Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman

His role as college grad seduced by Mrs. Robinson in 'The Graduate' (1967)
Background:"I became an actor because I believed I was a failure." Dustin HoffmanTwo-time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman received recognition after portraying divorced father Ted Kramer in Robert Benton’s drama Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). Because of his spectacular acting, he was honored with an Oscar, a Golden Globe Award, a National Society of Film Critics Award, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award and a New York Film Critics Award. He was launched to superstardom for playing middle-aged autistic Raymond Babbitt in Barry Levinson's Rain Man (1988), where he won his second Academy Award, as well as a Los Angeles Film Critics Award and a Berlin Film Festival Honorary Golden Bear Award.One of the greatest actors of his time, Hoffman attracted the attention of the public almost as soon as he entered the film industry. In 1967, he was perfectly cast as disaffected university graduate Benjamin Braddock in Mike Nichols' surprise hit The Graduate, in which he garnered a Golden Globe Award, a British Film Academy Award, as well as earned a nomination at the Oscars. Two years later, Hoffman nabbed a British Film Academy Award for playing pimp Ratso Rizzo in John Schlesinger's 1969 Oscar winner Midnight Cowboy (1969, Hoffman received his second Oscar nomination for his role) and having the title role in John and Mary (1969). In Sydney Pollack-helmed 1982 comedy Tootsie, Hoffman fascinated the public with his starring role of out-of-work actor Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels. His outstanding performance handed him a Golden Globe Award, a National Society of Film Critics Award, a BAFTA Award and an Oscar nomination. In a more recent film, Hoffman continued to remain a household name with his astonishing acting in such films as Meet the Fockers (2004), where he netted the 2005 MTV Movie Award.On the small screen, Hoffman established himself as a television star when he reprised his stage role of Willy Loman in the made-for-television movie Death of a Salesman (1985). Delivering a significant performance, he picked up an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award.As a stage actor, Hoffman made a name for himself for his bravura performance in the theatrical production of "Eh?" (1966), where he netted a Drama Desk Award, a Theater World Award and a Vernon Rice Award. His bright acting in "Journey of the Fifth Horse" also handed him the 1966 Obie Award. In 1968, Hoffman netted his second Drama Award for his performance in the Broadway production of "Jimmy Shine," and sixteen years later, he took home his third Drama Award after portraying Willy Loman in the Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman (1984).Off screen, Dustin Hoffman is a frank liberal and a Democrat. As for his private life, 68-year-old Hoffman has spent his life outside the spotlight with his wife of 25 years, Lisa Gottsegen, and his six children, Jenna Byrne (mother Anne Byrne), Karina Byrne (Anne Byrne), Alexandra Hoffman (mother Gottsegen), Rebecca Hoffman (mother Gottsegen), Jake Hoffman (mother Gottsegen) and Maxwell Hoffman (mother Gottsegen).Formerly, he was married to actress Anne Byrne, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1980.Least Likely to SucceedChildhood and Family:Born on August 8, 1937, in Los Angeles, California, Dustin Lee Hoffman was raised in a Jewish family. His father is Harvey Hoffman, a furniture designer, and his mother is Lillian Hoffman, a part-time actress who suffered a stroke and hearth attack. He is also the brother of an economic professor-turned-attorney named Ronald Hoffman.Dustin was named "least likely to succeed" by his school peers while he was studying at Los Angeles High School. Upon graduation, he attended Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and Arts to help fulfill his dream of becoming a concert pianist. Turning his attention to the medical field, Dustin briefly attended Santa Monica City College. However, he left college a year later because of poor grades, during which time Dustin took a drama class to boost his grades. After discovering an interest in acting, Hoffman decided to give acting a try by joining the Pasadena Playhouse. Dustin also studied acting under the guidance of Barney Brown, Lonny Chapman and Lee Strasberg.Dustin Hoffman has married two times in his life. He first tied the knot with actress/ballerina Anne Byrne on May 3, 1969, but they divorced in 1980. Shortly after the divorce, he started a new family with ex-lawyer Lisa Gottsegen, whom he wed in October 1980. From his first wife, Dustin has two daughters, Jenna (actress, born on October 15, 1970) and Karina. He added four more children to his family from his second marriage, daughters Alexandra and Rebecca (actress; born on March 17, 1983) and sons Jake (actor; born on March 20, 1981) and Maxwell (actor; born on August 30, 1984).Kramer vs. KramerCareer:Dropping out of medical school, Dustin Hoffman subsequently changed his direction to acting and performed regularly at the Pasadena Playhouse with fellow aspirant Gene Hackman. Two years later, he made his way to New York City in which he had various odd jobs, including an attendant in a psychiatric hospital, a dishwasher, a typist, a writer, a toy salesman and an occasional small television role. Distressed with his career, Hoffman once decided to leave acting to become a teacher. In 1960, however, he eventually made his stage debut when he landed a role in off-Broadway production of "Yes Is For a Very Young Man" at Sarah