 1992's Hero. Then, in 1995, he starred in Outbreak, as part of an all-star cast featuring Rene Russo, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, Donald Sutherland and Cuba Gooding Jr. The following year, Hoffman starred alongside Jason Patric, Kevin Bacon and Brad Pitt in Sleepers.
Following the turn of the century, the highlights of Dustin Hoffman's career include a role in the historical fantasia Finding Neverland, with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, as well as an appearance in I Heart Huckabees. Hoffman also turned his hand to more comedy, with Meet the Fockers, with Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller and Barbra Streisand.
Dustin Hoffman: Personal Life
Between 1969 and 1980, Dustin Hoffman was married to Anne Byrne, with whom he has two children. In 1980, he married Lisa Gottsegen, with whom he has another four children.
As an aspiring actor in New York City, Dustin Hoffman's roommate was fellow actor Robert Duvall.