Dustin Lee Hoffman is one of the best American actors and filmmakers of all time. His movie career spans generations, and my Vietnam veteran dad is as familiar with him as I am. From drama to comedy, he’s done it all with class and charm. Check out these highlights from the lengthy career of Dustin Hoffman.
10. I Heart Huckabees
Hoffman teams with an all-star cast, including Lilly Tomlin, in this 2004 comedy. These existential detectives create chaos for everyone involved.
9. Wag the Dog
Character: Stanley Motss
This all-too-real 1997 political comedy has Hoffman and Robert De Niro playing a Hollywood producer and spin doctor, respectively. They’re hired by the White House’s presidential adviser to create a war for ratings.
8. Kramer vs. Kramer
Character: Ted Kramer
Hoffman is an advertising exec whose wife (Meryl Streep) leaves him on the day he lands a big promotion. He raises his son as a single dad until Joanna returns to fight for custody in this 1979 movie.
Character: Captain Hook
Hoffman plays the antagonistic Hook, who terrorizes Neverland until Peter Pan, now an adult, returns to save them. This 1991 Disney live-action adventure is a classic, thanks to the performances of Hoffman, Robin Williams, and Julia Roberts.
6. Midnight Cowboy
Character: Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo
When Texan Joe Buck (Jon Voight) comes to NYC, he thinks he’ll be a lady killer but ends up broke and living in an abandoned building. He meets Ratso (Hoffman), who teaches him the ropes of hustling the streets of New York in this 1969 film.
5. Meet the Fockers
Character: Bernie Focker
Hoffman and Barbara Streisand join an all-star cast as Greg Focker’s parents. They’re completely liberal, in harsh contrast to Jack Byrnes (De Niro) and his tight-knit circle of trust. They’re forced to get along when Pam and Greg get married.
4. Kung Fu Panda Series
Shifu is the kung fu master who teaches Po (Jack Black) everything he needs to know. He holds the prophesy of the scroll and a lot of wisdom and power. Essentially, he’s the Yoda of the series.
3. Rain Man
Character: Raymond Babbitt
Hoffman and Tom Cruise pair up in this classic 1988 drama about a fast-talking man and his autistic brother. When Charlie Babbit (Cruise) learns his brother Raymond (Hoffman) can count cards, he brings him to Vegas. The cross-country trip teaches them both life lessons more valuable than the $3 million inheritance from their father.
Character: Michael Dorsey/Dorothy
This 1982 comedy is way ahead of its time. Hoffman is a talent performer who can’t get work because of his tarnished name. So he becomes a woman and gets famous that way.
1. The Graduate
Character: Ben Braddock
This 1967 romantic dramedy is based on a 1963 novel of the same name and made Hoffman a star. Braddock is just trying to figure out what to do with his life after college when he’s seduced by a bored housewife, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). Everything’s gravy until he goes for the mother/daughter combo.