American film, television, and theater actor Dustin Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California on August 8, 1937. Most known for his portrayal of vulnerable characters and antiheroes, Dustin Hoffman practices method acting to properly get into many of his roles. By definition, method actors fully immerse themselves during role preparation, adopting the thoughts and feelings of their characters to give a true-to-life performance.
In 1955, Dustin Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School and registered at Santa Monica College to study medicine. Hoffman dropped out of school after one year to join the Pasadena Playhouse alongside a young and unknown Gene Hackman. The two became fast friends and ended up moving out to New York City together in search of acting jobs.
After working in a few off-Broadway and Broadway productions, Hoffman’s breakthrough film role occurred in 1967 as Ben Braddock in The Graduate. Always self-conscious for not having the typical Hollywood blonde-haired, blue-eyed looks, Hoffman helped pave the way for a different type of leading man.
Hoffman went on to star in many more critically acclaimed films, such as: All the President’s Men (1976), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Tootsie (1982), Rain Man (1988), Hook (1991), I Heart Huckabees (2004), and Stranger than Fiction (2006). He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning two, and 13 Golden Globes, winning six, among other accolades. Dustin Hoffman continues to act and recently made his directing debut in 2012 with Quartet, starring Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay.
Happy Birthday, Dustin Hoffman!