Dustin Hoffman Biography

(Actor and Filmmaker Known for His Role as ‘Benjamin Braddock’ in the Iconic Film ‘The Graduate’)

Birthday: August 8, 1937 (Leo)

Born In: Los Angeles, California, United States

Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor. He has worked on a variety of projects in theatre, films, and television. Hoffman struggled for a good part of his life by working in low-budget Off-Broadways in New York; he once confessed that he lived under the American poverty line until he was 31 years old. His fortunes changed when he was cast to play the role of a naïve and confused young man in the movie ‘The Graduate.’ The movie established Hoffman in the American film industry; before ‘The Graduate’ happened, he had a hard time landing major roles. After the release of the film, he was praised for his acting skills. He became the talk of the town and subsequently starred alongside well-established actors like Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Gene Hackman, etc. Some of the other famous movies from Hoffman’s career are ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ and ‘Rain Man’; he won ‘Academy Awards’ for both movies. Apart from appearing on the silver screen, he has also given many theatrical performances. He has also worked in television movies and even won accolades for his voice-acting skills in ‘Kung Fu Panda.’

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Dustin Lee Hoffman

Age: 86 Years, 86 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Anne Byrne, Lisa Gottsegen (m. after 1980), Anne Byrne (m. 1969 - div. 1980)

father: Harry Hoffman, Harvey Hoffman

mother: Lillian Gold

siblings: Ronald Hoffman

children: Alexandra Hoffman, Jake Hoffman, Jenna Byrne, Karina Hoffman-Birkhead, Max Hoffman, Rebecca Hoffman

Born Country: United States

Jewish Actors Actors

Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Males

political ideology: Democratic

Notable Alumni: Santa Monica College, Neighborhood Playhouse School Of The Theatre, Los Angeles High School

Ancestry: Ukrainian American, Polish American, Romanian American, Russian American

U.S. State: California

City: Los Angeles

More Facts

education: Santa Monica College, Neighborhood Playhouse School Of The Theatre, Los Angeles High School

  • 1

    What movies has Dustin Hoffman starred in?

    Dustin Hoffman has starred in classic films such as "The Graduate," "Rain Man," "Tootsie," "Kramer vs. Kramer," and "Midnight Cowboy."

  • 2

    What is Dustin Hoffman's most iconic role?

    Dustin Hoffman is best known for his iconic role as Benjamin Braddock in the film "The Graduate."

  • 3

    Has Dustin Hoffman ever won an Oscar?

    Yes, Dustin Hoffman has won two Academy Awards for Best Actor for his performances in the films "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Rain Man."

  • 4

    Is Dustin Hoffman a method actor?

    Yes, Dustin Hoffman is known for his method acting approach where he fully immerses himself in his characters to bring authenticity to his performances.

  • 5

    What is Dustin Hoffman's approach to acting?

    Dustin Hoffman is known for his dedication to his craft, often delving deep into character research and preparation to bring a realistic portrayal to his roles.

Childhood & Early Life

Dustin Hoffman was born on 8 August 1937, in Los Angeles, California, USA, to Lillian and Harry Hoffman. His father was a prop supervisor at ‘Columbia Pictures’ and a furniture salesman. He was brought up in a humble Jewish family that was neither religious nor observant.

Hoffman went to ‘Los Angeles High School’ and later attended ‘Santa Monica College’ to pursue medicine. However, he quickly changed his mind and enrolled at the ‘Pasadena Playhouse’ to pursue a career in acting.

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At ‘Pasadena Playhouse,’ Hoffman got acquainted with Gene Hackman, who was struggling to land decent roles at that time. They both moved to New York, but Hoffman did not get many opportunities because of his supposedly unconventional looks.

During the ‘60s, Hoffman received opportunities to act in Off-Broadway productions. Side by side, he also studied method acting at ‘Actors Studio.’ Finally, in 1966, he performed in a big production, ‘Eh?’ by Henry Livings.

In 1967, he acted in his first theatrical film ‘The Tiger Makes Out.’ He then directed the productions of ‘Two for the Seesaw’ and ‘The Time of Your Life’ for the ‘Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre,’ for which he received $1000.

Mike Nichols cast him to play the lead role in ‘The Graduate’ (1967). The movie became a huge box office hit, collecting more than $100 million against a budget of just $3 million. His unconventional looks and brilliant acting skills established him as a star. He also received an ‘Academy Award’ nomination for his performance.

