Gaby Hoffmann

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Gaby Hoffmann
Gaby Hoffman (cropped).jpg
Hoffmann in June 2015
Gabrielle Mary Antonia Hoffmann

(1982-01-08) January 8, 1982 (age 39)
New York City, U.S.
Alma materBard College (2004)
Years active1988–present
Parent(s)Viva (mother)
Anthony Herrera (father)

Gabrielle Mary Antonia Hoffmann[1][2] (born January 8, 1982)[3] is an American film and television actress best known for her roles in Transparent and Girls, which garnered her three Primetime Emmy Award nominations. She found initial success as a child actress in Sleepless in Seattle, Field of Dreams, and Uncle Buck along with Now and Then, Volcano, All I Wanna Do, and 200 Cigarettes as a teenager.

Hoffmann's recent[when?] return to film acting in various independent projects has been subject to critical acclaim and described as a "resurgence,"[4] due to her roles in Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus with Michael Cera, Wild with Reese Witherspoon, and her upcoming leading role in C'mon C'mon alongside Joaquin Phoenix.

Early life[edit]

Hoffmann was born in New York City, New York.[5] Her mother Viva (born Janet Susan Mary Hoffmann)[6] is an actress, writer and former Warhol superstar,[7] and her father, Anthony Herrera,[8] was a soap opera actor best known for his role as James Stenbeck in As the World Turns.[9] Viva and Herrera were estranged shortly after Hoffmann's birth; she was raised by her mother at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. Her father did not have a significant presence in her life.[10][11] Hoffmann's birth is documented in Brigid Berlin's The Andy Warhol Diaries. An entry dated January 10, 1982, two days after Hoffmann was born, says that a friend of Warhol's telephoned Warhol and told him that they were going to the Chelsea Hotel to see Viva and her new baby.

Hoffmann's mother was raised in a devout Catholic family[11] on Long Island, the daughter of an attorney.[12][13] She was previously married to director Michel Auder in 1969. Hoffmann has a half-sister, Alexandra "Alex" Auder, who is 11 years older and teaches yoga in New York City.[1][14] Hoffmann's father was raised in Wiggins, Mississippi by his maternal grandparents; his own father, Gaby's paternal grandfather, was of French and Spanish descent.[2] Herrera died in 2011 from cancer.[9]

Hoffmann attended elementary school in Manhattan at P.S. 3 on Hudson Street in the West Village, then another school in Hell's Kitchen. After she moved to Los Angeles in 1994, she attended the Buckley School, before finally graduating from Calabasas High School in 1999.[15]

Life at the Chelsea Hotel[edit]

Until July 1993, Hoffmann lived in Manhattan's Chelsea Hotel (now a landmark), which Hoffmann later said she enjoyed. According to Hoffmann, she and her best friend Talya Shomron roller-skated in the hallways, spied on the drug dealer across the hall, and persuaded the bellman to go to the neighborhood delicatessen at night to fetch them ice cream.[10]

Hoffmann recalled, "I grew up in downtown New York in the '80s. I have a friend who grew up with me, and she puts it well. She says, 'If you grew up where we grew up, if you weren't an artist, a drag queen, queer, or a drug addict, then you were the freak.' I grew up in a world where I guess what is considered unusual or abnormal for the rest of America was very much considered the norm."[16] She also reported in an interview that there had been gunfire and a rape at the hotel shortly before they moved out.[11]

Hoffmann and her mother left the Chelsea Hotel after a long-standing dispute with the management that ended in eviction.[11] Regardless, Hoffmann's connection to the hotel had a significant effect on her future. The idea for the 1994 sitcom Someone Like Me originated after Gail Berman (former president of Viacom's Paramount Pictures) read a New York Times article[1] about the hotel which referred to a children's book that Viva and friend Jane Lancellotti wrote, Gaby at the Chelsea (a take on Kay Thompson's 1950s classic Eloise books). Berman became the show's producer.

