Mad City: About The Cast

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DUSTIN HOFFMAN (Max Brackett), a two-time Oscar winner and six-time Oscar nominee, is distinguished as one of the cinema's most acclaimed leading actors. Born in Los Angeles, he attended Santa Monica City College and later studied at the Pasadena Playhouse before moving to New York to find work in the theater.

Hoffman's first stage role was in the Sarah Lawrence College production of Gertrude Stein's "Yes Is For a Very Young Man." He made his Broadway debut with a walk-on part in "A Cook For Mr. General" in 1961.

Hoffman joined the Theatre Company of Boston for one season, then returned to New York to work as an assistant director on Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge." He continued appearing on stage in such productions as "Harry, Noon and Night," "The Journey of the Fifth Horse," for which he won an Obie Award as Best Actor, and the farce "Eh?," directed by Alan Arkin, for which he won the Theatre World and Drama Desk Awards.

His performance in "Eh?" brought him to the attention of director Mike Nichols, who cast Hoffman in the title role in "The Graduate." His portrayal of young Benjamin Braddock brought him his first Academy Award nomination.

Hoffman returned to Broadway to star in "Jimmy Shine" by Murray Schisgal; he then co-starred with Jon Voight in John Schlesinger's Academy Award-winning "Midnight Cowboy." This brought Hoffman his second Oscar nomination. Subsequent films include "John and Mary," "Little Big Man," "Who is Harry Kellerman?" "Straw Dogs," "Alfredo, Alfredo," "Papillon" and "Lenny," which earned the actor his third Oscar nomination.

Hoffman's film achievements continued with "All the President's Men," "Marathon Man," "Straight Time," "Agatha" and "Ishtar." He won his first Oscar as Best Actor for Robert Benton's "Kramer vs. Kramer" with Meryl Streep, and received his fifth Oscar nomination for Sydney Pollack's comedy, "Tootsie." In 1988, "Rain Man," directed by Barry Levinson, brought Hoffman his second Academy Award, for his portrayal of an autistic savant.

Hoffman made his own directorial debut on Broadway in 1974 with Murray Schisgal's "All Over Town," starring Cleavon Little. He returned to the Broadway stage as Willy Loman in the 1984 revival of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," for which he earned the Drama Desk Award for Best Actor. Filmed as a special presentation for television, "Death of a Salesman" also brought Hoffman an Emmy Award.

In 1989 Hoffman enjoyed a long run on the London stage as Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" and later reprised the role on Broadway, for which he received a Tony nomination. In 1990 he was seen in "Dick Tracy," which was followed shortly by "Billy Bathgate," the film version of E.L. Doctorow's best-selling novel, and "Hook," directed by Steven Spielberg. He then filmed "Hero," which co-starred Geena Davis and Andy Garcia and was directed by Stephen Frears, and "Outbreak," which co-starred Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman, directed by Wolfgang Petersen. In the summer of 1995, Hoffman completed the filming of David Mamet's play "American Buffalo," with Dennis Franz. In 1996, he co-starred in Barry Levinson's ensemble drama, "Sleepers," based on Lorenzo Caracterra's best-selling book. Following "Mad City," Hoffman will be seen starring with Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson in "Sphere," a thriller also directed by Levinson, and based on a novel by Michael Crichton. "Wag the Dog," co-starring Robert De Niro and once again directed by Barry Levinson, will be released in December.


JOHN TRAVOLTA (Sam Baily) has been honored twice with Academy Award nominations, most recently for his riveting portrayal of a philosophical hit man in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction." He has also received a Golden Globe nomination for the highly acclaimed role and was named Best Actor by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, among other awards. He was equally praised as a Mafioso-turned-movie-producer in the comedy sensation "Get Shorty," singled out by many critics as one of the best performances of the year and garnering a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy.

Travolta starred in "Michael" and "Phenomenon" and took an equally diverse turn as an action star in John Woo's thriller, "Broken Arrow."

He previously starred in some of the most seminal films of his generation. He earned his first Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his role in the blockbuster "Saturday Night Fever," which launched the disco phenomenon of the late 1970s. He went on to star in the mega-hit screen version of the long-running musical "Grease," which inspired a revival of Fifties fashion and music, and "Urban Cowboy," which caused mechanical bulls to crop up in bars nationwide. Additional film credits include the Brian DePalma thrillers "Carrie" and "Blow Out," as well as Amy Heckerling's hit comedy, "Look Who's Talking."

Travolta recently starred in "Face/Off," also starring Nicolas Cage, and in "She's So Lovely" with Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn. He recently completed work in the starring role for Mike Nichols' "Primary Colors," co-starring Emma Thompson and Billy Bob Thorton. He is currently in production on "A Civil Action" with director Steven Zaillian.


ALAN ALDA (Kevin Hollander) has earned international recognition as an actor, writer and director of films. His credits include "Manhattan Murder Mystery," "And the Band Played On," "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (for which he won the D.W. Griffith Award, the N.Y. Film Critics Award and a nomination for a British Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor), "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" (which he also wrote), "The Four Seasons," "Sweet Liberty," "A New Life," "Betsy's Wedding" (which he wrote and directed), "Flirting With Disaster" and "Everyone Says I Love You," directed by Woody Allen.

