Sam etic

Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937) is a two-time Academy Award-, six-time Golden Globe-, three-time BAFTA- and Emmy Award-winning American actor.

Early life

Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Lillian (née Gold), a jazz pianist, and Harry Hoffman, who worked as a prop supervisor/set decorator at Columbia Pictures before becoming a furniture salesman. His brother, Ronald, is a lawyer and economist. Hoffman's family was Jewish, although he did not have a religious upbringing.He graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955.


Early career

Hoffman began acting at the Pasadena Playhouse with fellow actor Gene Hackman. After two years at the playhouse, Hackman headed for New York City and Hoffman soon followed. He worked a series of odd jobs, including coat checking at restaurants, working in the typing department of the city Yellow Pages directory, and stringing Hawaiian leis, while getting the occasional bit television role. To support himself, he left acting briefly to teach. He worked as a professional fragrance tester for Maxwell House. He also did the occasional television commercial. An often-replayed segment on programs that explore actors' early work is a clip showing Hoffman touting the Volkswagen Fastback.

In 1960, Hoffman landed a role in an off-Broadway production and followed with a walk-on role in a Broadway production in 1961. Hoffman then studied at the famed Actors Studio and became a dedicated method actor.

Through the early and mid-1960s, Hoffman made appearances in television shows and movies, including Naked City, The Defenders and Hallmark Hall of Fame. Hoffman made his theatrical film debut in The Tiger Makes Out in 1967, alongside Eli Wallach.

Between acting jobs, Hoffman also made ends meet by teaching acting at a community college night school, and by directing off-broadway and community theater productions. In 1967, immediately after wrapping up principal filming on The Tiger Makes Out, Hoffman flew from New York City to Fargo, North Dakota, where he directed a production of William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life for the Emma Herbst Community Theatre. The $1,000 he received for the eight-week contract was all he had to hold him over until the funds from the movie materialized.

Major Roles

In 1966, Mike Nichols began casting The Graduate. Negotiations with Warren Beatty and Robert Redford fell through, and Hoffman auditioned for the role. Before Hoffman, Charles Grodin had also been in consideration for the role but, according to one anecdote, refused to work for the amount offered. Hoffman had been set to play the role of Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind in Mel Brooks' 1968 movie The Producers, but dropped out when he landed the role of Benjamin Braddock, opposite Anne Bancroft. The film began production in March 1967. Hoffman received an Academy Award nomination for his performance. After the success of this film, another Hoffman film, Madigan's Millions, shot before The Graduate, was released on the tail of the actor's newfound success. It was considered a failure at the box office.

Hoffman's next role was Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy. Hoffman received his second Oscar nomination for Midnight Cowboy, while the film won the Best Picture honor. This was followed by his role in Little Big Man, where he played Jack Crabb, who ages from teenager to a 121-year-old man in the film. The film was widely praised by critics, but was overlooked for an award except for a supporting nomination for Chief Dan George.

Hoffman continued to appear in major films over the next few years. Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?, Straw Dogs, and Papillon were followed by Lenny in 1974, for which Hoffman received his third nomination for Best Actor in seven years.

Less than two years after the Watergate scandal, Hoffman and Robert Redford starred as Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, respectively, in All the President's Men. Hoffman next starred in Marathon Man, a film based on William Goldman's novel of the same name, opposite Laurence Olivier.

Hoffman's next roles were not as successful. He opted out of directing Straight Time but starred as a thief. His next film, Michael Apted's Agatha, was opposite Vanessa Redgrave starring as Agatha Christie.

Hoffman's next starred in Robert Benton's Kramer vs. Kramer as workaholic Ted Kramer whose wife unexpectedly leaves him and he must raise their son alone. Hoffman starred alongside Meryl Streep in the film, which earned Hoffman his first Academy Award. The film also received the Best Picture honor, as well as Supporting Actress (Streep) and Director.

In Tootsie, Hoffman portrays Michael Dorsey, a struggling actor who finds himself dressing up as a woman to land a role on a soap opera. His co-star was Jessica Lange. Tootsie earned ten Academy Award nominations, including Hoffman's fifth nomination.

