Gaby Hoffmann

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Gaby Hoffmann
BornGabriella Mary Hoffmann
(1982-01-08) January 8, 1982 (age 32)
New York City, New York
United States
EducationBuckley School
Calabasas High School[1]
Alma materBard College
Years active1989–present
ParentsViva (mother)
Anthony Herrera (father)
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Gaby Hoffmann
BornGabriella Mary Hoffmann
(1982-01-08) January 8, 1982 (age 32)
New York City, New York
United States
EducationBuckley School
Calabasas High School[1]
Alma materBard College
Years active1989–present
ParentsViva (mother)
Anthony Herrera (father)

Gabriella Mary "Gaby" Hoffmann (born January 8, 1982) is an American film and television actress who was a former child actress, most well known for recently appearing in the television series Louie and Girls.[2]

Early life[edit]

Hoffmann was born in New York City to mother Viva Auder Hoffmann,[3] an American actress, writer and former Warhol superstar,[4] and to father Anthony Herrera,[5] a soap actor best known for his role as James Stenbeck from As The World Turns.[6] Viva and Herrera were estranged shortly after Hoffmann's birth; she was raised by her mother, Viva, at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. Her father did not have a significant presence in her life.[7][8] 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 previously married director Michel Auder in 1969, so Hoffmann has a half-sister, Alexandra "Alex" Auder, who is 11 years older.[9] Auder is a yoga teacher in New York City.[10]

Hoffmann's mother's ancestry is German, Irish, English, and Italian. Hoffman's biological father was raised in Wiggins, Mississippi by his maternal grandparents. Herrera died in 2011 from cancer.[6]

Hoffmann attended 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 prestigious Buckley School, before finally graduating from Calabasas High School in 1999.[1]

Life at the Chelsea Hotel[edit]

Until 1993, Hoffmann lived in Manhattan's fabled, now landmarked, Chelsea Hotel, which Hoffmann later said she enjoyed. According to Hoffmann, she and her best friend Talya Shomron would roller-skate in the hallways, spy on the drug dealer across the hall, and persuade the bellman to go to the neighborhood deli at night and get them ice cream.[7] Hoffmann and her mother left the Chelsea Hotel in July 1993 after a dispute of long standing with the management, but the hotel ended up featuring prominently in Hoffmann’s future. The idea for the 1994 sitcom Someone Like Me originated after Gail Berman (former president of Viacom's Paramount Pictures), the show's producer, read a New York Times article[9] about the Hotel which referred to a children's book which Viva and friend Jane Lancellotti wrote entitled Gaby at the Chelsea (a take on Kay Thompson’s 1950s classic Eloise books).

On her childhood: "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."[2]

When Hoffmann was 11, after leaving the Chelsea,[1] Hoffmann and her mother (and their two Eskimo dogs) moved to the west coast to a two-bedroom rented house in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California which ended up being badly damaged in the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake. While regrouping their living situation, Gaby and her mother temporarily lived at The Oceana Suites Hotel in Santa Monica, not too distant from Malibu.

After she graduated from Calabasas High School in 1999, Hoffmann followed her half-sister's example and entered New York's Bard College to pursue a degree in literature. Starting in 2001, she put her acting career on hold to complete her studies. She graduated in 2003, and then spent much of her 20s drifting. She interned with a chef in Italy, and then trained to be a doula after helping deliver her sister Alex's children. For a time, Hoffmann and a boyfriend lived in an old trailer in the Catskills.[9]


Early acting career[edit]

Hoffmann began her acting career at the age of four to help pay the family bills by acting in commercials. However, she tired of the tough schedules and temporarily retired. Nevertheless, upon hearing that Macaulay Culkin was making a lot of money from his movies her "competitive spirit got the best of her," as she later put it, and she re-entered the profession. In 1989, she starred in her first movie, Field of Dreams, with Kevin Costner. She followed this up with 1989’s Uncle Buck with John Candy (as well as Macaulay Culkin) and then went on to star in This Is My Life (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993) with Tom Hanks and The Man Without a Face with Mel Gibson. According to Hoffmann, it was the praise she received for her performance in This is My Life which encouraged her to pursue a full-time acting career in Hollywood as it gave her the confidence she needed to handle major roles.[11]

In 1994, Hoffmann was given the starring role in her own sitcom Someone Like Me (on NBC) about a young girl, Gaby, and her dysfunctional family. Although generally well received, the show only lasted six episodes. Publicity work for the show included personal appearances by Hoffmann on late night talk shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Show with David Letterman.

After Someone Like Me, Hoffmann won the lead role in the TV film Freaky Friday, a remake of the 1976 film of the same name starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris.

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

In the same year as Freaky Friday, Hoffmann starred in the coming-of-age comedy, Now and Then, with her older counterpart played by Demi Moore. She played as Young Samantha.

