Dustin's father was one of the Vietnam's top film and stage actors. Leaving at the last moment, Dustin and his family spent several weeks at sea on a boat with almost 1,000 others. After a stopover in Guam, the family was moved to a refugee camp in Arkansas, with a Methodist church then subsidizing their move to St. Louis.
In junior high Dustin began studying martial arts, which he calls a "great confidence builder."
He moved to Southern California to attend Orange Coast College as a communications major and enrolled in an acting class.
Dustin made his T.V debut on Magnum P.I.