The first film I saw with Dustin Hoffman in the lead was The Graduate (Great American Things, November 15, 2009), and I completely believed him. The next role I saw him handle was Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy. The parts couldn’t have been more different, and yet Hoffman was masterful in both. It was clear he’d be around for a long, long time.
He’s never allowed himself to be typecast, as you can see by these major parts he’s played: Jack Crabb in Little Big Man; Louis Dega in Papillon; Carl Bernstein in All the President’s Men; Babe Levy in Marathon Man; Ted Kramer in Kramer vs. Kramer; Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie; Raymond Babbitt in Rain Man.
His consistent excellence has certainly been recognized by the Hollywood establishment. He’s been nominated for seven Academy Awards, and won two – for Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Man. He’s also won five Golden Globes, and received a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. He was named the 28th greatest movie star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.