Actor Dustin Hoffman and his wife met long before they got married. In fact, they met even before she was born.
Hollywood marriages are infamous for not lasting long enough but then there are some couples who show the way when it comes to long-lasting and successful relationships. They are beacons of hope for future couples in the industry who have seen marriages end way too soon. Actor Dustin Hoffman and his wife, Lisa Hoffman, have one of the longest marriages in the industry and their relationship is far from setting.
Married since October 1980, the two had known each other long before they decided to walk down the aisle. The actor's mother and Lisa's grandmother had been friends. In fact, Dustin had attended her parents' wedding.
"Dustin was studying to be a classical pianist before he became an actor, and when he was 16 he was the pianist at my parents' wedding, when my mother was pregnant with me," Lisa told the Daily Mail back in 2007. The couple joke now that she must have heard him play the piano and fallen in love with him.
The Meet the Parents actor used to visit his family in LA after he moved for New York to pursue acting in drama school. One summer, he attended a family gathering where Lisa, then 10, was also there. Embarrassed to hang with the adults, The Graduate actor hung out with the kids instead.
"Dustin was telling us jokes, playing the piano and encouraging me to dance around the living room. After we got together, my grandmother reminded me that later that day I had said, 'I hope he waits for me because I want to marry him,'" she told the Daily Mail. And, he did. She had to wait 12 years when she was 22 and he was 38, having divorced his first wife, Anne Byrne, for sparks to fly.
"My grandfather had recently passed away and Dustin came to pay his condolences. That first look and I knew," she added. Lisa, a qualified lawyer, a mother, stepmother and grandmother of two, and the head of her own skincare company, is 16 years younger than the Rain Man actor.
They knew from the first moment that they would get married. "Dustin asked how many children I wanted. I said six, and he said he had two already, so would four be OK. And that's exactly the way it has played out," she says. She gave birth to their first child, Jake, in 1981, three weeks after she took the bar exam. Jake was born ill and premature, so being a mother became the most important thing for Lisa. She went on to give birth to two daughters and another son.
After getting married, she wanted to be able to be there for him and her children, rather than pursue a career. "Our values are traditional," Lisa said. "It was important to Dustin that we were together as a family. For both of us, that was the point of being married."
She and the kids, along with his two daughters from the previous marriage, would travel with Hoffman when he had to go anywhere for work. When they were on set, the actor's kids and wife would learn about his work ethic, and outside of it, they learned the importance of family from their parents.
Decades later, the couple is still together and happy. However, they are honest and real about the difficulties in a marriage. "We work hard at it," she told Closer Weekly. "I knew I was going to end up with Dusty, and that my life would be traveling around with him."
"I say in Hollywood it is like dog years, so you have to multiply that by seven," Lisa had told Closer Weekly when she was 62 years old. She said that after nearly three decades of getting married, they "are more in love" now and their affection for each other "continues to grow."