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Newsmaker: Dustin Hoffman

In the film "Confidence," Dustin Hoffman plays a notorious crime boss called The King. The actor was presented with the Peter J. Owens Award for lifetime achievement earlier this year.

In the film "Confidence," Dustin Hoffman plays a notorious crime boss called The King. The actor was presented with the Peter J. Owens Award for lifetime achievement earlier this year.

Early years: Hoffman was born August 8, 1937, in Los Angeles. He studied music at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and acting with Lee Strasberg.

Hoffman worked as an attendant in a psychiatric hospital, a waiter, a dishwasher, a typist, a Times Square headline crier and a toy salesman at Macy's.

Career: A nonconventional leading man, Hoffman has redefined the popular notion of screen heroes. He established himself quickly as a stage actor, and after a role in the play "Eh?," in 1967, he was cast in "The Graduate," which earned him his first Oscar nomination. Two years later Hoffman earned his second nomination for his performance in "Midnight Cowboy." Other films followed, and in 1979 he won an Oscar for "Kramer vs. Kramer."

The comedy "Tootsie" was a hit, but "Sitar" flopped. Then "Rainman" was a hit. More critical disappointments followed with "Dick Tracey," "Billy Bathgate" and "Hook." Hoffman regained his momentum with the box office hit "Outbreak" and his Oscar-winning performance in "Wag the Dog." After some down time, he is back with "Midnight Mile" and "Confidence."

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Family: Hoffman married Anne Byrne in 1969. They were divorced in 1980. He later married lawyer Lisa Otsego. He has six children.

In his words: (Of the award) "I prefer not to think of it as a culmination of a career. Even a lifetime achievement award, though, would be better than the alternative, which is the 'whatever happened to' award."

Web link: www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie

Compiled by Carol Bradley Bursack

Sources: Associated Press, Amctv.com, Canada.com/entertainment

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