Adolescence on the West Coast[edit]

After leaving the Chelsea when Hoffmann was 11,[15] she and her mother moved to the west coast to a two-bedroom rented house in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, which was badly damaged in the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake. While regrouping their living situation, Hoffmann and her mother temporarily lived at The Oceana Suites Hotel in Santa Monica, California.[citation needed]

College and assorted jobs[edit]

After she graduated from Calabasas High School in 1999, Hoffmann followed her half-sister Alex's example and entered New York's Bard College to pursue a degree in literature and writing.[11] Around 2001, she temporarily left her acting career to complete her studies and graduated in 2004; her senior thesis was a documentary film.[11]

After college, she spent much of her 20s drifting. She interned with a chef in Italy, then trained to be a doula after helping deliver Alex's children. For a time, Hoffmann and a boyfriend lived in an old trailer in the Catskill Mountains.[1]


Childhood acting career[edit]

Hoffmann began acting in commercials at the age of four to help pay the family bills. In 1989, she starred in her first movie, Field of Dreams, with Kevin Costner. 1989's Uncle Buck followed, working beside John Candy and up-and-coming child star Macaulay Culkin. However, she grew tired of the rigors of screen performance and temporarily retired. Nevertheless, upon hearing that Culkin (whom she disliked when they worked together[11]) was making a lot of money in feature films, her "competitive spirit got the best of her", as she later put it, and she reentered the profession. She starred in This Is My Life (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993) with Tom Hanks, and The Man Without a Face with Mel Gibson.[17] According to Hoffmann, the praise she received for her performance in This is My Life encouraged her to pursue a full-time acting career in Hollywood as it gave her the confidence she needed to handle major roles.[17]

In 1994, Hoffmann starred in her own sitcom Someone Like Me (on NBC) about a young girl, Gaby, and her dysfunctional family. To promote it, Hoffmann appeared on late-night talk shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Show with David Letterman. Although generally well received, the series lasted only six episodes.

After Someone Like Me, Hoffmann won the lead role opposite Shelley Long in the 1995 TV film Freaky Friday, a remake of the 1976 film of the same name starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris. In the same year as Freaky Friday, Hoffmann starred as Young Samantha, the childhood counterpart to Demi Moore's character, in the coming-of-age feature film Now and Then.

In 1995, Hoffmann played Andrea Eagerton in the CBS TV film Whose Daughter Is She?.

Teen and college years: 1996–2003[edit]

Between 1996 and 2001, Hoffmann landed roles in several films including Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Volcano (1997), Snapped (1998), The Hairy Bird (1998), 200 Cigarettes (1999), Coming Soon (1999), Black & White (1999), You Can Count on Me (2000), and Perfume (2001).

Theatre work in New York: 2003–2007[edit]

Between 2003 and 2007, Hoffmann largely concentrated on a theatre career in New York. Roles included 24 Hour Plays (as Denise at the American Airlines Theatre), The Sugar Syndrome (Williamstown Theatre Festival – July/August 2005), and Third (Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater/Lincoln Center Theater – September – December 2005). In late 2005, she starred in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She also appeared in the Broadway play Suburbia, alongside Kieran Culkin and Jessica Capshaw at the Second Stage Theatre on 43rd Street in New York City, which ran from September to October 2006. Hoffmann then returned to the 24 Hours Plays where she acted alongside Jennifer Aniston.

Return to film work: 2007–present[edit]

Since 2007, Hoffmann has made a gradual return to film acting. In 2007, she starred in the film Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America. In 2008, she appeared in Guest of Cindy Sherman, a documentary on art-scene commentator Paul Hasegawa-Overacker's relationship with enigmatic photographer Cindy Sherman. Sherman was married to Hoffman's stepfather, Michel Auder, from 1984 to 1999.[18] Later in 2008, Hoffmann appeared in the documentary Chelsea on the Rocks, which is a tribute to the Chelsea Hotel where she grew up. Directed by Abel Ferrara, the documentary highlights the many personalities and artistic voices that have emerged from the legendary residence.

In 2009, Hoffmann had a supporting role in Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime, and the thriller 13 with Mickey Rourke (released in 2010).

