Dreyfuss at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival
Richard Stephen Dreyfus
October 29, 1947
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Richard Stephen Dreyfuss (born October 29, 1947) is an American actor best known for starring in a number of film, television, and theater roles since the late 1960s, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mr. Holland's Opus, and The Goodbye Girl.
Dreyfuss won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1978 for The Goodbye Girl (1977), and was nominated in 1995 for Mr. Holland's Opus. He has also won a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, and was nominated in 2002 for Screen Actors Guild Awards in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries categories.
- Early life 1
- Career 2
Other work 3
- The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative 3.1
- Politics 3.2
- Books 3.3
- Personal life 4
- Film 5.1
- Television 5.2
- Awards and nominations 6
- References 7
- External links 8
Dreyfuss was born Richard Stephen Dreyfus in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Geraldine Dreyfuss (née Robbins; 1921-2000), a peace activist, and Norman Dreyfuss (1920-2013), an attorney and restaurateur, and was raised in Bayside, Queens. Dreyfuss is Jewish. He has commented that he "grew up thinking that Alfred Dreyfus and [he] are of the same family." His father disliked New York City, and moved the family first to Europe, and later to Los Angeles, when Dreyfuss was nine. Dreyfuss attended Beverly Hills High School.
Dreyfuss began acting during his youth, at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills Arts Center and Westside Jewish Community Center, under drama teacher Bill Miller. He debuted in the TV production In Mama's House, when he was fifteen. He attended San Fernando Valley State College, now California State University, Northridge, for a year, and was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, working in alternate service for two years, as a clerk in a Los Angeles hospital. During this time, he acted in a few small TV roles on shows, Peyton Place, Gidget, That Girl, Bewitched, and The Big Valley. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he also performed on stage on Broadway, Off-Broadway, repertory, and improvisational theater.
Dreyfuss appeared alongside Henry Fonda, Gloria Grahame, Ron Thompson, Strother Martin, Jane Alexander, Lewis J. Stadlen, Richard X. Slattery and Pepper Martin in the play The Time of Your Life, which was revived on March 17, 1972 at the Huntington Hartford Theater in Los Angeles, and directed by Edwin Sherin.
Dreyfuss's first film role was a small, uncredited appearance in The Graduate. He had one line, "Shall I get the cops? I'll get the cops". He was also briefly seen as a stage hand in Valley of the Dolls (1967), in which he had a few lines. He appeared in the subsequent Dillinger, and landed a role in the 1973 hit American Graffiti, acting with other future stars such as Harrison Ford and Ron Howard. Dreyfuss played his first lead role in the Canadian film The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974), receiving positive reviews, including praise from Pauline Kael.
Dreyfuss went on to star in the box office blockbusters Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), both directed by Steven Spielberg. He won the 1978 Academy Award for Best Actor at the 50th Academy Awards ceremony for his portrayal of a struggling actor in The Goodbye Girl (1977), becoming the youngest actor to do so (at the age of 30 years, 125 days old), besting Marlon Brando, who had won his first Oscar in 1955 at the age of 30 years 360 days old. This record stood for 25 years until it was broken in 2003 by Adrien Brody, who was three weeks shy of age 30 at the time of the 75th Academy Awards ceremony.
Around 1978, Dreyfuss began using cocaine frequently; his addiction came to a head four years later in 1982, when he was arrested for possession of the drug after he blacked out while driving, and his car struck a tree. He entered rehabilitation and eventually made a Hollywood comeback with the films Down And Out In Beverly Hills in 1986 and Stakeout the following year. Dreyfuss also starred in the Rob Reiner movie, Stand by Me, a 1986 coming-of-age drama/comedy film adapted from Stephen King's novella The Body. Dreyfuss plays the elder Gordie Lachance, who narrates the film. In 1988, he reunited with director Paul Mazursky to star in the political farce Moon Over Parador.
In 1994, he participated in the historic Papal Concert to Commemorate the Shoah at the Vatican in the presence of Pope John Paul II, Rav Elio Toaf, chief rabbi of Rome, and Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, President of the Italian Republic. He recited Kaddish as part of a performance of Leonard Bernstein's Third Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Gilbert Levine. The event was broadcast worldwide.
Dreyfuss was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his performance as Glenn Holland in Mr. Holland's Opus (1995). Since then, he has continued working in the movies, television and the stage. In 2001/2002, he played Max Bickford in the television drama The Education of Max Bickford. In April 2004, he appeared in the revival of Sly Fox on Broadway (opposite Eric Stoltz, René Auberjonois, Bronson Pinchot and Elizabeth Berkley).
