Dustin Hoffman is considered one of the most successful and established actors today. The Academy Award-winning star has been seen on-screen since the 1960s, and his acting skills haven’t faltered at all since the beginning.
With titles like Kramer vs. Kramer, Tootsie, Rain Man, and more under his belt, Dustin has been steadily building his reputation ever since he was first see on the big screen in the 60s.
Born in 1937, Dustin began acting early on, and got his break thirty-years after his birth with the film The Graduate. His performances have gone so far as to revolutionize the movie industry, with many sources saying that his later performance in Rain Man would change the way leading male actors would be portrayed forever.
After he was born in LA to Lillian and Harry Hoffman, Dustin dropped out of college at nineteen. With the goal of pursuing his acting career, Dustin joined the Pasadena Playhouse where he took to the stage and befriended Gene Hackman, another young actor of his time.
It was only a few years later that Dustin and Gene would move to New York City together where they would work for television and off-Broadway plays. Dustin has admitted his struggle for finding parts, saying that the time period called for pretty-faced boys, and he didn’t quite fit the description.
Dustin also admitted that he was considered to be officially under the national poverty line until he was in his early thirties, and his career proves the struggle that many actors face.
Luckily, Dustin powered through the hard times and became what he is today: one of the most acclaimed and successful actors of our time.
Desperately trying to make it in the industry while still paying his bills, the young actor took whatever job he could get, and often took bits of roles and whatever odd jobs he could find. Along with his friend, Gene, Dustin managed to make it through some of the scarcest times of his life.
Dustin said much of his luck sprouted from the fact that he was willing to take small parts, while other actors focused on getting lead roles at the time. By taking little pieces or bits of roles to pay the bills, Dustin soon began to gain momentum, and as his resume filled up with odd jobs and small parts, his acting career began to take off.
It was a slow process, but Dustin’s dedication soon led to a word-of-mouth advertising campaign for Dustin. Talk of his acting skills soon reached Hollywood, and in 1966 Mike Nichols took the chance to get the young actor for his movie The Graduate. Dustin was invited to do a screen test, and his performance was so good he managed to take the part from other big-name actors who auditioned, including Robert Redford and Charles Grodin.
Dustin revealed later on that he was actually stunned to hear that he had gotten the part. While he never doubted his acting, Dustin admitted that he sometimes wondered if he’d ever score a big role in the highly competitive industry of the time.
But, Dustin managed to speed his career forward quickly once the movie premiered, and he soon became known for his role in the now-classic film. Dustin became an unlikely film star for his time, but before making a return to the big screen, Dustin won an Academy Award. He also took the chance to do some acting in a few Broadway productions, from which he earned a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance.
Not too long afterwards, Dustin hit another jackpot with his performance in the movie Midnight Cowboy. Playing the part of Ratso Rizzo (a homeless man in New York), Dustin sometimes joked about the irony, saying he many times thought he would sometimes end up on the streets before his acting career took off. His performance in the film got him an Oscar.
In the 1970s, Dustin was on a roll and acted in more than ten total films. He got three nominations and finally won a well-deserved Oscar after he performed in the 1979 movie Kramer vs. Kramer. The movie later went on to win numerous awards and nominations, along with his co-star Meryl Streep, who Dustin has regularly complimented.
The 80s saw more success for Dustin, and so did the 90s, 2000s, and on until today, with one of his more recent hits being Meet the Fockers. Dustin Hoffman, while it may have seemed unlikely at first, has now become one of the most successful, recognizable, and most acclaimed film stars in the movie industry today.