Dustin Hoffman is an American actor, film director and producer, who has had a successful career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He was known as a key figure in the “Hollywood Renaissance” of the 1960s.
Hoffman played “Ratso” Rizzo in John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy, which won an Academy Award for best picture of 1969. Thrice previously nominated for the Oscar, Hoffman finally won a best actor award for his sympathetic portrayal of a divorced single father in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and earned another nomination for Tootsie (1982). In director Barry Levinson's Rain Man (1988), Hoffman starred as an autistic savant, opposite Tom Cruise. Levinson, Hoffman and Cruise worked for two years on the film, and his performance garnered Hoffman his second Academy Award.
Respected for his talent and versatility, Hoffman has won two Academy Awards, six Golden Globes, four BAFTAs (The British Academy of Film and Television Arts) , three Drama Desk Awards, and an Emmy Award. Dustin Hoffman received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1999.
First Major Film: The Graduate (1967).
He was born in Los Angeles, California, the second and youngest son of Lillian (née Gold) and Harry Hoffman, a Russian-born father who worked as a prop supervisor and set decorator at Columbia Pictures before becoming a furniture salesman.
His mother was a former jazz pianist and set Dustin up with a piano and a teacher from the age of five. Hoffman is from a Jewish family, although he did not have a religious upbringing.
Hoffman began acting at the Pasadena Playhouse with Gene Hackman. Later they moved to New York City, where Dustin worked a series of odd jobs, while getting the occasional bit television role.
Only in 1960 he won a role in the off-Broadway production. Dustin Hoffman has been a celebrity since he was seduced by Anne Bancroft in The Graduate in 1967.
Since then Hoffman's career has largely been focused in cinema with only sporadic returns to television and the stage.
He briefly shared an apartment with another unknown actor, Gene Hackman. After two years at the playhouse, Hackman headed for New York City, and Hoffman soon followed.
Hoffman married Anne Byrne in May 1969. The couple had two children, Karina (b. 1966) and Jenna (b. 15 October 1970). The couple divorced in 1980.
He married attorney Lisa Gottsegen in October 1980. They have four children — Jacob Edward (b. 20 March 1981), Rebecca (b. 17 March 1983), Maxwell Geoffrey (b. 30 August 1984), and Alexandra Lydia (b. 27 October 1987).
Hoffman also has two grandchildren.