Hoffman then turned to television in the role of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, for which he won the 1985 Emmy Award for Outstanding lead actor in a TV movie or miniseries. He would also go on to win a Golden Globe for the same performance.

Hoffman's largest film failure was Elaine May's Ishtar, with Warren Beatty. The film received almost completely negative reviews from critics and was nominated for three Razzie awards. James House, who later became a country music artist, served as Hoffman's vocal coach in the film.

In director Barry Levinson's Rain Man, Hoffman starred an autistic savant, opposite Tom Cruise. Levinson, Hoffman and Cruise worked for two years on the film, His performance garnered Hoffman his second Academy Award. Upon accepting, Hoffman stated softly to his fellow nominees that it was okay if they didn't vote for him because "I didn't vote for you guys either."

After Rain Man, Hoffman appeared with Sean Connery and Matthew Broderick in Family Business. The film did relatively poorly with the critics and at the box office. In 1991, Hoffman voiced substitute teacher Mr. Bergstrom in the Simpsons episode "Lisa's Substitute", under the pseudonym Sam Etic (as a reference to this episode, on the episode portraying the Itchy & Scratchy movie, Lisa says that Dustin Hoffman has a cameo but doesn't use his real name).

Throughout the 1990s, Hoffman appeared in many large, studio films, such as Dick Tracy, Hero and the ill-fated Billy Bathgate. Hoffman also played the title role of Captain Hook in Steven Spielberg's Hook, earning a Golden Globe nomination; in this movie, Hoffman's costume was so heavy that he had to wear an air-conditioned suit under it. Hoffman played the lead role in Outbreak, alongside Rene Russo, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Donald Sutherland. Following that, he appeared in Sleepers with Brad Pitt, Jason Patric, and Kevin Bacon . He starred opposite John Travolta in the Costa Gavras vehicle Mad City.

It was in the mid-1990s that Hoffman starred in — and was deeply involved in the production of — David Mamet's American Buffalo, one of the very few "pure art projects" he is known for, and an early effort of film editor Kate Sanford.

Hoffman gained his seventh Academy Award nomination for his role in Wag The Dog. He next appeared in Barry Levinson's adaptation of Sphere, opposite Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Coyote, Queen Latifah and Liev Schreiber.

Hoffman next appeared in Moonlight Mile, followed by Confidence opposite Edward Burns, Andy Garcia and Rachel Weisz. Hoffman would finally have a chance to work with Gene Hackman, in Gary Fleder's Runaway Jury, an adaptation of John Grisham's bestselling novel.

More recently, Hoffman played theater owner Charles Frohman in the J.M. Barrie biopic Finding Neverland, costarring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. In director David O. Russell's I Heart Huckabees, Hoffman appeared opposite Lily Tomlin as an existential detective team.

Hoffman co-starred with Barbra Streisand, Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in 2004's Meet the Fockers, the sequel to Meet the Parents. Hoffman won the 2005 MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance. Also, Hoffman recently was featured in cameo roles in Andy Garcia's The Lost City and on the final episode of HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm's fifth season.

In 2006, Hoffman appeared in Stranger than Fiction, played the perfumer Giuseppe Baldini in Tom Tykwer's film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, and had a small cameo in the 2006 film, The Holiday.

In 2007 he was featured in an advertising campaign for Australian telecommunications company Telstra's Next G network., appeared in the 50 Cent video "Follow My Lead" as a psychiatrist, and played the title character in the family film Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. In 2008, although he was reluctant to perform in an animated film, Hoffman had a prominent role in the acclaimed film, Kung Fu Panda which was praised in part for his comedic chemistry with Jack Black and his character's complex relationship with the story's villain.

Personal life

Hoffman married Anne Byrne in May 1969. The couple had two children, Karina and Jenna. They divorced in 1980. His second marriage to attorney Lisa Gottsegen in October 1980, produced four more children, Jacob, Maxwell, Rebecca and Alexandra. Hoffman also has two grandchildren. In an interview, he said that all of his children have had bar or bat mitzvahs and that he is a more observant Jew now than when he was younger, but also lamented that he is not fluent in Hebrew.

A political liberal, Hoffman has long supported the Democratic Party and Ralph Nader.

