Dustin Hoffman

HBO's "Luck" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Hoffman in 2012, photo by PR photos

Birth Name: Dustin Lee Hoffman

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: August 8, 1937

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Dustin Hoffman is an American actor and director. He has twice won the Academy Award for Best Actor, for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Rain Man (1988).

He is the son of Lillian (Gold) and Harry Hoffman, who was a prop supervisor at Columbia Pictures. His father was born in Massachusetts, to Ukrainian Jewish parents. His mother was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a Polish Jewish father and a Romanian Jewish mother.

Dustin had a non-religious upbringing. He has said, “I don’t have any memory of celebrating holidays growing up that were Jewish”, and that he “realized” he was Jewish when he was around ten years old. Dustin became famous after starring in the 1967 film The Graduate.

Dustin is married to businessperson Lisa (Gottsegen) Hoffman, who is also Jewish. Dustin has two children with his former wife Anne Byrne; and four children, including actors Jake Hoffman and Max Hoffman, with Lisa.

Dustin’s paternal grandfather was Frank Hoffman (the son of Moshko Goikhman, also known as Sam Hoffman, and of Libba Cagan). Frank was a Jewish emigrant from Belaja Zerkovy/Bila Tserkva, Kiev, Ukraine, then in the Russian Empire. Libba was the daughter of Mikhel Cagan and Mina Leybovna Tokar/Toker.

Dustin’s paternal grandmother was named Esther Schiskoski/Cherkofsky/Cherry (the daughter of Harry Schiskoski). Esther was also a Jewish emigrant from Belaja Zerkovy/Bila Tserkva.

Dustin’s maternal grandfather was Louis Isadore Gold (the son of Osher Chaim Gold and Jeta Chona/Chana Epstein). Louis was a Jewish emigrant from Warsaw, Poland.

Dustin’s maternal grandmother was named Celia Epstein. Celia was a Romanian Jewish immigrant.

Sources: Interview with Dustin about his Jewish faith – http://www.thejc.com

Genealogy of Dustin Hoffman – https://www.geni.com

Dustin’s father on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Dustin’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

6 Responses

  1. savanna says:

    Dustin on ‘Finding Your Roots’:

  2. Freerk says:

    One of my heroes.

    “Marathon Man” is one of my all-time favourite movies. The mentioned surnames of his ancestors are all of (Jewish-)German origin, so at one point in history theý came from Germany. (One branch definitely from Eppstein near Frankfurt in Hessia/Germany.)

  3. Angel Syrene says:

    He’s look Romanian

  4. Anonymous says:

    He’s Romanian and Ukrainian.

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