Alda played Hawkeye Pierce in the classic television series "M*A*S*H*," for which he also wrote and directed many episodes. In 11 years on the series, Alda won the Emmy Award five times and is the only person to be honored by the TV Academy as top performer, writer and director. In all, he has been nominated for 28 Emmys and has won the Writer's Guild Award twice, the Director's Guild Award three times, has received six Golden Globes from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and seven People's Choice Awards. In 1994, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.

Alda was born in New York City, the son of distinguished actor Robert Alda. His introduction to the theater came at the age of 16 in summer stock at Barnesville, Pennsylvania. During his junior year at Fordham University, he studied in Europe, where he performed on stage and on television.

Alda's stage performance in "The Owl and the Pussycat" was a major breakthrough for him. His other Broadway credits include "Purlie Victorious," "Fair Game for Lovers," for which he received a Theater World Award, and "The Apple Tree," which earned him his first Tony nomination. He was again nominated for a Tony for his performance in Neil Simon's "Jake's Women."

Alda's first motion picture part came in "Gone Are the Days," in which he recreated his stage role from "Purlie Victorious." He later appeared in "The Moonshine War," "Jenny," "The Mephisto Waltz" and "Paper Lion."

His television performances include Truman Capote's "The Glass House" and "Kill Me if You Can" (for which he received an Emmy nomination), and "White Mile" (for which he received a nomination for a Golden Globe).


MIA KIRSHNER (Laurie Callahan) came to critical and audience attention with provocative starring roles in Denys Arcand's "Love and Human Remains" and Atom Egoyan's "Exotica." She has since added to her credits "Murder in the First" with Christian Slater; "Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina"; "The Grass Harp" with Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Sissy Spacek; and "The Crow: City of Angels."

The daughter of a journalist-father and teacher-mother, Kirshner began acting in grade school and made her professional debut in her early teens, building Canadian and American television credits before segueing into film.


TED LEVINE (Lemke), an Ohio native, appeared in numerous school productions and in summer theater while attending Marlboro College in Vermont. He performed in New York and in Ann Arbor, Michigan, before settling in Chicago, where he has worked extensively with The Steppenwolf Theatre and Remains Ensemble. He most recently appeared onstage in "Buried Child," directed by Gary Sinise.

Among his noteworthy roles, Levine played a terrifying killer in "The Silence of the Lambs" and includes among his credits "Georgia," "Heat," "Nowhere to Run," "Love at Large," "Next of Kin," "Betrayed," "Ironweed," "Going West" and the upcoming "Flubber."

On television, he appeared in HBO's "The Last Outlaw" and in the telefilms "Broken Promises," "Death Train," "Dead and Alive" and "Killing Floor."


ROBERT PROS KY has had a long and distinguished career in film, television and the theater, winning numerous awards for his stage work

He received the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor and a Tony nomination for Best Actor for his role in "A Walk in the Woods." In addition to receiving the Helen Hayes Award for his work in "The Price," Prosky garnered a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Acting and a Tony nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor for "Glengarry Glen Ross."

Prosky's screen credits include "The Chamber," "Dead Man Walking," "Mrs. Doubtfire," "The Scarlet Letter," "Miracle on 34th Street," "Rudy," "The Last Action Hero," "Hoffa," "Far and Away," "Green Card," "Broadcast News," "Thief" and "Outrageous Fortune."

His television work includes a number of popular mini-series: "The Murder of Mary Phagan," "From the Dead of the Night" and "World War Three," as well as the telefilms "The Love She Sought," "Double Edge," "Against the Mob," and HBO's "Life on the High Wire" and "Fast Lane." He appeared in the Hallmark Hall of Fame production "Home Fires Burning" and is currently a series regular on the new comedy "Veronica's Closet."


BLYTHE DANNER (Mrs. Banks) has enjoyed a distinguished career in theater, motion pictures and television. She became a Tony winner with her first Broadway performance, "Butterflies Are Free," and went on to receive Tony nominations for "A Streetcar Named Desire" and Harold Pinter's "Betrayal."

In repertory, Danner has been a member of the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts for 20 seasons, where she performed last year with her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, in Chekov's "The Seagull."

Danner has been involved extensively with repertory companies across the U.S., including the New York Shakespeare Festival, and she appeared in the New York productions of Harold Pinter's "Moonlight" with Jason Robards, and "Sylvia" with Sarah Jessica Parker.

Her feature credits include "Homage," "The Prince of Tides," Woody Allen's "Alice," "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge," "Brighton Beach Memoirs," "1776" and "The Great Santini." She can currently be seen in "The Myth of Fingerprints" with Julianne Moore and Noah Wylie. She was also recently nominated for a Cable ACE Award for "A Call to Remember" on Encore Network.

On television, she has appeared in the telefilms "Leave of Absence," "The Oldest Living Confederate Widow," "Cruel Doubt," "F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Last of the BelIes," "A Love Affair: The Eleanor & Lou Gehrig Story" and "Great Performances 20th Anniversary Special."

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