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The 8 Roles That Defined Dustin Hoffman's Career So Far

By    |   Monday, 30 Mar 2015 05:31 PM

Dustin Hoffman's career took off when he was cast as Ben Braddock in “The Graduate.” Hoffman's roles across his long and storied career ranged from 1960s youth angst to a cross-dressing actor to a political svengali.

These eight roles defined Dustin Hoffman's career:

1. Ben Braddock, “The Graduate” (1967)

From “plastics” to “you're trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson, aren't you?”, his second film role earned him an Oscar nomination as well as numerous quotable and memorable cinema moments.

2. Ratso Rizzo, “Midnight Cowboy” (1969)

“I'm walkin' here!” earned Hoffman another American Film Institute Top 100 Quotes list mention. Hoffman told James Lipton on Bravo's "Inside the Actors Studio" that he adlibbed the line when a taxi pushed through an otherwise perfectly timed take.

3. Lenny Bruce, “Lenny” (1974)

Hoffman received several award nominations for his portrayal of ground-breaking comedian Lenny Bruce.

4. Carl Bernstein, “All the President's Men” (1976)

During a visit to the newsroom, Hoffman was mistaken for the new copy boy when the paper's science reporter asked him to change a typewriter ribbon, according to The Washington Post's April 1975 article.

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Hoffman teamed with Robert Redford as the pair of reporters who discovered the Watergate scandal during President Richard Nixon's administration.

5. Ted Kramer, “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979)

This film finally brought Hoffman an Oscar for Best Actor. Meryl Streep also won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Joanna Kramer. These two acting heavyweights pit their talents against each other as a divorced couple locked in a bitter custody battle.

6. Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels, “Tootsie” (1982)

Hoffman had to sit through three-hour makeup sessions each day that the female version of his character was on set, Hoffman told People magazine in 1983.

7. Ray Babbitt,  “Rain Man” (1988)

Hoffman's character, Raymond Babbitt, was an autistic savant, which was even more challenging than an emotionally charged character. “Raymond couldn't have the dramatic arc that actors always look for in roles,” Hoffman told The New York Times in 1988.

“And instead of a full-scale painting, I would have to do a pen-and-ink drawing — a poem, a haiku.”

8. Stanley Motss, “Wag the Dog” (1997)

In the late 1980s through the 1990s, political scandals became commonplace in Washington.  This political satire movie targets the cover-up machine.

“This is nothing!” was the catch phrase for Hoffman's character.  

Vote Now: Which of These Actors Stands the Test of Time?

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Dustin Hoffman's career took off when he was cast as Ben Braddock in “The Graduate.” Hoffman's roles across his long and storied career ranged from 1960s youth angst to a cross-dressing actor to a political svengali. These eight roles defined Dustin Hoffman's career.
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2015-31-30
Monday, 30 Mar 2015 05:31 PM
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