Although Hoffman started receiving offers in Hollywood, he returned to Broadway in 1968 to act in ‘Jimmy Shine.’ His acting was thoroughly appreciated and he received a ‘Drama Desk Award.’

In 1969, ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ an American drama starring Hoffman and Jon Voight, was released. Hoffman was once again nominated for an ‘Academy Award’ and the movie won three ‘Academy Awards.’

His next big film ‘Little Big Man’ was released in 1970. It was considered to be an unconventional movie at that time, more like an anti-establishment film. The movie was well-received by the critics.

For the next few years, Hoffman appeared in movies like ‘Who is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?’ (1971), ‘Straw Dogs’ (1971), ‘Papillon’ (1973), and ‘Lenny’ (1974). For his performance in ‘Lenny,’ he received his third ‘Oscar’ nomination.

In 1976, he starred in major films like ‘All the President’s Men’ and ‘Marathon Man.’ These movies established him as a seasoned actor. In the ensuing years, he acted in ‘Straight Time’ (1978) and ‘Agatha’ (1979).

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The year 1979 elevated Hoffman’s position in the American film industry when ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ was released. His portrayal of a workaholic father earned him accolades, including his first ‘Academy Award.’

A television movie titled ‘Death of a Salesman’ was released in 1985. It turned out to be another stepping stone in Hoffman’s career. His acting in the movie was critically acclaimed and he won an ‘Emmy’ and ‘Golden Globe’ for his role.

He then appeared in the 1987 comedy movie ‘Ishtar,’ which was a serious failure in Hoffman’s otherwise shining film career. He starred in the movie with Warren Beatty. Although it was a flop, ‘Ishtar’ became a cult film.

Hoffman was appreciated for his portrayal of an autistic savant in the film ‘Rain Man’ in 1988. He prepared for the role for around two years and received his second ‘Oscar’ for his performance.

In the following year, ‘Family Business’ was released in which Hoffman starred alongside actors like Sean Connery and Matthew Broderick. The movie was critically panned but found commercial success on video rentals.

Throughout the ‘90s, he did movies like ‘Dick Tracy’ (1990), ‘Billy Bathgate’ (1991), ‘Hook’ (1991), ‘Outbreak’ (1995), and ‘Sleepers’ (1996). He played the title role of ‘Captain Hook’ in ‘Hook.’ While he starred alongside Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey in ‘Outbreak,’ he shared screen space with Brad Pitt and Robert De Niro in ‘Sleepers.’

1997 proved to be a successful year for Hoffman as he appeared in ‘Mad City’ with John Travolta and ‘Wag the Dog,’ a black comedy, with Robert De Niro. For ‘Wag the Dog,’ he received his seventh ‘Academy Award’ nomination.

In early 2000, he got to perform in movies like ‘Moonlight Mile’ (2002), ‘Confidence’ (2003), ‘Runaway Jury’ (2003), and ‘Finding Neverland’ (2004).

In 2004, Hoffman and Robert De Niro worked together again in ‘Meet the Fockers,’ a sequel to the movie ‘Meet the Parents.’ He won the ‘MTV Movie Award’ for ‘Best Comedic Performance’ for the movie.

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In 2006, he starred alongside actors like Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal in ‘Stranger Than Fiction,’ a comedy-drama fantasy film. In the same year, he also played ‘Giuseppe Baldini’ in ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.’

In 2007, he did an advertising campaign for the Australian telecommunications company Telstra's ‘Next G’ network and then appeared in 50 Cent’s music video ‘Follow My Lead’ as a psychiatrist. He also starred in ‘Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.’

He voiced ‘Master Shifu’ in the animation film ‘Kung Fu Panda’ in 2008. It is said that he was initially reluctant to play the voice role. To his surprise, his voice acting won him the ‘Annie Award’ for ‘Voice Acting in an Animated Feature.’

In 2011, he reprised his role as ‘Shifu’ in the commercially successful film ‘Kung Fu Panda 2.’ Around the same time, he directed ‘Quartet,’ a BBC Films comedy, starring Maggie Smith. The following year, he recorded ‘Being There’ for ‘Audible.com.’

In 2014, he was part of the classic hit ‘Chef’ alongside Jon Favreau. He then starred in movies like ‘Boychoir’ and ‘The Cobbler.’ The following year, he co-starred alongside Judi Dench in the TV movie ‘Roald Dahl's Esio Trot,’ which earned him an ‘International Emmy Award’ for ‘Best Actor.’