Teen and college years: 1996–2003[edit]

Between 1996 and 2000, 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. 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, Hoffmann has starred alongside Michael Cera in Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus (2013). While shooting the 2013 film Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus in Chile, Hoffmann and costar Michael Cera took mescaline for her performance in a climactic scene.[12]

Recent guest appearances have been in the television series Louie and Girls in Season 3.[13] Hoffmann said that she will be coming back in season 4 of Girls.[2]

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.[9] In October 2013, she starred in the 1910s installment of Vanity Fair's The Decades Series, "The First March", directed by Gilly Barnes.[14]

Hoffmann has discussed her full frontal nude scenes in a few of her recent projects including Crystal Fairy, Girls and the Amazon series Transparent.[15] 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."[16]

Jill Soloway wrote the role Hoffmann plays in Transparent for her after seeing her performance on Louis C.K.'s most recent season of Louie.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Hoffmann has a daughter, Rosemary,[18] born in November 2014, with longtime boyfriend, cinematographer Chris Dapkins.[19][20][21] She lives in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn.[16]



1989Field of DreamsKarin Kinsella
1989Uncle BuckMaizy Russell
1992This Is My LifeOpal Ingels
1993Sleepless in SeattleJessica
1993Man Without a Face, TheThe Man Without a FaceMegan Norstadt
1995Now and ThenSamantha "Sam" Albertson
1995Freaky FridayAnnabelle AndrewsTelevision film
1995Whose Daughter Is She?Andrea EagertonTelevision film
1996Everyone Says I Love YouLane Dandridge
1997VolcanoKelly Roark
1998Hairy Bird, TheThe Hairy BirdOdette Sinclair
1999200 CigarettesStephie
1999Coming SoonJenny Simon
1999Black and WhiteRaven
2000You Can Count on MeSheila Seidleman
2001PerfumeGabrielle Mancini
2007Severed WaysOrn's Wife
2009Life During WartimeWanda
201013Clara Ferro
2011Wolfe with an EKaren
2011ConfidanteSamShort film
2011Surrogate Mary, TheThe Surrogate MarySally
2012Nate & MargaretDarla
2013Crystal Fairy & the Magical CactusCrystal Fairy
2013All That I AmSusan
2013Goodbye WorldLaura
2014Obvious ChildNellie
2014Veronica MarsRuby Jetson
2014Manhattan RomanceEmmy


1994Someone Like MeGaby Stepjak6 episodes
2005Law & Order: Criminal IntentRachel BurnettEpisode: "The Good Child"
2009Eastmans, TheThe EastmansDr. Sally EastmanPilot
2010Private PracticeEmilyEpisode: "Just Lose It"
2011Good Wife, TheThe Good WifeRhonda CeroneEpisode: "Killer Song"
2011HomelandCNN ProducerEpisode: "Clean Skin"
2012LouieAprilEpisode: "Something Is Wrong"
2014GirlsCaroline Sackler4 episodes
2014–presentTransparentAli10 episodes


1990Young Artist AwardBest Young Actress Supporting Role in a Motion PictureField of DreamsWon
1993Young Artist AwardBest Young Actress Under Ten in a Motion PictureThis Is My LifeNominated
1994Young Artist AwardBest Youth Actress Co-Starring in a Motion Picture DramaThe Man Without a FaceNominated
1995Young Artist AwardBest Youth Comedienne in a TV ShowSomeone Like MeNominated
1996Young Artist AwardBest Performance by a Young Ensemble - Feature Film or VideoNow and ThenNominated
1997YoungStar AwardBest Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy FilmEveryone Says I Love YouNominated
2014Film Independent Spirit AwardsBest Female LeadCrystal FairyNominated


  1. ^ a b c Lyons, Tina. "Gaby Hoffman,1997". Index Magazine. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Martin, Denise (2 September 2014). "Gaby Hoffmann on Girls, Growing Up in ’80s New York, and Her Amazon Show Transparent". Vulture (New York Magazine). Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Viva Auder Auder - United States Public Records, 1970-2009". FamilySearch. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Goldsmith, Barbara L. (29 April 1968). "La Dolce Viva". New York Magazine. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Anthony Herrera Obituary". San Antonio Express-News. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Anthony Herrera Obituary". Stone County Enterprise. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Kennedy, Dana (25 March 1994). "30 Minutes of Fame". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Caddell, Ian (5 March 1992). "Child actor Gaby Hoffmann sounds off on directors, costars, and Madonna". Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d Brodesser-Akner, Taffy (8 July 2013). "The Chelsea Hotel Had Its Own Eloise". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  10. ^ de Villeneuve, Poppy (31 August 2010). "Alexandra Auder, Yoga Teacher" (video interview). Another Mag. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Soboroff, Jacob (20 June 2013). "Gaby Hoffmann Says Mel Gibson Screamed And Made Her Cry As A Child Actor (video)" (live video interview). Huffington Post Live. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Julie Miller (11 July 2013). "Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffman on Crystal Fairy, Acting on Mescaline, and Trips with Strangers". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Fine, Marshall (31 August 2012). "Gaby Hoffmann: Now playing adults". Hollywood & Fine. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Barnes, Gilly (12 September 2013). "The Decades Series: The 1910s". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Meltzer, Marisa (29 January 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 31 August 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Wright, Jennifer Ashley (30 July 2013). "Gaby Hoffmann: Warhol Would Have Loved Her". New York Observer. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Katz, Jessie (11 March 2014). "Pret-a Reporter: Dynamic Duos: Jill Soloway and Gaby Hoffmann are Ready to Inhabit Your Brain". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  18. ^ Leon, Anya; Jordan, Julie (15 December 2014). "Gaby Hoffmann Welcomes Daughter Rosemary". People. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  19. ^ Zaman, Farihah (2012). "Chris Dapkins: 25 New Faces of Independent Film (2012)". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  20. ^ Chiu, Melody; Jordan, Julie (6 June 2014). "Gaby Hoffmann Expecting First Child". People. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  21. ^ Webber, Stephanie (7 June 2014). "Gaby Hoffmann Is Pregnant, Girls Guest Star Expecting First Child With Boyfriend Chris Dapkins". Us Weekly. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 

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