In November 2004, he was scheduled to appear in The Producers in London, but withdrew from the production a week before opening night. The media noted that Dreyfuss was still suffering from problems relating to an operation for a herniated disc in January, and that the part of Max Bialystock in the play is a physically demanding one. Both he and his assistant for the production stated that Dreyfuss was accumulating injuries that required him to wear physical therapy supports during rehearsals. Dreyfuss was eventually fired from the production, though he would return in 2008.
In 2006, he appeared as one of the survivors in the film W.
In early 2009, he appeared in the play Complicit (directed by Kevin Spacey) in London's Old Vic theatre. His participation in the play was subject to much controversy, owing to his use of an earpiece on stage, reportedly because of his inability to learn his lines in time. He guest-voiced as himself in the "Three Kings" episode of Family Guy in 2009, and later appeared again in the episode "Peter-assment". Dreyfuss has guest starred in the sixth season of Weeds as Warren Schiff, Nancy's high school teacher to whom she had lost her virginity.
Also in 2009, he portrayed the Biblical figure Moses in the Thomas Nelson audiobook production Word of Promise: Complete Audio Bible.
Dreyfuss has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
Dreyfuss was among 99 other stars at the 2012 Academy Awards - Night of 100 Stars. He did an interview for the Bill Zucker Show with actor/singer Bill Zucker.
in 2013, Dreyfuss starred in Cas and Dylan, along with Tatiana Maslany. filmed in Canada, directed by Jason Priestley.
On February 18th, 2015, it was announced that Dreyfuss would portray Bernie Madoff in an upcoming miniseries.  He will be playing opposite Blythe Danner as Ruth Madoff, and filming began in June 2015 for an expected release in December 2015.
The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative
The Academy award-winning actor aims to revive civic education in order to teach future generations about the power of their citizenship and the principles that hold America together. In 2006, Richard Dreyfuss created The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative (TDCI), a non-profit and pre-partisan organization that advocates for the teaching of civics in United States classrooms.  TDCI's mission is to revitalize and enhance the teaching of civics in American public education in order to empower future generations with the critical thinking skills needed to fulfill the vast potential of American citizenship. TDCI is a
- Richard Dreyfuss at the Internet Movie Database
- Richard Dreyfuss at the Internet Broadway Database
- Richard Dreyfuss at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Richard Dreyfuss at AllMovie
- THR: Richard Dreyfuss finds 'Happiness'
- The Dreyfuss Initiative
- Film Reference.com biography
- "Overview for Richard Dreyfuss". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Jacobs, Andrea. "Richard Dreyfuss at middle age: A rebellious Jew finds his own wisdom". The Jewish Advocate. March 1995.
- Academy Award Winning Actor Richard Dreyfuss Speaks at BHCC. PR Newswire.
- Brozan, Nadine. "Chronicle". The New York Times. 20 November 1991.
- "Richard Dreyfuss biography and filmography". Tribute. accessed October 3, 2011.
- Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2000
- Personal interview
- MTV.com Biography
- "Touching: Steve Jobs Voicing One Of Apple's Iconic 'Think Different' Campaign Commercials". Geekologie. October 7, 2011
- Adam, Karla. "My musical hell". The Guardian. January 21, 2005
- "Dreyfuss in London stage return". BBC News November 3, 2008
- "Richard Dreyfuss is Dick Cheney". comingsoon.net. The Hollywood Reporter. May 22, 2008
- Thompson, Warwick. "Richard Dreyfuss, Sporting Earpiece, Triumphs in New Play ". Bloomberg News. January 29, 2009
- Hollywood Walk of Fame; Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
- Zucker, Bill. "The 'BILL ZUCKER SHOW' takes to the Oscars Red Carpet!!" on YouTube. March 19, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- http://www.thedreyfussinitiative.org/initiative/ TDCI Website
- http://www.thedreyfussinitiative.org/mission/ TDCI website
- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/12/richard-dreyfuss-politics_n_5139577.html Huffington Post Article on Richard Dreyfuss
- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/12/richard-dreyfuss-politics_n_5139577.html Huffington Post Article on Richard Dreyfuss
- http://www.thedreyfussinitiative.org/initiative/ TDCI Website
- Summary and video footage of speech
- Morris, Michele AARP Richard Dreyfuss's New 'Opus'
- National Constitution Center – Near Independence Hall in Historic Philadelphia
- 18 in '08 Trailer on YouTube
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLVmk0b2Q70 Richard Dreyfuss appears on Huckabee
- Zweyner, Astrid (27 April 2006). "Oscar-winner Dreyfuss campaigns against .shaped news.". Reuters.
