Biography

PortraitBasil Hoffman was born in Houston, Texas. He attended Tulane University in New Orleans, where he appeared in several campus musical productions and was a member of the Tulane University Theater. He graduated with a B.B.A. in economics; and he spent the next two years at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, receiving a scholarship for the second, graduating year.

His thirteen years in New York included many plays, some roles in episodic television, a three-year recurring character on "One Life to Live" on ABC, hundreds of commercials, and a film role in LADY LIBERTY with Sophia Loren, directed by Mario Monicelli.

He made his first trip to Los Angeles in 1974. In that season, he filmed a theatrical feature, AT LONG LAST LOVE, for Peter Bogdanovich, two television movies, television episodes of "Kung Fu," "Rockford Files," "Sanford and Son," "Police Woman" and "M*A*S*H," and several commercials.

Although most of his work has been in film and television, he has made a few stage appearances, most notably in "Sand Mountain," by Romulous Linney, for which he won a Drama-Logue Award, the first staged reading of Martin E. Brooks' "Joe and Flo" at The Actors Studio, and the world premiere of William Blinn's "Walking Peoria."

He is 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 (six times) and Alan J. Pakula (twice); Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen, Paolo Sorrentino, Michel Hazanavicius, Steven Spielberg, Delbert Mann, Blake Edwards, Stanley Donen, Sydney Pollack, Ron Howard and Robert Redford (twice as director); and many others.

A long-time private acting teacher and coach in New York and Los Angeles, he has also been a frequent guest lecturer and teacher at prestigious academic and professional institutions, including (among many others) the American Film Institute, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the University of Southern California, Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and, in Beirut, Lebanon: the Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Notre Dame University, Lebanese University and St. Joseph University.

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.

Highlights

Television "Courage, New Hampshire" - Simeon Trapp (Series Regular)
"Square Pegs" - Principal Dingleman.
"Hill Street Blues" recurring 2 seasons.
"One Life to Live" recurring 3 years.
Multiple appearances on "M*A*S*H," "Dynasty," "Sanford and Son," "Spencer" and "Marcus Welby M.D."
Scores of episodes, pilots, movies and miniseries.

Film One of the most recognizable character actors in films by distinguished directors including (among many others) Peter Bogdanovich, Mario Monicelli, Richard Benjamin, Carl Reiner , Peter Medak (five times) and Alan J. Pakula (twice); and eleven Academy Award winners: Joel and Ethan Coen, Paolo Sorrentino, Michel Hazanavicius, Steven Spielberg, Delbert Mann, Guy Green, Blake Edwards, Stanley Donen, Sydney Pollack, Ron Howard and Robert Redford (twice as director). He has also been directed twice by Oscar winning cinematographers -- Guy Green and Haskell Wexler.

Pictures include classics CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, MY FAVORITE YEAR, ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and the multiple Oscar-winning Best Pictures ORDINARY PEOPLE and THE ARTIST.

2016-2017 releases include:
RIO, I LOVE YOU, in which Basil Hoffman stars with Emily Mortimer in the two-character "La Fortuna" segment written and directed by Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino; HAIL, CAESAR!, directed by Oscar winners Joel and Ethan Coen; and THE LAST WORD, directed by Mark Pellington and starring Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine.

Stage Numerous Productions including:
SAND MOUNTAIN by Romulus Linney -- Los Angeles; DramaLogue Best Actor Award.
WALKING PEORIA by William Blinn -- World Premiere.
JOE AND FLO by Martin E. Brooks -- First Actors Studio Production.

Commercial Hundreds. Multiples for Anheuser Busch Natural Light Beer, Scott's Turf Builder, ARCO and many others.

Training Tulane University.
American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York.
Michael Simone (Actors Studio Directors Unit), New York.
Allan Miller (Actors Studio Directors Unit), Los Angeles.


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