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Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman is a highly popular and Oscar-winning US actor particularly acclaimed for his performances in "The Graduate," "Kramer vs.Kramer" and "Rain Man." He is best known for playing anti-heroes.

Born into a secular Jewish family in Los Angeles in 1937, Dustin Hoffman dropped out of college to train as an actor at the Pasadena Playhouse. There he met actor Gene Hackman with whom he moved to New York to work in television and off-Broadway plays. "I lived below the official American poverty line until I was 31," Hoffman, who achieved his breakthrough with "The Graduate" in 1967, said. Among his other major films are "Midnight Cowboy" in which he played a homeless man in New York, "Tootsie" where he played an actor who must dress up as a woman and the political satire "Wag the Dog." Hoffman is also much acclaimed for his stage work, particularly for roles in "Death of a Salesman" and "The Merchant of Venice."