US actor and director. He was acclaimed for both his stage and film performances, becoming known especially for his roles as eccentrics and villains. He won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Actor for his title role in the biopic Capote, about US writer Truman Capote (2005), and critical acclaim for many supporting roles, including Mike Nichols's political drama Charlie Wilson's War (2007), as a priest in Doubt (2008), and as the leader of a religious movement in The Master (2012).
After a series of minor roles in indie films during the early 1990s, Hoffman took strong supporting roles in Paul Thomas Anderson's edgy dramas Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1999). His other supporting roles include the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski (1998), Anthony Minghella's crime thriller The Talented Mr Ripley (1999), and Cameron Crowe's autobiographical drama Almost Famous (2000). He took starring roles in David Mamet's comedy State and Main (2000), Tamara Jenkins' indie drama The Savages (2007), Sidney Lumet's final film Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007), and Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut Synecdoche, New York (2008). Hoffman appeared on and off Broadway in a number of theatre productions and received Tony nominations for his performances in Sam Shepard's True West (2000), Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night (2003), and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (2012). He was the co-artistic director of the LAByrinth Theater Company in New York.
Hoffman was born in Fairport, New York, and trained at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 1989. His feature-film debut was in the indie film Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole (1991).