Edit
Basil Hoffman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (1) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (15)

Overview (1)

Date of Birth 18 January 1938Houston, Texas, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Basil Hoffman is an American character actor, best known for his work, often in classic films, with distinguished film directors including Peter Bogdanovich, Mario Monicelli, Richard Benjamin, Carl Reiner (twice), Peter Medak (five times) and Alan J. Pakula (twice); Academy Award winners Ethan and Joel Coen, Paolo Sorrentino, Michel Hazanavicius, Steven Spielberg,Delbert Mann, Blake Edwards, Stanley Donen, Sydney Pollack, Ron Howard and Robert Redford (twice); and many others.

A long-time private acting teacher and coach, he has also been a frequent guest lecturer and teacher at prestigious academic institutions, including (among many others) the American Film Institute, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Emerson College the University of Southern California, Confederation College in Canada and the Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts in Beirut, Lebanon.

In 2008, he returned to Beirut as a U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy to Lebanon to teach acting and directing at the University of Balamand's Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Lebanese University, Notre Dame University and St. Joseph University's Institut D'Etude Sceniques Audiovisuelles et Cinematographiques.

He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Screen Actors Guild and the Fine Arts Advisory Council of Loyola Marymount University. He is an Advisory Director of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and is a member of both the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He is also the author of the acting textbooks, "Cold Reading and How to Be Good at It" and "Acting and How to Be Good at It" (and The Second Edition) with a foreword by Sydney Pollack.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Brad Lemack

Spouse (1)

Christine Elizabeth Reed (3 June 1988 - 10 January 2006) (her death)

Trivia (15)

He appeared in two Best Picture Academy Award winners: Ordinary People (1980) and The Artist (2011).
He has been directed by ten Oscar-winning directors: Delbert Mann, Stanley Donen (Lifetime Achievement Award), Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford (twice), Ron Howard, Blake Edwards (Lifetime Achievement Award), Michel Hazanavicius, Paolo Sorrentino (Best Foreign Language Picture), and Ethan and Joel Coen.
He has worked with fourteen Oscar winning actors: Sophia Loren in Lady Liberty, Gene Hackman and Liza Minnelli in Lucky Lady, Dustin Hoffman and Martin Balsam in All the President's Men, Jason Robards in All the President's Men and Comes a Horseman, Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Christopher Plummer in "The Moneychangers", Mary Steenburgen in Pontiac Moon, Jane Fonda in The Electric Horseman and Comes a Horseman, Christopher Walken in Communion and The Milagro Beanfield War, Renee Zellweger in Down With Love, J.K. Simmons in 3 Geezers! and Jean Dujardin in The Artist. He also appeared with Oscar winners Philip Seymour Hoffman in Culture; Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People; George Clooney, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton in Hail, Caesar!; and Shirley MacLaine in The Last Word, but shared no scenes with them.
He worked with two Oscar winning actors in films for which they won the award, Jason Robards in All the President's Men and Jean Dujardin in The Artist.
He is one of only two actors who has worked four times with actor/director Robert Redford, twice with Redford as an actor and twice with Redford as the director. Jane Fonda is the only other actor who has worked four times with Robert Redford, with Redford as an actor but never as the director.
In 2008 he served in Beirut as U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy to Lebanon.
He appeared in "Cactus Flower" at Playhouse on the Mall in Paramus, New Jersey, for producer Robert Ludlum two years before publication of "The Scarlatti Inheritance," the first of Ludlum's twenty-six best selling novels. Eleven of those have been filmed for movies and television.
He appears in director Peter Medak's 1986 "Twilight Zone" television production of "Button, Button" and director Richard Kelly's 2009 feature film, The Box, both based on Richard Matheson's short story, "Button, Button." He is the only actor to have appeared in both productions. His role of Steward in the television original is played by Frank Langella in the film version.
In more than half of the feature films in which he has appeared at least one actor or the director are Academy Award winners. In seven of the films: Lucky Lady, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Electric Horseman, Ordinary People, The Milagro Beanfield War, The Artist, and Hail, Caesar!, the director and one or more of the actors are Oscar winners.
When he arrived in Hollywood in 1974, no movie/TV agent would represent him. In 1978 after appearing in six major studio pictures for distinguished directors including two future Oscar winners (and three films for directors who were nominated but didn't win), he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Four years later, director Ron Howard cast him in Night Shift. It was the first feature in which he was hired from an audition. He has worked with five Academy Award winning directors for whom he had never auditioned.
He was followed in the role of Professor in "South Pacific" at Jones Beach, New York, by James Woods.
He created a dialogue sequence for himself (at the directors' requests} in two pictures that won Academy Awards for Best Screenplay: All the President's Men (Best Screenplay Oscar winner William Goldman) directed by Alan J. Pakula; and Ordinary People (Best Screenplay Oscar winner Alvin Sargent) directed by Robert Redford.
He has been directed by two Academy Award winning cinematographers, Guy Green (Best Black and White Cinematography for Great Expectations) in a television movie, "Jennifer: A Woman's Story"; and Haskell Wexler (Best Cinematography for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Bound for Glory) in a television commercial for Prestone Antifreeze.
He has appeared in films with two actors who later became Oscar winning directors: Robert Redford, in All the President's Men and The Electric Horseman, won the Academy Award for directing Ordinary People; and Kevin Costner, in Night Shift, won the directing Oscar for Dances with Wolves.
He has worked with two cinematographers who have a total of seventeen Academy Award nominations with no wins: Owen Roizman (The Electric Horseman), five nominations; and Roger Deakins (Hail, Caesar!), twelve nominations.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page