Dustin Hoffman is an American actor and director.
His full name is Dustin Lee Hoffman.
He was born on August 8, 1937 in Los Angeles, California.
His parents were Lillian (née Gold; 1909-1982) and Harry Hoffman (1908-1987).
Dustin Hoffman was raised in Los Angeles with his elder brother Ron.
Hoffman is Jewish, from an Ashkenazi family of immigrants from Ukraine, Poland, and Romania.
Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955 and enrolled at Santa Monica College with the intention of studying medicine.
Hoffman’s acting career began at age 19, when he dropped out of college to pursue an acting career.
His first acting role was at the Pasadena Playhouse, alongside future Academy Award-winner, GeneHackman.
After two years there, Hackman headed for New York City, with Hoffman soon following.
During the 60s, Hoffman earned a few opportunities to act in Off-Broadway productions and side by side, he studied method acting at Actors Studio.
His first critical success was in the play Eh?, by Henry Livings, which had its US premiere at the Circle in the Square Downtown on October 16, 1966.
Hoffman made his film debut in The Tiger Makes Out in 1967, alongside Eli Wallach.
Hoffman rocketed to fame as the star of director Mike Nichols’ The Graduate (1967). Though 30 at the time of filming, Hoffman was perfectly cast as an alienated college student, and his work won him not only an Oscar nomination but also made him a hugely popular performer with the youth market.
After completing The Graduate he returned to Broadway and continue performing in live theater. He appear in the title role of the musical, Jimmy Shine which earned him a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance.
In 1969, Hoffman struck gold again with the gritty Midnight Cowboy, in which he played the part of Ratso Rizzo, a homeless man in New York City. This performance garnered him a second Oscar nomination.
The actor moved smoothly into the 1970s playing numerous antiheroes such as the powerless witness to Native American genocide in Little Big Man (1970), the cowardly mathematician who violently defends his home in Straw Dogs (1971) and the self-destructive comic Lenny Bruce in ‘Lenny Bruce’ (1974).
In 1976, he starred in major films like, All the President’s Men and Marathon Man. These movies were establishing him as a seasoned actor and in the following years he acted in Straight Time (1978) and Agatha (1979).
Thrice previously nominated for the Oscar, Hoffman finally won a best actor award for his sympathetic portrayal of a divorced single father in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).
In Tootsie (1982), Hoffman portrays Michael Dorsey, a struggling actor who finds himself dressing up asa woman to land a role on a soap opera. This performance earned him another Oscar nomination.
Death of a Salesman (1985), a TV movie was released in 1985. It was another stepping stone in Hoffman’s career. His acting in the movie was critically acclaimed and he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for it.
Hoffman’s worst film failure was Elaine May’s Ishtar (1987), co-starring Warren Beatty, who also produced it.
Next came director Barry Levinson’s Rain Man (1988), where Hoffman starred as an autistic savant, opposite Tom Cruise. Hoffman’s portrayal of an autistic savant earned him a second Academy Award and remains one of his best performances.
Throughout the 90s, he did movies like, Dick Tracy (1990), Billy Bathgate (1991), Hook (1991) in which he played the title role of Captain Hook, Outbreak (1995) alongside Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey and Sleepers (1996) with Brad Pitt.
In 1997’s Wag the Dog, Hoffman played a Hollywood producer who creates a fake war to help make Americans pay less attention to a sex scandal involving their president. This performance earned him his seventh Academy Award nomination.
Hoffman’s roles in the early 2000s continued to be varied and interesting. Hoffman appeared in
Moonlight Mile (2002), followed by Confidence (2003). Than he finally had a chance to work with his old friend Gene Hackman in Gary Fleder’s Runaway Jury (also 2003).
He had a supporting role in 2004’s Finding Neverland, which starred Johnny Depp as playwright J.M. Barrie; Hoffman played the financier of his plays.
Hoffman appeared in comedies Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2010).
Hoffman starred in Stranger than Fiction (2006), played the perfumer Giuseppe Baldini in Tom Tykwer’s film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (also 2006).
Hoffman lent his voice to the computer-animated films The Tale of Despereaux (2008), Kung Fu Panda (2008), Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), and Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016).
Hoffman also directed Quartet (2012), a BBC Films comedy starring Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay.
Along with 2 Academy Award wins, Hoffman has been nominated for 5 additional Academy Awards, and he was nominated for 13 Golden Globes, winning 6 (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award). He has won 4 BAFTAs, 3 Drama Desk Awards, 2 Emmy Awards, and a Genie Award. Hoffman received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award in 1999, and the Kennedy Center Honors Award in 2012.
Dustin Hoffman has an estimated net worth of $50 million.
Hoffman married Anne Byrne in May 1969. He adopted Karina (b. 1966), Byrne’s child from a previous marriage, and with Byrne had daughter Jenna (born October 15, 1970). After more than 10 years of marriage, Hoffman and Anne divorced in 1980.
He married for the second time to businesswoman Lisa Gottsegen Hoffman in October 1980; they have four children – Jacob Edward (born March 20, 1981), Rebecca Lillian (b. March 17, 1983), Maxwell Geoffrey (born August 30, 1984), and Alexandra Lydia (born October 27, 1987).
Hoffman has a house in the Kensington area of London.
His parents named him Dustin after actor Dustin Farnum.
He played 20 years younger than Anne Bancroft in The Graduate (1967), even though she is only six years older than him.
Dustin Hoffman was considered for the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).
Hoffman entered into The Guinness Book of World Records as “Greatest Age Span Portrayed By A Movie Actor” for Little Big Man (1970) in which he portrayed a character from age 17 to age 121.
Hoffman has appeared in two films about “Peter Pan” (Hook (1991) and Finding Neverland (2004)). Following his appearance in Hook (1991), close friend and former roommate Gene Hackman began calling him “Hook” as a joke. The name stuck and his contemporaries call him by that nickname to this day.
While filming Finding Neverland (2004) Hoffman lost the tip of a finger and performed one day of
shooting on morphine.
Hoffman stars in four of the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest Movies: The Graduate (1967) at #17, Midnight Cowboy (1969) at #43, Tootsie (1982) at #69 and All the President’s Men (1976) at #77.
As roommates, Hoffman and Gene Hackman would often go to the apartment rooftop and play the drums. Hoffman played the bongo drums while Hackman played the conga drums. They did it out of their love for Marlon Brando, who they had heard played music in clubs. They wanted to be like Brando and were big fans of his.