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Now celebrated as one of the greatest actors of all time, Dustin Hoffman did not have a smooth start to life as an actor as his looks did not match the expected profile of someone that was supposed to be viewed by millions of people, either on stage or on screen at the time.
But as things would pan out, Hoffman’s talents were what spoke for him and despite his journey to the top taking much longer than expected, he was able to go ahead and win the hearts of millions, including that of his doubters and critics who have all gone ahead to sing his praise, thanks to performances in films like Midnight Cowboy (1969), Little Big Man (1970), Marathon Man (1976), All the President’s Men (1976), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Tootsie (1982), and Rain Man (1988) among others.
Dustin Hoffman – Bio (Age)
On August 8, 1937, in Los Angeles, California, Dustin Lee Hoffman was born to Lillian (nee Gold) and Harry Hoffman. Not much is known about his mother, unlike his father who was known to have worked as a set decorator and prop supervisor at Columbia Pictures before becoming a furniture salesman. He has an older brother named Ronald.
Hoffman’s parents, who were Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from Kiev, Russian Empire, and Iași, Romania, raised their children in a non-religious way. He attended Los Angeles High School, graduating in 1955 before enrolling at Santa Monica College to study medicine. He, however, ended up spending only just a year in school before dropping out to pursue his acting ambitions by first joining the Pasadena Playhouse and then the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York.
As an aspiring actor, Dustin Hoffman struggled to find work. While he was able to land the occasional commercial and bit part roles in a television series, he was unable to make ends meet. This meant that he had to take a teaching job as well as do other odd jobs to survive. By 1960, things began to look up for the actor as he was cast in an off-Broadway production. He later bagged a walk-on role in a Broadway production the following year and was able to land further appearances in television shows such as Naked City, The Defenders and Hallmark Hall of Fame.
Hoffman’s first critical performance came in the 1966 Broadway play Eh? at the Circle in the Square Downtown. The following year, he made his film acting debut in The Tiger Makes Out (1967) before putting in an Academy Award-nominated performance in The Graduate (1967). Much to the surprise of his growing fans, Hoffman declined numerous acting movie roles following The Graduate in order to return to stage acting. This seemed to have paid off as he went on to appear in the musical Jimmy Shine, where his performance earned him a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance.
In 1969, following criticism that he did not have acting range, Dustin Hoffman played the lead role in Midnight Cowboy (1969) and starred alongside Mia Farrow in John and Mary (1969). He put his critics to rest as he received his second Academy Award nomination for Midnight Cowboy while the film won Best Picture. He further received a BAFTA Award as Best Actor for John and Mary as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor which helped cement him as an A-list actor.
Dustin Hoffman, who caught his big break following his portrayal of the character Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate (1967), is estimated to have a net worth of around $50 million. He has been able to make bank by putting in award-winning performances in all the numerous roles he has played, and by also working as a director, television and film producer, as well as a voice actor.
Family – Wife, Children
Dustin Hoffman has been married twice. His first marriage was to Anne Byrne in May 1969. Together, the couple welcomed a daughter named Jenna, born on October 15, 1970. He also adopted Byrne’s daughter Katrina from a previous relationship. Things remained very good for the couple for about 10 years before there were rumblings of an unhappy home. By 1980, both parties decided they had had enough and parted ways by getting a divorce.
It did not seem to take long for Hoffman to fall in love again as he went on to marry businesswoman Lisa Gottsegen, the founder, and president of Lisa Hoffman Beauty, in October 1980, the same year he and his ex-wife got a divorce. The couple went on to have four children; sons Jacob Edward and Maxwell Geoffrey, and daughters Rebecca Lillian and Alexandra Lydia.
Not much is known about his children except his first son Jacob, popularly known as Jake, who is also in the film business like his father. Jake, who is a graduate of NYU Film School, has directed a number of music videos and short films and appeared in films like Click (2006) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
Often listed among the greatest short Hollywood actors, Dustin Hoffman’s height is not his greatest asset. He is shorter than the average American man as he stands at a height of 5 feet 6 inches (170 cm). He further weighs about 81 kg (178 pounds).