Happy Birthday Dustin Hoffman

Quintessential character actor Dustin Hoffman is 79 today. He is most known for his star-making turn as Benjamin Braddock in Mike Nichols’ 1967 classic The Graduate, his gender-bending dual roles as Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie (one of the most celebrated comedies of all time), as well as his Academy Award winning turn as an autistic savant in Rain Man. He began working in 1960, and has been a constant presence ever since.

Hoffman was born on Aug. 8, 1937 in Los Angeles. He originally planned to study classical music or medicine, but he had the calling to be an actor.  It has been written that upon telling his family that he wanted to become an actor, his aunt said, “You can’t be an actor. You are not good looking enough.”

He quickly proved them wrong.

Hoffman studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actor’s Studio in NYC where he roomed with fellow actors Robert Duvall and Gene Hackman. While he has had some notable roles in theater and television, he is more known for his film work.

He also starred in Midnight Cowboy, Little Big Man, Straw Dogs, Papillon, Lenny, Marathon Man, All the President’s Men, Kramer vs. Kramer, Ishtar, Hook, Dick Tracy, Outbreak, Wag the DogMeet the Fockers and its sequel Little Fockers. Hoffman made his directorial debut with Quartet in 2012.

He earned his first Oscar in 1980 for his role opposite Meryl Streep in Kramer vs Kramer. He has been nominated and won several Academy Awards, Golden Globes and in 1985 an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for his role in Death of a Salesman.

In 2012, he received both the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1999 and the Kennedy Center Honors Award.

Hoffman has been married twice and he has two children from his first marriage as well as four from his current marriage to Lisa Gottsegen. He also has two grandchildren.

Happy Birthday Dustin Hoffman!

Please enjoy this video of his notable role in The Graduate:

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.