Aug. 8th, 1937
Los Angeles, California, USA
5' 5 1/2"
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Actor (segment "Dame Maggie")
Mr. Bergstrom (Voiced)
Graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955. Went to Santa Monica City College where he dropped out after a year due to bad grades. But before he did, he took an acting course because he was told that "nobody flunks acting." Also received some training at Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. Decided to go into acting because he did not want to work or go into the service. Trained at The Pasadena Playhouse for two years.
- His performance as "Ratso" Rizzo in _Midnight Cowboy (1969)_ (qv) is ranked #7 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
- Is one of the main supporters and contributers to the Santa Monica College Madison Theatre in Santa Monica, CA.
- His parents named him Dustin after actor 'Dustin Farnum' (qv).
- Had expressed an early desire to play the title role in _Gandhi (1982)_ (qv), but was offered _Tootsie (1982)_ (qv) the same year and ended up taking the latter role. He eventually lost the Oscar that year to 'Ben Kingsley' (qv) who played Gandhi.
- April 2005: Recipient of a Lincoln Center tribute.
- Oscar-winning director 'John Schlesinger (I)' (qv) envisioned a cast of 'Al Pacino' (qv), 'Julie Christie (I)' (qv) and 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) for "Marathon Man" (1976). Pacino has said that the only actress he had ever wanted to work with was Christie, who he claimed was "the most poetic of actresses." Producer 'Robert Evans (I)' (qv), who disparaged the vertically challenged Pacino as "The Midget" when 'Francis Ford Coppola' (qv) wanted him for _The Godfather (1972)_ (qv) and had thought of firing him during the early shooting of the now-classic film, vetoed Pacino for the lead. Instead, Evans insisted on the casting of the even-shorter 'Dustin Hoffman' (qv)! On her part, Christie -- who was notoriously finicky about accepting parts, even in prestigious, sure-fire material -- turned down the female lead, which was then taken by 'Marthe Keller' (qv) (who, ironically, became Pacino's lover after co-starring with him in _Bobby Deerfield (1977)_ (qv)). Of his dream cast, Schlesinger only got Olivier, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
- January 1999: He was awarded $3m in damages and compensation in a case against "Los Angeles" Magazine, because it had printed a digitally altered image of him in a dress (cf. _Tootsie (1982)_ (qv)). In July 2001 a federal appeals court overturned the verdict. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that because the photo appeared in an article, not an advertisement, the use of the actor's likeness did not constitute "commercial speech" and was entitled to the full protection of the 1st Amendment.
- As of 2008, he and 'Philip Seymour Hoffman' (qv) are the only two winners of best actor in a leading role at the Oscars to share a last name. Philip won for 'Capote' and Dustin won for 'Kramer vs. Kramer' and 'Rain Man'.