In 2016, he reprised his role as ‘Master Shifu’ in ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ and in the short film ‘Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll.’

His 2017 movie ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ premiered at the ‘Cannes Film Festival’ and received widespread critical acclaim. In the film, he starred alongside Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Emma Thompson.

In 2019, he appeared in the Italian thriller ‘L'uomo del labirinto’ (Into the Labyrinth). He was then cast to play ‘Eugene’ in Mayim Bialik’s drama movie ‘As Sick as They Made Us.’ In 2022, he starred as ‘Eugene’ in the American drama film ‘As They Made Us’ written and directed by Mayim Bialik. The film received an 81% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes. That same year, he also portrayed ‘Bill’ in the Darren Le Gallo-directed comedy film ‘Sam & Kate.’ The film had its premiere at the Austin Film Festival.

He will be next seen in the upcoming American epic science fiction drama film ‘Megalopolis.’ He will also appear in the upcoming animated film ‘Kung Fu Panda 4.’

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Major Works

‘The Graduate’ (1967) is still considered to be Hoffman’s major work as it changed his fortunes for good. His portrayal of ‘Benjamin Braddock’ turned out to be a breath of fresh air in the American film industry of the ‘60s.

‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ (1979) was another milestone in his career in Hollywood. He appeared opposite Meryl Streep in the movie, which earned him his first ‘Academy Award.’ The movie was a huge hit and received five ‘Oscars’ in total.

Awards & Achievements

Hoffman is the proud recipient of three BAFTA awards, six ‘Golden Globe Awards,’ including a ‘Cecil B. DeMille Award,’ two ‘Golden Laurel Awards,’ two ‘Academy Awards,’ one ‘New York Film Critics Circle Award,’ four ‘David di Donatello Awards,’ etc.

He won two ‘Academy Awards’ for his performance in 'Kramer vs. Kramer' (1979) and 'Rain Man' (1988).

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1969, Hoffman married Anne Byrne. With Byrne, he had a daughter, Jenna. Byrne already had a daughter named Karina from her previous marriage; Hoffman adopted Karina. They lived together in Greenwich Village but got divorced after staying together for 11 years.

He then married a businesswoman named Lisa Gottsegen in 1980. They have four children together: Jacob Edward, Rebecca Lillian, Maxwell Geoffrey, and Alexandra Lydia.

Facts About Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman is known for his dedication to method acting, often immersing himself fully in his roles. He once stayed up for three days straight to prepare for a role as a sleep-deprived character.

Hoffman is a talented pianist and has been known to play the piano to relax and unwind between filming or theater performances.

Despite his success in Hollywood, Hoffman has always been known for his humility and down-to-earth personality, often taking time to interact with fans and aspiring actors.

Hoffman is an avid environmentalist and has been involved in various conservation efforts throughout his career, advocating for sustainable practices and awareness of environmental issues.

In addition to his acting talents, Hoffman is also a skilled director, having directed several successful films and television episodes.

Dustin Hoffman Movies

1. The Graduate (1967)

  (Comedy, Drama)

2. Papillon (1973)

  (Drama, Biography, Crime)

3. All the President's Men (1976)

  (Biography, History, Thriller, Drama)

4. Rain Man (1988)


5. Midnight Cowboy (1969)


6. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)


7. Little Big Man (1970)

  (Comedy, Western, Drama, Adventure)

8. Marathon Man (1976)

  (Crime, Thriller)

9. Tootsie (1982)

  (Comedy, Drama, Romance)

10. Lenny (1974)

  (Biography, Drama)


Academy Awards(Oscars)
1989 Best Actor in a Leading Role Rain Man (1988)
1980 Best Actor in a Leading Role Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
Golden Globe Awards
1989 Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Rain Man (1988)
1986 Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Death of a Salesman (1985)
1983 Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical Tootsie (1982)
1980 Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
1968 Most Promising Newcomer - Male The Graduate (1967)
Primetime Emmy Awards
1986 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special Death of a Salesman (1985)
BAFTA Awards
1984 Best Actor Tootsie (1982)
1970 Best Actor John and Mary (1969)
1970 Best Actor Midnight Cowboy (1969)
1969 Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles The Graduate (1967)
MTV Movie & TV Awards
2005 Best Comedic Performance Meet the Fockers (2004)
People's Choice Awards
1990 World-Favorite Motion Picture Actor Winner
1989 Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture Actor Winner

See the events in life of Dustin Hoffman in Chronological Order

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