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Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937) is one of the dominant American film actors of the late twentieth century.
Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School. His first ambition was to be a concert pianist and he attended the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. Then, with an interest in medicine, he attended Santa Monica College for a year before dropping out due to poor grades. But his time at the school wasn't wasted when he took an acting class to boost his grade point average since he was told "nobody flunks acting." Hoffman said when he was in the class, he felt totally at peace with himself.
Widely considered one of the greatest actors of his time, Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California to Jewish American parents, Harry Hoffman and Lillian Gold (whose parents Max and Pauline were born in Russia).
He performed at the Pasadena Playhouse for two years with fellow actor Gene Hackman whom seemed to have more than one thing in common since they were both very different from their classmates. Ironically, they were both voted by their class as the "least likely to succeed". Frustrated with the school, Hackman said he would show them and got on a bus for New York City, advising Hoffman that if he were to come to New York City, that he should call him up.
Hoffman followed him shortly after where he worked a series of odd jobs including an occasional small television role. To support himself, he left acting briefly to teach. In 1960, Hoffman landed a role in an off Broadway production and followed with a walk on role in a Broadway production in 1961. He dropped out of acting again, studied with Lee Strasberg and became a dedicated method actor. Hoffman made his film debut in The Tiger Makes Out (1967).
He came to prominence with The Graduate (1967), playing a disaffected college graduate, though he was nearly thirty. Hoffman received an Academy Award nomination for his performance in The Graduate. In a famous career move that allowed him to escape being typecast, Hoffman got the opposite kind of role, the disreputable pimp, Ratso in Midnight Cowboy (1969) which got an Oscar nomination as well.
Hoffman has a reputation within the film business as a perfectionist, at times causing him difficulty with directors and at other times earning him Academy Awards, in films such as Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Rain Man (1988).
Hoffman returned to Broadway in 1983, in the role of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman alongside John Malkovich in a breakout role.
Hoffman has his own production company, Punch Productions, which has produced several of the films in which he starred such as Tootsie (1982), Hero (1992), and Wag the Dog (1997).
Hoffman has two children (Karin and Jenna) with his first wife Anne Byrne (married May 1969; divorced in 1980), and four others (Jacob, Max, Rebecca and Alexandra) with wife Lisa Gottsegen, who is an attorney, (married since October 1980).
The Tiger Makes Out (1967)
The Graduate (1967)
Madigan's Millions (1968)
Sunday Father (1969) (short subject)
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
John and Mary (1969)
Little Big Man (1970)
On Location: Dustin Hoffman (1971) (short subject)
Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971)
Straw Dogs (1971)
Alfredo, Alfredo (1972)
The Magic of Hollywood... Is the Magic of People (1976) (short subject)
All the President's Men (1976)
Marathon Man (1976)
Straight Time (1978) (also producer)
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
Death of a Salesman (1985)
Private Conversations (1986) (documentary)
Rain Man (1988)
Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989) (documentary) (narrator)
Family Business (1989)
Dick Tracy (1990)
Billy Bathgate (1991)
Jonas in the Desert (1994) (documentary)
American Buffalo (1996)
Mad City (1997)
Wag the Dog (1997)
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)
Tuesday (2001) (short subject) (voice)
Goldwyn (2001) (documentary) (narrator)
Moonlight Mile (2002)
The Shakespeare Sessions (2003) (documentary)
Runaway Jury (2003)
Freedom2speak v2.0 (2004) (documentary)
Finding Neverland (2004)
I ♥ Huckabees (2004)
Meet the Fockers (2004)
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) (Cameo)
Racing Stripes (2005) (voice)
The Lost City (2005) (currently in post-production)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2005) (currently in pre-production)
Stranger Than Fiction (2006) (currently in post-production)
Car Wars (2006) (currently in pre-production)
The Berkeley Connection (2006) (currently announced start of production)
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