- Schindehette, Susan. "Risen from the Ashes, Richard Dreyfuss Faces His Family's Pain with Strength, Not Self-Pity", People March 4, 1991
- eOnline Profile
- Owen, Jonathan (September 17, 2006). "Stephen Fry: My battle with mental illness". The Independent.
- Mannes, Tanya. "Earth-friendly house in works". Sign on San Diego. March 9, 2009
- Tension Between Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw in "JAWS"
- Shaw vs Dreyfuss-Jaws The Inside Story on YouTube
- Photo Flash: Ride of Fame Honors Richard Dreyfuss Broadway World. November 5, 2010.
|1974||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||American Graffiti||Nominated|
|1974||New York Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Actor||The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz||Nominated|
|1976||BAFTA Awards||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Jaws||Nominated|
|1977||Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards||Best Actor||The Goodbye Girl||Won|
|1978||Academy Awards||Best Actor||The Goodbye Girl||Won|
|1978||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||The Goodbye Girl||Won|
|1978||Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Actor||The Goodbye Girl||Won|
|1978||Saturn Awards||Best Actor||Close Encounters of the Third Kind||Nominated|
|1979||BAFTA Awards||Best Actor in a Leading Role||The Goodbye Girl||Won|
|1981||Razzie Awards||Worst Actor||The Competition||Nominated|
|1988||Golden Globe Awards||Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture||Nuts||Nominated|
|1996||Academy Awards||Best Actor||Mr. Holland's Opus||Nominated|
|1996||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama||Mr. Holland's Opus||Nominated|
|2002||Satellite Awards||Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film||The Day Reagan Was Shot||Won|
|2002||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie||The Day Reagan Was Shot||Nominated|
|2002||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series||The Education of Max Bickford||Nominated|
|2004||Film Critics Circle of Australia||Best Actor||The Old Man Who Read Love Stories||Nominated|
|2010||Ride of Fame ||Ride of Fame||Life's Work||Won|
|2011||Saturn Awards||Best Guest Starring Role on Television||Weeds||Won|
|2015||FEST||Belgrade Winner||Award for lifetime contribution to the art of film||Won|
Awards and nominations
|1966||Bewitched||Rodney||TV series 1 episode|
|1966||Gidget||Durf the Drag||TV series 1 episode|
|1967||The Big Valley||Lud Akley||TV series 1 episode|
|1969||The Ghost and Mrs. Muir||Mark Finley||TV series season 1 episode 21|
|1970||The Mod Squad||Curtis Bell||TV series 1 episode|
|1973||A Touch of Grace||Donald||TV series, episode "The Accident"|
|1973||Gunsmoke||Gearshon Gorofsky||This Golden Land - Season 18, Episode 24|
|1991||Prisoner of Honor||Col. Picquart||Television film; also producer|
|1997||Oliver Twist||Fagin||Television film; also producer|
|1999||Lansky||Meyer Lansky||Television film|
|2000||Fail Safe||President of the United States||Television film|
|2001||The Education of Max Bickford||Max Bickford||
TV series; also producer
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
|2001||The Day Reagan Was Shot||Alexander Haig||
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
|2003||Coast to Coast||Barnaby Pierce||Television film|
|2007||Tin Man||Mystic Man||TV miniseries|
|2007||Ocean of Fear||Narrator||TV documentary|
|2012||Coma||Professor Hillside||Television miniseries|
Saturn Award for Best Guest Starring Role on Television
|2011||Parenthood||Gilliam T. Blount||4 episodes|
|2015||Your Family or Mine||Louis||Series regular|
|1967||Valley of the Dolls||Assistant stage manager||Uncredited|
|1967||The Graduate||Boarding House Resident||Uncredited|
|1968||The Young Runaways||Terry|
|1969||Hello Down There||Harold Webster|
|1973||American Graffiti||Curt Henderson||Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy|
|1973||Dillinger||Baby Face Nelson|
|1974||The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz||Duddy||Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor|
|1974||The Second Coming of Suzanne||Clavius|
|1975||Inserts||The Boy Wonder|
