Dustin Hoffman lost his virginity when he was 15 years old after his brother, Ronny, threw a party. The girl he slept with thought he was Ronnie.
While having dinner with Paul McCartney, Dustin told the story of the death of Pablo Picasso and his famous last words, "Drink to me, drink to my health. You know I can't drink anymore." Paul had a guitar with him and immediately played an impromptu chord progression while singing the quote. Thus, Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me), one of the highlights of the Band On The Run album, was made.
Apparently, Hoffman's screen test for The Graduate consisted of him fumbling his lines and awkwardly trying to grab Katharine Ross's behind, which angered her. As he left thinking he didn't get the role, his awkwardness was just what director Mike Nichols needed for Benjamin Braddock.
In Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft's first encounter in the hotel room (a scene from The Graduate), Anne did not know that Dustin was going to grab her breast. Dustin decided offscreen to do it, because it reminded him of schoolboys trying to nonchalantly grab girls' breasts in the hall by pretending to put their jackets on. When he did it onscreen, director Mike Nichols began laughing loudly offscreen. Dustin began to laugh as well, so rather than stop the scene, he turned away from the camera and walked to the wall. Dustin banged his head on the wall, trying to stop laughing, and Nichols thought it was so funny, he left it in.
Tootsie's crew would only give bad news to Dustin if he was in drag. They said he was "much nicer as a woman".
He is one of the main supporters and contributors to the Santa Monica College Madison Theatre in Santa Monica, CA.
The bathroom scene in Gary Fleder's Runaway Jury (2003), where Roar confronts Finch is the first ever dialog in a movie between him and Gene Hackman. It was added when someone on the crew found out that the two, though they had been friends for 50 years, had never starred in a movie together.
Before Dustin Hoffman auditioned for Midnight Cowboy, he knew that his all-American image could easily cost him the job. To prove he could do it, he asked the auditioning film executive to meet him on a street corner in Manhattan, and in the meantime, dressed himself in filthy rags. The executive arrived at the appointed corner and waited, barely noticing the "beggar" less than ten feet away who was accosting people for spare change. At last, the beggar walked up to him and revealed his true identity, getting the part.
I'm walkin' here!, the famous line he says in Midnight Cowboy reached #27 on AFI's 100 years... 100 movie quotes.
In 1993 he, together with Anne Bancroft, accepted the Oscar for "Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium", on behalf of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who wasn't present at the awards ceremony.
In Rain Man (1988), Dustin said his character in the film was the hardest role to get right. It was tough to deviate from the script because he had such simple lines. He was actually angry at himself at one point for his own shortcomings while in production.
For Midnight Cowboy (1969), Dustin had to do the classic "Hey! What'sa matter, I'm walking here!" scene with the taxi 13 times, in which he was practically hit on several occasions.
In April of 2005 he was the recipient of a Lincoln Center tribute.
As of 2008, he and Philip Seymour Hoffman are the only two winners of best actor in a leading role at the Oscars to share a last name. Philip won for Bennett Miller's Capote and Dustin won for Robert Benton's Kramer vs. Kramer and Barry Levinson's Rain Man.
He's active in a commercial campaign with the Swedish clothing company KappAhl.
Two of his films are on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time. They are Barry Levinson's Rain Man (1988) at #63 and Alan J. Pakula's All the President's Men (1976) at #34.
Hoffman was voted the 28th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Hoffman is the only actor in history to have top billing in three films that won the Best Picture Oscar: John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy (1969), Robert Benton's Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Barry Levinson's Rain Man (1988).
Dustin was influential in getting Jonah Hill's first acting role in I Heart Huckabees (2004). His kids saw Jonah perform at a comedy club. Once Dustin saw a performance himself, he later called him to come to the initial script read for the movie.
When Dustin received the script for Stranger Than Fiction (2006), he noted that it was one of the best he had ever read.
Dustin's first TV appearance was in the show Naked City, in 1961.
Dustin was working as aroma tester for coffee company Maxwell House.
Dustin founded a production company, Punch Productions.
In 2004, Dustin became a real hero, when he tried to save a woman enduring from an allergic reaction to a bee sting.
Dustin was born into a Jewish family, but he didn't get a religious breeding.
Death Of a Salesman (1985) was his favorite acting experience.
When Dustin was a child, his mother called her dog "Tootsie". It was the reason for the movie title Tootsie (1982).
As of 2001, Dustin has won six Golden Globe Awards and has been nominated 13 times. Dustin won an Emmy Award in 1986 for the TV presentation of Death of a Salesman. Dustin also won a People's Choice Award in 1989 and 1990 for Favorite Motion Picture Actor.
Dustin was once in an acting class with Barbra Streisand in New York.
When Dustin was accepted into The Studio, a prestigious acting school, he was actually trying to help a friend get in and had no intention of becoming a student there. Dustin did end up taking a few courses there.
While filming Death of a Salesman (1985), Dustin had moved with Lisa to Connecticut and lived five minutes away from Arthur Miller, the author of Death of a Salesman.
