The Rain Man legend was due to see Beckett in Paris, France to discuss a possible production of his play Waiting for Godot, but Hoffman never turned up.
Recalling the incident to Britain's Guardian Weekend magazine, he says, "At one point I was supposed to meet Samuel Beckett in a bar in Paris to do a revival of Godot, and I stood him up. I just kept walking round the block, I couldn't go in the door.
"I pretended, 'Oh, I didn't know it was today.' I wish I had known the man. (I feel) ashamed of myself."
Hoffman admits he struggled to come to terms with his decision to stand up Beckett, adding, "It took a few years."