The name Dustin Hoffman might sound familiar to many people, especially those who watch a lot of movies. This is because this man has been acting from the late nineteen sixties right up until now. He’s been nominated multiple times and won many awards for his work, which includes two Oscars. He’s also had a fairly successful theatre acting career. I always heard the name myself, but wasn’t too sure who people were talking about until I saw him in Meet the Fockers a couple years ago. I haven’t seen him in many movies I’ve watched since, but for the few I’ve seen I respect him as an actor and his acting style.
I don’t know a lot about this man’s early life except that he was born and grew up
in California to a family that was descended from Ashkenazi Jews who migrated from Ukraine. He went to university intending to go into medicine, but instead changed his mind and decided to become an actor despite the protests of some of his family members. I do know a little more of his more recent life though. For example, I know that he is one of those few actors who claim to be cancer survivors, as well as that he and his family are now practicing Jews unlike the family that he grew up in.
Before I watched “Meet the Fockers”, I had seen Hoffman in several other movies. Since none of them were comedies at the time I just expected that this actor was not able to play anything else but serious roles. I remember that the first movie that I really sat down and watched him in from start to finish was “Runaway Jury” where he played the pro bono attorney “Wendell Rohr” and I thought that he had done a fairly good job with his character. While I didn’t find his performance to be as riveting as Gene Hackman’s, I thought he was one of the actors that did the best and helped make the movie a success.
Later on, as if to cement his name as a good actor I saw him in Death of a Salesman because I was doing the book in school. I remember hating Willy Loman’s character when I read the play back in high school and thinking that he was both boring and pathetic. However, I began to see him differently ...