Dustin accidentally inspired the ending for Kramer vs. Kramer while filming some of the final scenes on the elevator. Meryl Streep was asking Dustin if she got the mascara off her face because she was crying in the previous scene. Dustin said "It's fine, you look terrific". The director was so compelled by the moment that he included it in the final scenes of the movie.
During filming of Kramer vs. Kramer, Dustin said he didn't want to make movies any more. At the time of filming, Dustin was going through a divorce while the movie itself was about an intense divorce.
Dustin wanted to find a unique "limp" for his character in Midnight Cowboy (1969). To do this, Dustin combed the streets of New York until finding someone with the style depicted in the movie.
Dustin played the piano until the seventh grade.
Hoffman was ranked 7th in the UK's Empire magazine of Top 100 best performances of all time in 2006 for his performance as the crippled and dirty con man Enrico Salvatore "Ratso" Rizzo in John Schlesinger's polemic Academy Award winner film Midnight Cowboy.
Dustin is the brother-in-law of movie producer Lee Gottsegen.
The film he got paid the most for was Rain Man with $5,800,000 and profits.
Dustin was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for "Greatest Age Span Portrayed By A Movie Actor" for Little Big Man. He portrayed a character from age 17 to age 121.
Dustin is proud of his home in the Kensington area of London.
Dustin has been great friends of Gene Hackman since 1956.
Dustin is the father to Jake (1981), Rebecca (1983), Maxwell (1984), Jenna (1970), Alexandra (1987) and Karina (1966).
When first starting out Dustin had some hard times and ended up staying with Gene Hackman and his wife in their apartment.
Dustin parents named him after one of their favorite actors named Dustin Farnum.
Dustin was ranked 41st in the UK's Empire Magazine Top 100 Movie Stars of all time in 1977.
Dustin has a reputation amongst his fellow actors as being difficult to work with.
Dustin is married to Lisa Gottsengen. They wed on October 12, 1980 and since have had four children. Dustin was first married to Anne Byrne Hoffman from May 4, 1969 unutil October 6, 1980 when they got divorced after having two children together.
Dustin also trained at the Pasadena Playhouse for two years.
Dustin claims he went into acting because he "did not want to work or go into the service."
Dustin also got some formal training at Los Angeles Conservatory of Music.
While Dustin was attending college when one of his friends told him to take an acting class because "nobody flunks acting", so he did.
Dustin attended Santa Monica City College for a short period of time. He was forced to drop out due to bad grades.
Dustin graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955.
Dustin is a mere 5'6 3/4" tall.
Dustin did a TV commercial for Volkswagen automobiles in 1966.
In January 1999 Dustin was awarded $3 Million in damages and compensation in a case against a Los Angeles magazine that printed a computer generated image of Hoffman in a dress.
Dustin Hoffman: (his views on marriage) There is something unnatural about marriage. These two people are not going to be the same people in a few years. The trick is to live your own life while sharing the same space.
(on Inside the Actors Studio):
James Lipton: What turns you off?
Dustin Hoffman: A parent with a kid, just yanking on him or her.
James: What sound or noise do you love?
Dustin: Collective joy, laughter.
James: What sound or noise do you hate?
Dustin: Someone saying "shut up".
James: What profession would you like to attempt?
Dustin: Something involving music or arts; where you don't need a collective joining.
James: What profession would you not like to attempt?
Dustin: A hunter.
James: Finally, if heaven exists what would you like to hear God say?
Dustin: That's funny, you don't look Jewish!
Dustin Hoffman: A "take" is an opportunity to fail... and we think that we have to get it right all the time.
Dustin Hoffman: When you get to be my age, you'll find out what an emotional mess you are. Female hormones surface more and more and you're gonna realize all of the emotional life you have missed by being tied to a maniac called testosterone. It is not a bad feeling to be emotional.
Dustin Hoffman: The truth is, I've made about 30 movies in 30 years, and I've been criticized for 30 years for not making more movies.
Dustin Hoffman: God knows I've done enough crap in my life to grow a few flowers.
Dustin Hoffman: There's a rebirth that goes on with us continuously as human beings. I don't understand, personally, how you can be bored. I can understand how you can be depressed, but I just don't understand boredom.
Dustin Hoffman: Now, I'm simply working with people I want to work with. I just want to have good working experiences and let the dice fall where they may.
Dustin Hoffman: 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.
Dustin Hoffman: Stardom equals freedom. It's the only equation that matters.
Dustin Hoffman: (Gene referring to Gene Hackman) Psychologically, Gene/myself, we did not think about making it in the terms that people think about. We fully expected to be failures for our entire life. Meaning that we would always be scrambling to get a part. We were actors. We had no pretensions. There was more dignity in being unsuccessful.
Dustin Hoffman: 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.
Dustin Hoffman: 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.
Dustin Hoffman: I feel cheated never being able to know what it's like to get pregnant, carry a child and breastfeed.
Dustin Hoffman: Blame is for God and small children.
Dustin Hoffman: Life stinks, but that doesn't mean you don't enjoy it.
Dustin Hoffman: A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution.