Dustin Hoffman (1937-) is one of the greatest film actors in American history. He has played a wide variety of roles, always seeking out a new challenge. His most memorable roles include those in The Graduate, Tootsie, and Rain Man. He is currently married to Lisa Gottsegen, with whom he has four children. With his former wife, Anne Byrne, Hoffman has one child and one stepchild. Hoffman takes his art very seriously. If he needs to look tired, he stays up for days at a time. If he needs to look angry or sad, he ruminates on bad experiences. This "method" technique provides Hoffman with the ability to make a character's feelings and actions seem genuine.

Hoffman was born on August 8, 1937 in Los Angeles, California. Though he was born in an acting mecca, he moved from Hollywood to New York to start a serious acting career on Broadway. He received great reviews as a Broadway actor and soon appeared in his first film, Madigan's Millions, in 1966 (which didn't hit the United States until 1968). It was not until his next role, in The Graduate, that Hoffman became well known. In this movie, he played Benjamin Braddock, a young man who has an affair with an older woman named Mrs. Robinson, played by Anne Bancroft. This was really Hoffman's breakout role, and earned him his first Academy Award nomination.

Hoffman the celebrity was born. His next film role was 1969's Midnight Cowboy, in which he portrayed Rico "Ratso" Rizzo. He got another Academy Award nomination for this role. He continued with successful roles in the 1970's, garnering a third Oscar nomination for portraying Lenny Bruce in Lenny. He also had a spectacular performance as journalist Carl Bernstein in All the President's Men.

In 1979, Hoffman won his first Oscar for his role as Ted Kramer in Kramer vs. Kramer alongside Meryl Streep. Kramer vs. Kramer was the story of the Kramers, who got divorced and fought for custody of their son. By this time, Hoffman had tackled and succeeded in a wide variety of roles. His strangest role was yet to come: he would play the cross-dressing Michael Dorsey (aka Dorothy Michaels) in Tootsie. Tootsie is about frustrated actor Michael and his decision to dress like a woman to get a role on a soap opera. Hoffman would receive yet another Oscar nomination for this role.

Hoffman's second Oscar would come from his role as the autistic Raymond Babbitt in 1988's Rain Man. He played the autistic genius masterfully. Hoffman continues to play an eclectic set of roles. He also has tried his hand, somewhat unsuccessfully, as a director. His acting abilities, however, continue to amaze audiences around the world, solidifying his presence in American film. From the Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com), here is Hoffman's filmography.

As an actor:

As a producer:

And notable TV appearances:

  • "Simpsons, The" (1989) playing "Mr. Bergstrom"(voice) (as Sam Etic) in episode: "Lisa's Substitute" (episode # 2.19) 4/25/1991
  • "Talk Soup" (1991) playing "Himself"
  • "Nurses, The" (1962) in episode: "Heroine, The" (episode # 3.29) 5/4/1965
  • "Defenders, The" (1961) in episode: "Matter of Law and Disorder, A" (episode # 4.24) 4/15/1965
  • "Naked City" (1958) in episode: "Barefoot on a Bed of Coals" (episode # 4.34) 5/29/1963
  • "Defenders, The" (1961) playing "Robert Burke" in episode: "Voices of Death, The" (episode # 2.1) 9/15/1962
  • "Naked City" (1958) in episode: "Sweet Prince of Delancey Street" (episode # 2.30) 6/7/1961

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