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‘The Graduate’ Cast: A Look at the Coming-of-Age Film That Defined the ’60s

See where Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross ended up after that fateful bus ride


The Graduate was an instant success when it was released in 1967, and decades later, it remains one of the most popular and frequently referenced films of the era, with themes of alienation, seduction and searching for personal identity that are relevant as ever today.

Directed by Mike Nichols, the story revolves around Benjamin Braddock, an aimless recent college graduate who is seduced by an older woman, Mrs. Robinson, and later falls in love with her daughter, Elaine. The film influenced countless coming-of-age stories in its wake, and the iconic Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack perfectly captured the spirit of the time.

Here’s a look back at The Graduate cast then and now.

The Graduate Cast
Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate (1967) Pictures

Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock

Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock: The Graduate Cast
Left: 1967; Right: Pictures; Araya Doheny/Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Benjamin Braddock, the aimless graduate at the center of the film

BORN: August 8, 1937, in Los Angeles, California

BEST KNOWN FOR: Midnight Cowboy (1969), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Tootsie (1982), Rain Man (1988), Meet the Fockers (2004)

PERSONAL: Dustin Hoffman married actress Anne Byrne in 1969 and they divorced in 1980 — they have two children. He then married Lisa Gottsegen, a businesswoman who runs a beauty company, in 1980 and together they have four children: Jacob, Rebecca, Maxwell, and Lydia.

THOUGHTS ON THE GRADUATE: Looking back at The Graduate cast, Hoffman said, “We did The Graduate and that film still sustains, it had a wonderful script that they spent three years on, and an exceptional director with an exceptional cast and crew, but it was a small movie, four walls and actors, that is all, and yet it was 100 days of shooting.”

On getting the lead role, which brought him instant fame, Hoffman said, “I was a freak accident, so I got a lead that happened to be The Graduate and it was like a light switch went on and I was an instant star.”

He continued, “For most actors you start by playing supporting roles, it’s not even the supporting role it’s less than that, and if you are lucky you build up to supporting roles and then to starring roles — and then you reach a certain age, and unfortunately women usually reach it earlier, and you are no longer the leading man, therefore you become the supporting actor, which many times is the mentor of the lead. That is full circle.”

Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson

Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson
Left: 1967; Right: Pictures; Brenda Chase/Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Mrs. Robinson, the glamorous older woman who seduces Benjamin

BORN: Anna Maria Louisa Italiano on September 17, 1931, in the Bronx, New York. She passed away from uterine cancer at age 73 on June 6, 2005.

BEST KNOWN FOR: The Miracle Worker (1962), The Turning Point (1977), The Elephant Man (1980), Agnes of God (1985), Great Expectations (1998)

PERSONAL: Anne Bancroft was married to director, actor and writer Mel Brooks from 1964 until her death. They had a son, Max Brooks, a writer.

THOUGHTS ON THE GRADUATE: When asked if she thought Mrs. Robinson was the most intriguing character in the movie, Bancroft said, “Of course she is. Why do you think I took the role?”

MUST-READ: More Than ‘Mrs. Robinson’ — Take a Look at These Photos of Anne Bancroft Over the Years

Katharine Ross as Elaine Robinson

Katharine Ross in 1967 and 2023
Left: 1967; Right: 2023Silver Screen Collection/Getty; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Elaine Robinson, Mrs. Robinson’s daughter who Benjamin ultimately runs off with

BORN: January 29, 1940, in Hollywood, California

BEST KNOWN FOR: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Tell Them Boy Willie Is Here (1969), The Stepford Wives (1975), The Legacy (1978), Donnie Darko (2001)

PERSONALKatharine Ross has been married five times. She married her current husband, actor Sam Elliott, in 1984. They have a daughter, Cleo Rose Elliott.

THOUGHTS ON THE GRADUATE: Ross looked back fondly on the movie saying, “I’ll tell you what was great about it. It was a time when the old studio system was in its dying throes and they were just starting to try new approaches and the little $1 million budget films were being seen as the way to go. And that did turn out to be the progenitor of a great new era that eventually became the indie film movement.”

MUST-READ: ‘1883’ Star Sam Elliott: 12 Photos of His Life, Love & 50 Years as a Silver-Screen Cowboy

William Daniels as Mr. Braddock

William Daniels as Mr. Braddock
Left: 1967; Right: 2017Archive Photos/Getty; Cindy Ord/Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Mr. Braddock, Benjamin’s father

BORN: March 31, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York

BEST KNOWN FOR: Two for the Road (1967), 1776 (1972), Knight Rider (1982-1986), St. Elsewhere (1982-1988), Boy Meets World (1993-2000)

PERSONAL: William Daniels has been married to actress Bonnie Bartlett since 1951, and they have two sons, Robert and Michael.

THOUGHTS ON THE GRADUATE: When Daniels was asked if thought The Graduate was going to become a hit, he said, “No, I don’t think anybody felt that way about it. In fact, that’s a given in our business. You don’t know what you’ve got until you play it in front of an audience.”

MUST-READ: ‘Boy Meets World’ Cast Then And Now: Find Out What Happened to the Stars of the Beloved 90s Sitcom

Murray Hamilton as Mr. Robinson

Murray Hamilton as Mr. Robinson: The Graduate Cast
Left: 1967; Right: Pictures ; IMDB/Embassy Pictures

CHARACTER PLAYED: Mr. Robinson, Benjamin’s father’s law partner and the husband of Mrs. Robinson

BORN: Born on March 24, 1923, in Washington, North Carolina. He died of lung cancer at 63 in 1986.

BEST KNOWN FORThe Anatomy of a Murder (1959), The Hustler (1961), Jaws (1975), The Amityville Horror (1979), B.J. and the Bear (1981)

PERSONAL: Murray Hamilton was married to singer Terri DeMarco from 1953 until his death. They had two children.

MUST-READ: ‘B.J and the Bear’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

Elizabeth Wilson as Mrs. Braddock

Elizabeth Wilson as Mrs. Braddock
Left: 1967; Right: Pictures; Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

CHARACTER PLAYED: Mrs. Braddock, Benjamin’s mother

BORN: April 4, 1921, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She died on May 9, 2015 at age 94.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Picnic (1955), The Birds (1963), 9 to 5 (1980), The Addams Family (1991), Quiz Show (1994)

PERSONAL: Elizabeth Wilson often played the role of a wife and mother in movies, but never married or had kids.

THOUGHTS ON THE GRADUATE: Looking back at working with Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate cast, Wilson said, “Dustin and I became great friends; he was a charmer, so bright and so funny. I had a big crush on him. We continued to be friends for awhile, then word got back to me that he said, ‘She”ll never become very famous. I don’t want to move around with people who are not well-known; I don’t want that stigma. I only want to be with well-known, successful people.'” 

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