Dustin Hoffman is an American actor, known for his diverse acting range and frequent portrayals of offbeat, eccentric characters in films such as Papillon, Marathon Man, Midnight Cowboy, Little Big Man, Lenny, All the President's Men, Kramer vs. Kramer, Tootsie, Rain Man and Wag the Dog.
A two-time Academy Award winner and seven-time nominee whose arrival in Hollywood helped usher in a new and revitalized approach to filmmaking, Hoffman continues to add singular performances to a career rich with characters that have obliterated the line previously dividing the archetypes of "character actor" and "leading man."
Hoffman caught the world's attention for his role as Benjamin Braddock in Mike Nichol's Academy Award nominated film, The Graduate.
Since then, he has been nominated for six more Academy Awards for diverse films such as Midnight Cowboy, Lenny, Tootsie (a film he also produced through his company, Punch Productions) and Wag the Dog.
Hoffman won the Oscar in 1979 for his role in Kramer Vs. Kramer and again in 1988 for Rain Man. In 1997, he was awarded the Golden Globe's esteemed Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Hoffman made his directorial debut film Quartet based on Ronald Harwood's stage play of the same name. The film stars Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Sheridan Smith and Michael Gambon. The film is produced by Finola Dwyer and Stewart Mackinnon who together with his partner Mark Shivas originally developed the film with BBC Films.
He also starred in Michael Mann's and David Milch's horseracing drama Luck, for HBO. Hoffman plays Ace Bernstein, an intelligent, intuitive gambler who has just been released from prison. Bernstein teams with Gus Economou (Dennis Farina), his longtime chauffeur and muscle, to craft a complex plan involving the track. Hoffman also served as a producer on the series.
Hoffman reprised his role as Bernie Focker in Little Fockers starring opposite Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro and Barbara Streisand. The film was released by Universal on December 22, 2010.
Barney's Version, an independent feature film directed by Richard J. Lewis, has Dustin starring opposite Paul Giamatti as a retired cop and father whose son has led a reckless life and becomes the "person of interest" in the mysterious disappearance of his friend.
Barney's Version premiered at the 2010 Venice Film Festival and was released by Sony Pictures Classics.
Hoffman starred in Last Chance Harvey, a love story set in London, written and directed by Joel Hopkins, and co-starring Emma Thompson. He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical category for his role.
Hoffman lent his voice to the box office hit, Kung Fu Panda. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Animated Feature Film of the Year and Hoffman received the Annie Award for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production. He also voiced the character of Shifu in Kung Fu Panda 2.
Other film credits include The Tale of Despereaux, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Stranger Than Fiction, Perfume, Meet the Fockers, Finding Neverland, I Heart Huckabee's, The Lost City, Racing Stripes, Runaway Jury, Little Big Man, Straw Dogs, Papillon, All the President's Men, Marathon Man, Straight Time, Agatha, Ishtar, Dick Tracy, Billy Bathgate, Mad City, Hero, Sleepers, Sphere, American Buffalo, Hook and Outbreak.
On stage, Hoffman has had an equally impressive career. His first stage role was in the Sarah Lawrence College production of Gertrude Stein's Yes Is for a Very Young Man.
This performance led to several roles Off Broadway, such as Journey of the Fifth Horse, for which he won the Obie, and Eh?, for which he won the Drama Desk Award for Best Actor. His success on stage caught the attention of Mike Nichols, who cast him in The Graduate.
In 1969, Hoffman made his Broadway debut in Murray Schisgal's Jimmy Shine. In 1974, he made his Broadway directorial debut with Schisgal's All Over Town.
In 1984, Hoffman garnered a Drama Desk Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Willy Loman in the Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman which he also produced. In addition to starring in the Broadway production, a special presentation aired on television and Hoffman won the Emmy Award.
Additionally, Hoffman received a Tony Award Nomination for his role as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, which he reprised from his long run on the London Stage.
As a producer, Hoffman produced Tony Goldwyn's feature film A Walk on the Moon starring Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Liev Schreiber and Anna Paquin. He executive produced The Devil's Arithmetic, which won two Emmy Awards.
Hoffman was born in Los Angeles and attended Santa Monica Community College. He later studied at the Pasadena Playhouse before moving to New York to study with Lee Strasberg.
He serves as the chair of the Artistic Advisory Board for the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage Theater, which opened on September 20, 2008. This intimate 499-seat state-of-the-art theatre provides a much-needed performance facility for Santa Monica College and the surrounding community.
Hoffman was awarded the Honorary César Medal at the 2009 César Awards.