Robert Duvall was a roommate of Hoffman's during their struggling actor years in New York City. Duvall and Hoffman tease each other on the matter of acting training, as Duvall was trained by Sanford Meisner whereas Hoffman was brought up on Lee Strasberg's method acting. Hoffman is good friends with actor Gene Hackman, who was also friends with Duvall during their years as starving actors.

In 1974, Hoffman on a talk show stated that the Oscars were "obscene, dirty and no better than a beauty contest." When presenting an award at that year's Oscar ceremonies, Frank Sinatra responded strongly: "And contrary to what Mr. Hoffman thinks, it is not an obscene evening. It is not garish and it is not embarrassing".

Filmography and awards

Year Film Role Other notes
1967 The Tiger Makes Out Hap
The Graduate Benjamin Braddock BAFTA Award; Golden Globe;
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor
1968 Madigan's Millions Jason Fister
1969 Sunday Father A 'Sunday Father' short subject
Midnight Cowboy 'Ratso' Rizzo BAFTA Award; Nominated - Golden Globe;
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor
John and Mary John BAFTA Award (combined with Midnight Cowboy)
Nominated - Golden Globe
1970 Little Big Man Jack Crabb Nominated - BAFTA Award
1971 On Location: Dustin Hoffman Himself short subject
Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? Georgie Soloway
Straw Dogs David Sumner
1972 Alfredo, Alfredo Alfredo Sbisà
1973 Papillon Louis Dega
1974 Lenny Lenny Bruce Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor;
Nominated - Golden Globe
1976 The Magic of Hollywood... Is the Magic of People Himself short subject
All the President's Men Carl Bernstein Nominated - BAFTA Award (with Marathon Man)
Marathon Man Babe Levy Nominated - BAFTA Award (with All the President's Men)
Nominated - Golden Globe
1978 Straight Time Max Dembo also producer
1979 Agatha Wally Stanton
Kramer vs. Kramer Ted Kramer Academy Award for Best Actor; Golden Globe;
Nominated - BAFTA Award
1982 Tootsie Michael Dorsey / Dorothy Michaels BAFTA Award; Golden Globe;
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor
1985 Death of a Salesman Willy Loman Emmy Award; Golden Globe
1986 Private Conversations Himself documentary
1987 Ishtar Chuck Clarke
1988 Rain Man Raymond Babbitt Academy Award for Best Actor; Golden Globe;
Nominated - BAFTA Award
1989 Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt Narrator documentary
Family Business Vito McMullen
1990 Dick Tracy Mumbles
1991 Billy Bathgate Dutch Schultz
Hook Capt. Hook Nominated - Golden Globe
1992 Hero Bernard 'Bernie' Laplante
1992 Horton Hears a Who! Narrator
1993 La Classe américaine Peter in archive footage only
1994 Jonas in the Desert Himself documentary
1995 Outbreak Colonel Sam Daniels
1996 American Buffalo Walt 'Teach' Teacher
Sleepers Danny Snyder
1997 Golden Globes - Cecil B. DeMille Award
Mad City Max Brackett
Wag the Dog Stanley Motss Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actor;
Nominated - Golden Globe
1998 Sphere Dr. Norman Goodman
1999 The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc The Conscience
2001 Tuesday Narrator short subject
Goldwyn Narrator documentary
2002 Moonlight Mile Ben Floss
2003 The Shakespeare Sessions Himself documentary
Confidence Winston King
Runaway Jury Wendell Rohr
2004 Freedom2speak v2.0 Himself - Actor, USA documentary
Finding Neverland Charles Frohman
I ♥ Huckabees Bernard
Meet the Fockers Bernie Focker
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events The Critic uncredited
2005 Racing Stripes Tucker voice
The Lost City Meyer Lansky
2006 Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Giuseppe Baldini
Stranger than Fiction Professor Jules Hilbert
The Holiday Himself uncredited
2007 Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium Mr. Edward Magorium, Avid Shoe-Wearer
2008 Kung Fu Panda Shifu (voice)
The Tale of Despereaux Roscuro (voice) post-production
Last Chance Harvey TBA post-production
2010 Kung Fu Panda 2 Shifu (voice) pre-production


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