More recently[when?], Hoffmann has starred alongside Michael Cera in Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus (2013). While shooting the film in Chile, she and Cera took mescaline for her performance in a climactic scene.[19]

Recent[when?] guest appearances have been in the television series Louie and Girls in Season 3.[20] Hoffmann also appeared in seasons 4 and 5 of Girls.[16]

Hoffmann (bottom left). She is seen here with fellow cast members of Transparent in 2015

In 2013, she completed work on the lead role of a Web series entitled Lyle, created by Stewart Thorndike and Jill Soloway. It was shot in NYC. She subsequently acquired an apartment in Brooklyn's Fort Greene section.[1] In October 2013, she starred in the 1910s installment of Vanity Fair's The Decades Series, "The First March", directed by Gilly Barnes.[21]

Hoffmann has discussed her full frontal nude scenes in a few of her recent[when?] projects including Crystal Fairy, Girls and the Amazon series Transparent.[22] On nudity, Hoffmann said: "People are obsessed with actresses being hairless, fatless Barbie dolls. They can’t imagine that people would want to be anything other than that. When they are, it's looked at as almost a political statement. Look at Lena Dunham. She is a gorgeous woman and people can't stop talking about how brave she is to show herself naked, which I find totally condescending and ridiculous. If Angelina Jolie was naked onscreen no one would say she was brave. The implication is that Lena's brave because she doesn't look the way she's supposed to look. I think that's a shame."[23]

Jill Soloway wrote the role Hoffmann plays in Transparent for her after seeing her performance on Louis C.K.'s third season of Louie.[24]

In 2016, she appeared in video as an onstage "stand-in" during the Nostalgic For the Present concert tour of Australian singer Sia Furler for her song, "Unstoppable."[25]

Personal life[edit]

Hoffmann has a daughter,[26] born in 2014, with longtime boyfriend, cinematographer Chris Dapkins (born on November 19, 1980).[27][28][29] She lives in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn.[23]

Hoffmann endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[30]



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Field of Dreams Karin Kinsella
1989 Uncle Buck Maizy Russell
1992 This Is My Life Opal Ingels
1993 Sleepless in Seattle Jessica
1993 The Man Without a Face Megan Norstadt
1995 Now and Then Samantha "Sam" Albertson
1996 Everyone Says I Love You Lane Dandridge
1997 Volcano Kelly Roark
1998 All I Wanna Do Odette Sinclair
1998 Snapped Tara
1999 200 Cigarettes Stephie
1999 Coming Soon Jenny Simon
1999 Black and White Raven
2000 You Can Count on Me Sheila Seidleman
2001 Perfume Gabrielle Mancini
2007 Severed Ways Orn's Wife
2009 Life During Wartime Wanda
2010 13 Clara Ferro
2011 Wolfe with an E Karen
2011 Confidante Sam Short film
2011 The Surrogate Mary Sally
2012 Nate & Margaret Darla
2013 Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus Crystal Fairy
2013 All That I Am Susan
2013 Goodbye World Laura
2014 Obvious Child Nellie
2014 Veronica Mars Ruby Jetson
2014 Wild Aimee
2014 Lyle Leah
2015 Manhattan Romance Emmy
2021 C'mon C'mon Viv


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Someone Like Me Gaby Stepjak 6 episodes
1995 Freaky Friday Annabelle Andrews Television film
1995 Whose Daughter Is She? Andrea Eagerton Television film
2005 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Rachel Burnett Episode: "The Good Child"
2009 The Eastmans Dr. Sally Eastman Pilot
2010 Private Practice Emily Episode: "Just Lose It"
2011 The Good Wife Rhonda Cerone Episode: "Killer Song"
2011 Homeland CNN Producer Episode: "Clean Skin"
2012 Louie April Episode: "Something Is Wrong"
2014–2017 Girls Caroline Sackler 8 episodes
2014–2019 Transparent Alexandria "Ali" Pfefferman Series regular; 39 episodes
2016 High Maintenance Gaby Episode: "Tick"
TBA Untitled Los Angeles Lakers project Claire Rothman Upcoming series

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Production Result
1990 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Field of Dreams Won
1993 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress Under Ten in a Motion Picture This Is My Life Nominated
1994 Young Artist Award Best Youth Actress Co-Starring in a Motion Picture Drama The Man Without a Face Nominated
1995 Young Artist Award Best Youth Comedienne in a TV Show Someone Like Me Nominated
1996 Young Artist Award Best Performance by a Young Ensemble – Feature Film or Video Now and Then Nominated
1997 YoungStar Award Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film Everyone Says I Love You Nominated
2014 Independent Spirit Award Best Female Lead Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus Nominated
2015 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Girls Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Transparent Nominated
2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated


