Happy Birthday to Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman was born at Los Angeles, California on this day in 1937. He graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955 and enrolled at Santa Monica College. After a year he left to join the Pasadena Playhouse for two years. He moved to New York City where he lived with Gene Hackman, who had jumped from Pasadena Playhouse to the Big Apple shortly before. He worked odd jobs, occasional TV and stage roles and TV commercials before his first successful stage role in 1966. He had a part in Mel Brooks' 1968 production of "The Producers", but backed out of it when offered the part of Ben Braddock in "The Graduate", playing opposite Mel Brooks' wife Anne Bancroft. He received an Oscar nomination for that role, and another the following year as ‘Ratso’ in "Midnight Cowboy". He acted in sixty films since, winning two Academy Awards, and six Golden Globes.

I remember the first time I saw ‘The Graduate’ – I, like so many of my friends at the time would have given my eye teeth to be in Ben Braddock’s shoes [:)]

Here are some of his more memorable quotes:

“I envy people who can just look at a sunset. I wonder how you can shoot it. There is nothing more grotesque to me than a vacation.”

“I don't like the fact that I have to get older so fast, but I like the fact that I'm aging so well.”

“I got into acting so that I could meet girls. Pretty girls came later. First, I wanted to start off with someone with two legs, who'd smile at me and look soft.”

“I like to mimic my grandkids. I'm trying to understand the intensity of fixation on a leaf. Kids don't need anything else in their life.”

“One thing about being successful is that I stopped being afraid of dying. Once you're a star you're dead already. You're embalmed.”

“Life stinks, but that doesn't mean you don't enjoy it.”

     All from Dustin Hoffman

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James A. Restucci is the author of this blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Internal License.

2 Responses to Happy Birthday to Dustin Hoffman

  1. Libby says:

    When I first saw “The Graduate” way back when, I didn’t understand it [DUH!]. My all time favorite performance by Dustin Hoffman was in “Rainman”.

  2. TVNews says:

    Uh-oh… Time for Wapner.