Lawrence College, and it was followed by his Broadway debut in the production of "A Cook For Mr. General" a year later. The same year, Hoffman guest starred in "Naked City" (1961).Unfortunately, the pendulum swung once again and Hoffman disappeared from stage for a few years to study acting and became a dedicated Method actor. He returned in 1964 to work with the Theatre Company of Boston and appeared in a number of plays like “Endgame," "The Quare Fellow" and "In the Jungle of Cities" among others. He also performed at the American Place Theater, in NYC, in a production of "Harry, Noon and Night" (1965), and served as an assistant director on an off-Broadway revival of "A View From the Bridge" (1965), as well as worked as a manager for Ulu Grosbard’s Broadway play, The Subject Was Roses." In 1966, Hoffman’s bright performance in the theatrical farce "Eh?" handed him a Drama Desk, a Theater World and a Vernon Rice award. His stage acting in "Journey of the Fifth Horse" also won an Obie for Best Actor.1967 was Hoffman’s breakaway year. After appearing in television movies The Journey of the Fifth Horse (1966) and The Star Wagon (1966), he started his film career by playing the small role of Hap in Arthur Hiller’s comedy The Tiger Makes Out (starring Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson). He also nabbed the starring role of estranged college graduate Benjamin Braddock in Mike Nichols' surprise hit "The Graduate" (1967). Through his breakthrough screen role, Hoffman impressed both the audiences and critics alike. His brilliant performance even garnered him a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer Male and a British Film Academy for Outstanding Newcomer, and received a first Oscar nomination for Best Actor.Hoffman followed his success with another triumph in 1968 when he made his directorial stage debut in the Broadway production of "Jimmy Shine," where he netted the second Drama for Outstanding Performance. In the following year, fortune again smiled on Hoffman’s film career. He was cast as disreputable pimp Ratso Rizzo in John Schlesinger's 1969 Oscar winner Midnight Cowboy (1969), where he nabbed his second Academy Award nomination, and he excelled in the title character John, opposite Mia Farrow, in the drama John and Mary (1969). His roles in the two films handed him a British Film Academy for Best Actor.In the 1970s, the actor made on-and-off progress in his career. He starred as 100-year-old Indiana fighter Jack Crabb in Arthur Penn's Little Big Man (1970), portrayed Georgie Soloway in the disappointing Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971), played the lead in Sam Peckinpah's tormenting Straw Dogs (1971), experienced a box-office film success with the 1973’s prison drama Papillon (opposite Steve McQueen), earned his third Oscar nomination for portraying the legendary stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce in Bob Fosse's 1974 biography Lenny, played Carl Bernstein, opposite Robert Redford's Bob Woodward, in All the President's Men (1974), scored another major hit with director Schlesinger’s Marathon Man (1976, opposite Laurence Olivier), starred in the critically acclaimed but financial disappointment Straight Time (1978) and played Wally Stanton in the failure film Agatha (1979).In the late1970s, Hoffman gained true success when director Robert Benton cast him as Ted Kramer in his drama film Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). Due to his spectacular acting, Hoffman took home several awards including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a National Society of Film Critics, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association and a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor.After taking a three-year hiatus, Hoffman was back to attract the attention of the public in 1982 when he starred as Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels, opposite Jessica Lange, in the comedy hit Tootsie. With Sydney Pollack directing, Hoffman delivered a radiant turn as an out-of-work actor who dresses in drag to win a role on a soap opera. The performance won Hoffman his second Golden Globe, a National Society of Film Critics and a BAFTA for Best Actor. Additionally, he earned a nomination at the Oscars.Following his victory, Hoffman took another break from film and returned to his theatrical roots in 1984 to portray Willy Loman in a Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman. He won his third Drama Desk for Best Actor in a Play for his good work in the play. In 1985, Hoffman reprised his stage role for the CBS television special Death of a Salesman (1985), in which he also served as an executive producer. The role brought him an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special and the 1986 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television.Hoffman didn’t appear on the wide screen again until 1987 when he costarred with Warren Beatty in Elaine May's unsuccessful comedy Ishtar. A year later, however, he was put back in the Hollywood mainstream when he played the role of autistic Raymond Babbitt, opposite Tom Cruise, in Barry Levinson's adventure Rain Man (1988). He again picked up an Oscar, as well as a Los Angeles Film Critics and a Berlin Film Festival Honorary Golden Bear for Best Actor. His winning performance helped prompt the film to be a crucial financial and box office success. The actor then finished the decade by teaming up with Sean Connery and Matthew Broderick for 1989’s Family Business.The Oscar-wining actor again struggled with a string of big screen duds in the early 1990s, including Steven Spielberg fantasy Hook (1991, with Robin Williams) and Hero (1992). His comeback movie, 1995’s Outbreak, was a moderate success in the box office, but his next film, Michael Corrente's adaptation of the David Mamet drama American Buffalo (1996), received a limited release at the theater. Hoffman then teamed up with Levinson for his 1996 drama Sleepers (with Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt), appeared in Costa-Gavras' Mad City (1997), received critical raves as neurotic Hollywood producer Stanley Motss in Barry Levinson's political satire Wag the Dog (1997, also earned an Oscar nomination), rejoined Levinson for the 1998 Sphere and was featured as The Conscience in The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999).Hoffman opened the new millennium by providing his voice for the animated film Tuesday (2001) and television series "Liberty's Kids: Est. 1776" (2002). He made his way back to film in 2002 when he portrayed the lead of Ben Floss, opposite Susan Sarandon, in the touching drama Moonlight Mile. His follow-up was the supporting role of mob boss Winston King in James Foley Confidence (2003), then costarring alongside John Cusack and Gene Hackman in the thriller Runaway Jury (2003). Hoffman then appeared in the drama Finding Neverland (2004, starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet) and shared the screen with Jason Schwartzman and Isabelle Huppert in David O. Russell’s comedy Heart Huckabees (2004). In the same year, Hoffman delivered another wonderful performance when he portrayed the father of Ben Stiller in the sequel of 2000’s hit Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers (2004). Displaying an impressive comedic talent, he picked up an MTV Movie award for Best Comedic Performance.In 2005, Hoffman provided his voice to Racing Stripes (2005) and is scheduled to play roles in several upcoming movies including The Lost City (2005, costarring and directed by Andy Garcia), Stranger Than Fiction (2006), Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), Car Wars (2006), Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2006, stars with Natalie Portman), Father Knows Less (2005) and The Berkeley Connection (2006).Awards: MTV Movie: Best Comedic Performance, Meet the Fockers, 2005 Empire Film: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003 Costume Designers Guild: Distinguished Actor Award, 2003 San Francisco International Film Festival: Peter J. Owens Award, 2003 Golden Camera (Germany): Golden Camera for Lifetime Achievement – Film, 2003 Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild: Barrymore Award, 2002 BAFTA/LA Britannia: Excellence in Film, 1997 Golden Globe: Cecil B. DeMille Award, 1996 Berlin Film Festival Honorary Golden Bear: Rainman, 1989 Los Angeles Film Critics: Best Actor, Rainman, 1988 Oscar: Best Actor, Rainman, 1988 People's Choice: Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor, 1988 Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television, Death of a Salesman, 1986 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special, Death of a Salesman, 1985/86 Drama Desk: Best Actor in a Play, Death of a Salesman, 1984 BAFTA: Best Actor, Tootsie, 1983 National Society of Film Critics: Best Actor, Tootsie, 1982 Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Tootsie, 1982 New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979 Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Actor, Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979 National Society of Film Critics: Best Actor, Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979 Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama), Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979 Oscar: Best Actor, Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979 NATO Star of the Year, 1976 Drama Desk: Outstanding Performance, Jimmy Shine, 1969 British Film Academy: Best Actor, Midnight Cowboy and John and Mary, 1969 Golden Globe: Most Promising Newcomer Male, The Graduate, 1967 British Film Academy: Outstanding Newcomer, The Graduate, 1967 Obie: Best Actor, Journey of the Fifth Horse, 1966 Drama Desk for Eh?, 1966 Theatre World for Eh?, 1966 Vernon Rice for Eh?, 1966
I walked out of the theater and started crying. My wife asked me, 'Why are you crying?' I said, 'Because I can't do that.' I didn't know how he did it. I've never seen anything like that. It's like this feat, this Rodin sculpture to me. It's like hearing an opera singer and the tears go down your face because it's not human what they're doing. It's like sounds of heaven.More Dustin Hoffman quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
A "take" is an opportunity to fail ... and we think that we have to get it right all the time.More Dustin Hoffman quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
If there is no direct threat why are we invading?More Dustin Hoffman quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
This is not a movie about smelling the urine! It's another kind of movie." Volker Schlöndorff got Billy Wilder to agree to these conversations - you can buy it - because Volker spoke German at times. And he said to Billy Wilder: "What is in your mind?" And he said: "If you're going to try to tell the truth to the audience, you'd better be funny or they'll kill you." And I haven't forgotten that.More Dustin Hoffman quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
So when I told my parents I wanted to go into acting because I was flunking out of my first year of junior college, they were relieved that I had picked something other than joining the army. But I can't imagine how they had high hopes for me.More Dustin Hoffman quotes [08/29/2011 02:08:48]

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