Desert Island Discs

Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman



Dustin Hoffman has never heard of Desert Island Discs. He’s in the UK to promote his directorial debut, Quartet, set in a retirement home for musicians and starring Maggie Smith as an opera diva. DID, he says, made him feel embarrassed at first, but after an hour-or-so in the company of Kirsty Young he’s had a change of heart and declares “what a wonderful show this is — music is the spine of everyone’s life”.

He talks candidly about being the acne-ridden short kid at school and how offensive he found the initial reviews of The Graduate, which described him as “creepy.” There are plenty of buoyant moments, however, such as his early days as an actor, sleeping on Gene Hackman’s floor and hanging out with Robert Duvall.

He also has some touching advice on the secret to a long and happy marriage (he’s had six children and two wives, the second since 1980): “commitment takes diligence and discipline”.


Actor Dustin Hoffman talks to Kirsty Young and selects eight favourite recordings to take to the BBC's mythical island.