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Definition: Hoffman, Dustin from Philip's Encyclopedia

US film actor. Hoffman's debut performance in The Graduate (1967), earned him an Academy nomination for best actor. A dedicated character actor, he won further nominations for his roles as a derelict in Midnight Cowboy (1969) and as comedian Lenny Bruce in Lenny (1974). He finally won a best actor Oscar for Kramer vs Kramer (1979). After a startling performance in Tootsie (1982), he won a second best actor award for Rain Man (1988).

Summary Article: Hoffman, Dustin Lee
From Chambers Biographical Dictionary


♦ US actor

Born in Los Angeles, he studied music at the Santa Monica City College, and acting at the Pasadena Playhouse (1956-58), before beginning a career on stage and television in New York, interspersed with a variety of odd jobs. He made his Broadway debut in A Cook for Mr. General (1961) and achieved recognition with his performance in Journey of the Fifth Horse (1966). Following a modest film debut in The Tiger Makes Out (1967), he received an Academy Award nomination for his first leading role in The Graduate (1967). Similar anti-hero roles followed in Midnight Cowboy (1969), Little Big Man (1970) and Marathon Man (1976). A notorious perfectionist, he has displayed his versatility in such films as All The President's Men (1976), Kramer vs Kramer (1979, Academy Award), Tootsie (1982), Rain Man (1988, Academy Award), Hook (1991) and Sleepers (1996). He returned to Broadway in Death of a Salesman (1984), winning an Emmy Award for the same role on television the following year. He tackled his first Shakespearean role on the London stage as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1989). Later films include Wag the Dog (1997), I Heart Huckabees (2004) and Meet the Fockers (2004).

© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

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