  1. ^ a b c d e Brodesser-Akner, Taffy (July 8, 2013). "The Chelsea Hotel Had Its Own Eloise". The New York Times. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Stated on Finding Your Roots, November 21, 2017
  3. ^ "UPI Almanac for Monday, Jan. 8, 2018". United Press International. January 8, 2018. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2019. Gaby Hoffmann in 1982 (age 36)
  4. ^ Jessie Katz (August 14, 2015). "Emmys:'Transparent's' Gaby Hoffmann-"I've Never Been Asked to Play, Nor Have I Ever Wanted to Play, the Girlfriend, the Sex Symbol'". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  5. ^ "Gaby Hoffman". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on July 4, 2019. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  6. ^ "Viva Auder Auder – United States Public Records, 1970–2009". FamilySearch. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  7. ^ Goldsmith, Barbara L. (April 29, 1968). "La Dolce Viva". New York. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  8. ^ "Anthony Herrera Obituary". San Antonio Express-News. July 3, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Anthony Herrera Obituary". Stone County Enterprise. July 28, 2011. Archived from the original on December 13, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Kennedy, Dana (March 25, 1994). "30 Minutes of Fame". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Caddell, Ian (March 5, 1992). "Child actor Gaby Hoffmann sounds off on directors, costars, and Madonna". Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  12. ^ EW Staff (June 11, 2013). "Gaby Hoffmann on child stars and coming back to acting on her own terms". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  13. ^ Brock, Chris (July 28, 2014). "Paintings of Viva Hoffmann on exhibit at Thousand Islands Arts Center". Watertown Daily Times. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  14. ^ de Villeneuve, Poppy (August 31, 2010). "Alexandra Auder, Yoga Teacher" (video interview). Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  15. ^ a b Lyons, Tina. "Gaby Hoffmann,1997". Index Magazine. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Martin, Denise (September 2, 2014). "Gaby Hoffmann on Girls, Growing Up in '80s New York, and Her Amazon Show Transparent". Vulture. New York Media. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Soboroff, Jacob (June 20, 2013). "Gaby Hoffmann Says Mel Gibson Screamed And Made Her Cry As A Child Actor (video)" (video interview). Huffington Post Live. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  18. ^ Patti Greco (January 20, 2014), Gaby Hoffmann on Girls, Dance Parties With Claire Danes, and Waxing for Veronica Mars New York.
  19. ^ Julie Miller (July 11, 2013). "Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffmann on Crystal Fairy, Acting on Mescaline, and Trips with Strangers". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  20. ^ Fine, Marshall (August 31, 2012). "Gaby Hoffmann: Now playing adults". Hollywood & Fine. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  21. ^ Barnes, Gilly (September 12, 2013). "The Decades Series: The 1910s". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  22. ^ Meltzer, Marisa (January 29, 2014). "Below the Bikini Line, a Growing Trend: Brazilian Bikini Wax? In a New Trend in Hair Removal, Women Prefer the Natural Look". The New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  23. ^ a b Wright, Jennifer Ashley (July 30, 2013). "Gaby Hoffmann: Warhol Would Have Loved Her". New York Observer. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  24. ^ Katz, Jessie (March 11, 2014). "Pret-a Reporter: Dynamic Duos: Jill Soloway and Gaby Hoffmann are Ready to Inhabit Your Brain". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  25. ^ Matasci, Matt. "Star-Studded Coachella 2016 Sia Set Features Pre-Recorded Cameos By Tig Notaro, Paul Dano and Kristen Wiig". Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  26. ^ Leon, Anya; Jordan, Julie (December 15, 2014). "Gaby Hoffmann Welcomes Daughter Rosemary". People. Retrieved December 16, 2014.[dead link]
  27. ^ Zaman, Farihah (2012). "Chris Dapkins: 25 New Faces of Independent Film (2012)". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  28. ^ Chiu, Melody; Jordan, Julie (June 6, 2014). "Gaby Hoffmann Expecting First Child". People. Retrieved August 31, 2014.[dead link]
  29. ^ Webber, Stephanie (June 7, 2014). "Gaby Hoffmann Is Pregnant, Girls Guest Star Expecting First Child With Boyfriend Chris Dapkins". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  30. ^ Gaby Hoffman - Feeling The Bern. YouTube.

External links[edit]