Dustin Lee Hoffman was born on August 8, 1937, to Lillian (Gold) and Harry Hoffman, who worked for Columbia Pictures as a furniture salesman and prop supervisor. He grew up in a Jewish family (from Ukraine, Russia-Poland, and Romania). Hoffman attended Santa Monica City College after graduating from Los Angeles High School in 1955 but dropped out after a year owing to poor grades. But first, he joined an acting class because “nobody flunks acting,” he was informed. Los Angeles Conservatory of Music provided more training. He chose acting since he did not want to work or serve in the military and received two years of training at The Pasadena Playhouse. We’ll help you celebrate his special day right here.
Dustin Lee Hoffman
August 8, 1937
Dustin Lee Hoffman was born in Los Angeles on August 8, 1937, to Lillian and Harvey Hoffman, a set and furniture designer. He studied music at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and Arts before enrolling at Santa Monica City College in 1955 to pursue a career as a jazz pianist. However, he quickly found himself moving careers to drama, though not because he liked it.
While he only stayed for a year before dropping out, he had caught the acting bug and had his Broadway stage debut as well as his first television appearance in an episode of the series “Naked City” in 1961. He spent the next few years on and off-Broadway in New York, as well as performing some T.V. work until he made his feature acting debut in “The Tiger Makes Out” in 1967. Dustin became an instant legend thanks to his part in “The Graduate,” which permanently changed the notion of a Hollywood leading man. In addition to his $17,000 compensation, he received his first Oscar nomination, a remarkable achievement for a man who previously refused to even audition for a leading role.
Dustin refused to succumb to the pressures of being a handsome boy and went on to give some of the most lauded performances in film history. In 1969, he received his second Best Actor nomination for his part in the Sixties hustler classic, “Midnight Cowboy.” During the 1970s, he was nominated twice for Best Actor, once for 1974’s “Lenny” and once for 1979’s “Kramer Vs Kramer.” He was nominated for “Tootsie” again in 1982, during which he spent the majority of his time costumed as a woman. Dustin delivered a new project every year in the second half of the 1980s, including his self-produced T.V. adaptation of “Death Of A Salesman” in 1985, which earned him an acting Emmy, and the 1987 flop “Ishtar,” co-starring Warren Beatty. He rebounded the next year, earning his second Best Actor Academy Award for “Rain Man” in 1988. He featured opposite pal Warren Beatty in “Dick Tracy” at the start of the 1990s, and since then has played everything from an Army Colonel fighting a virus in “Outbreak” to The Conscience in “Joan Of Arc.” For the sixth time, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on “Wag The Dog” in 1997.
Dustin has earned names other than Oscar winners throughout his incredible career, including perfectionist, driven, and the ever-present “difficult to deal with,” but he is unfazed. However, the actor’s life does not revolve around the movie set. He is the father of six children and is very much a family man. Two are from his first marriage in 1969 to ballerina Anne Byrne, with whom he spent ten years (and with whom he adopted Anne’s daughter Karina), and four are from his current marriage to Lisa Gottsegen, with whom he has been married since 1980.
He has a couple of opportunities to participate in Off-Broadway productions throughout the 1960s while also studying method acting at Actors Studio.
He appears in his first theatrical movie, “The Tigers Make Out,” and directs the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre plays, “Two for the Seesaw” and “The Time of Your Life.”
Even though Hoffman's career has taken off in Hollywood, he returns to Broadway in 1968 to play Jimmy Shine and is awarded a Drama Desk Award for it.
His second major film, “Little Big Man,” is widely regarded as an unusual, anti-establishment film at the time.
Hoffman's portrayal of an autistic savant in the 1988 film “Rain Man” is another major role in his career, winning him his second Oscar Award.
He stars as a psychiatrist in the 50 Cent video "Follow My Lead" as part of an advertising campaign for Telstra's Next G network in Australia.
Why We Love Dustin Hoffman
Utmost dedication and sincerity for his work
Hoffman spent two years befriending autistic persons in preparation for his portrayal as Raymond Babbitt in “Rain Man,” including joining them in activities such as ten-pin bowling. We love to see such dedication to a craft.
He quietly faced throat cancer in 2013
While some celebrities use their cancer diagnosis to raise awareness, others prefer to face it alone. This is a deeply personal choice that should be honored. Hoffman kept his illness a secret, but his publicist Jodi Gottlieb informed “People Magazine” in 2013 that it was identified early and he has been surgically cured.
His service towards the community
Dustin Hoffman saved a man who suffered a heart attack while jogging in London's Hyde Park. He gave information to paramedics who successfully performed resuscitations.
5 Surprising Facts
Pursued side jobs before his breakthrough
Hoffman worked in a psychiatric hospital, as a sales assistant in Macy's toy department, and as a weaver of Hawaiian garlands, among other odd jobs.
He wanted to be a classical pianist
Hoffman learned to play the piano as a child and once aspired to be a classical pianist.
“The Guinness Book of World Records”
For his role in “Little Big Man,” in which he portrayed a man aged 17 to 121, he was inducted into the “Guinness Book of World Records” as "Greatest Age Span Portrayed By A Movie Actor."
Missed a great acting opportunity
He expressed an interest in playing Shylock in Michael Radford's version of William Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice," however, Al Pacino had already been cast for the role by the time he called Radford.
Acing obstacles one role at a time
He lost the tip of a finger during filming “Finding Neverland” and had to shoot one day on morphine.
Dustin Hoffman FAQs
Does Dustin Hoffman have siblings?
Yes. He has one sibling, Ronald Hoffman.
Does Dustin Hoffman have kids?
Yes. Alexandra Hoffman, Jake Hoffman, Jenna Byrne, Karina Hoffman-Birkhead, Max Hoffman, and Rebecca Hoffman are his children.
Where did Dustin Hoffman study?
Dustin Hoffman attended the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles High School, and Santa Monica College in Los Angeles, California (dropped out in 1956).
Dustin Hoffman’s birthday dates