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THE MESSENGER: THE STORY OF JOAN OF ARC

A two-time Oscars winner and six-time nominee, DUSTIN HOFFMAN is distinguished as one of the cinema's most acclaimed leading actors. Born in Los Angeles, he attended Santa Monica City College and later studied at the Pasadena Playhouse before moving to New York to study with Lee Strasberg.

Hoffman's first stage role was in the Sarah Lawrence College production of Gertrude Stein's "Yes is for a Very Young Man." He made his Broadway debut with a walk-on part in "A Cook for Mr. General" in 1961.

Hoffman joined the Theatre Company of Boston for one season, then returned to New York to work as an assistant director on Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge." He continued appearing on stage in such productions as "Harry, Noon and Night," "The Journey of the Fifth Horse," for which he won an Obie Award as Best Actor, and the farce "Eh?," directed by Alan Arkin, for which he won the Theatre World and Drama Desk Awards.

His performance in "Eh?" brought him to the attention of director Mike Nichols, who cast Hoffman in the title role in The Graduate. His portrayal of young Benjamin Braddock brought him his first Academy Award nomination.

Hoffman returned to Broadway to star in "Jimmy Shine" by Murray Schisgal. He then co-starred with Jon Voight in John Schlesinger's Academy Award-winning Midnight Cowboy. This brought Hoffman his second Oscar nomination. Subsequent films include John and Mary, Little Big Man, Who is Harry Kellerman, Straw Dogs, A Ifredo, Alfredo, Papillon and Lenny, which earned the actor his third Oscars nomination.

Hoffman's film achievements continued with All the President's Men, Marathon Man, Straight Time, Agatha and Ishtar. He won his first Oscars as Best Actor for Robert Benton's Kramer Vs. Kramer with Meryl Streep, and received his fifth Oscars nomination for Sydney Pollack's comedy Tootsie. In 1988, Rain Man, directed by Barry Levinson, brought Hoffman his second Academy Award for his portrayal of an autistic savant.

Hoffman made his own directorial debut on Broadway in 1974 with Murray Schisgal's "All Over Town." He returned to the Broadway stage as Willy Loman in the 1984 revival of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," for which he earned the Drama Desk Award for Best Actor. Filmed as a special presentation for television, "Death of a Salesman" also brought Hoffman an Emmy Award.

In 1989, Hoffman enjoyed a long run on the London stage as Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" and later reprised the role on Broadway, for which he received a Tony nomination. In 1990, he was seen in Dick Tracy, which was followed shortly by Billy Bathgate, the film version of E.L. Doctorow's best-selling novel, and Hook, directed by Steven Spielberg. He then filmed Hero, which was directed by Stephen Frears, Wolfgang Petersen's Outbreak, David Mamet's play American Buffalo and Barry Levinson's Sleepers and Sphere.

Hoffman was also seen recently starring opposite John Travolta in the Costa Gavras film Mad City, and with Robert DeNiro in Barry Levinson's Wag the Dog, for which he received an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.

Starting with Tootsie in 1982, Hoffman also produced the following films under the banner of his company, Punch Productions: "Death of a Salesman," "The Merchant of Venice," Outbreak, American Buffalo, Mad City and Wag the Dog. Solely as producer, he produced the feature film A Walk on the Moon and was executive producer on "The Devil's Arithmetic."

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