|1975||Jaws||Matt Hooper||Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role|
|1976||Victory at Entebbe||Colonel Yonatan 'Yoni' Netanyahu|
|1977||Close Encounters of the Third Kind||Roy Neary||Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor|
|1977||The Goodbye Girl||Elliott Garfield||
Academy Award for Best Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
|1978||The Big Fix||Moses Wine||Also producer|
|1980||The Competition||Paul Dietrich||Nominated — Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor|
|1981||Whose Life Is It Anyway?||Ken Harrison|
|1984||The Buddy System||Joe|
|1986||Down and Out in Beverly Hills||David 'Dave' Whiteman|
|1986||Stand by Me||Narrator/Gordie LaChance (adult)|
|1987||Tin Men||Bill 'BB' Babowsky|
|1987||Stakeout||Det. Chris Lecce|
|1987||Nuts||Aaron Levinsky||Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture|
|1988||Moon Over Parador||Jack Noah/President Alphonse Simms|
|1989||Let It Ride||Jay Trotter|
|1990||Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead||The Player||Pasinetti Award for Best Actor|
|1990||Postcards from the Edge||Doctor Frankenthal|
|1991||Once Around||Sam Sharpe||Also co-producer|
|1991||What About Bob?||Dr. Leo Marvin|
|1993||Lost in Yonkers||Louie Kurnitz|
|1993||Another Stakeout||Detective Chris Lecce|
|1994||Silent Fall||Dr. Jake Rainer|
|1995||The Last Word||Larry|
|1995||The American President||Senator Bob Rumson|
|1995||Mr. Holland's Opus||Glenn Holland||
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
|1996||James and the Giant Peach||Centipede (voice)|
|1996||Mad Dog Time||Vic|
|1997||Night Falls on Manhattan||Sam Vigoda|
|1998||Krippendorf's Tribe||Prof. James Krippendorf|
|2000||The Crew||Bobby Bartellemeo/Narrator|
|2001||The Old Man Who Read Love Stories||Antonio Bolivar||Nominated — Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Actor|
|2001||Who Is Cletis Tout?||Micah Donnelly|
|2004||Silver City||Chuck Raven|
|2008||Signs of the Time||Narrator||Documentary|
|2009||My Life in Ruins||Irv|
|2009||Leaves of Grass||Pug Rothbaum|
|2009||The Lightkeepers||Seth||Also executive producer|
|2010||Piranha 3D||Matthew Boyd||Cameo|
|2013||Cas & Dylan||Dr. Cas Pepper|
|2014||Very Good Girls||Danny|
Dreyfuss and Russian-born Svetlana Erokhin married in 2006 and have lived in San Diego since then, although they frequently visit New York City and London, where Dreyfuss once lived. They lived in Carlsbad, California. In February 2008, they bought a $1.5 million house in the rural community of Olivenhain in eastern Encinitas, California, and plan to renovate the 1970s structure with state-of-the-art green technologies.
Dreyfuss suffers from bipolar disorder. In 2006, he appeared in Stephen Fry's documentary, Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, in which Fry (who also has the disorder) interviewed him about his life and use of lithium since the 1970s. Dreyfuss has stated that he is an agnostic.
In 1995, Dreyfuss co-authored with science-fiction writer Jeramie Rain in the early 1980s. With her, he had three children: Emily (1983), Benjamin (1986), and Harry (1990). His elder son, Benjamin, was born with Peters Anomaly, a rare genetic eye disorder which, after many operations, left him blind in his left eye. Dreyfuss and Rain have continued to raise money for ophthalmology centers throughout the United States. After his 1995 divorce from Rain, Dreyfuss then married Janelle Lacey in 1999 but they divorced in 2005.
Dreyfuss has been outspoken on the issue of how the media influences the shaping of public opinion, policy, and legislation. In the 2000s, he expressed his sentiments in favor of right to privacy, freedom of speech, democracy, and individual accountability.
 in order to support the cause.Preamble, to discuss how civic education can create a stronger America and to ask viewers to sign the Mike Huckabee Governor Arkansas, hosted by former The Huckabee Show In 2014, Mr. Dreyfuss appeared on .18 in '08 In 2007, Dreyfuss appeared in the youth voting documentary film .Philadelphia in National Constitution Center Dreyfuss formerly served on the Board of Trustees of the  as a panel member to discuss teaching civics in schools.Real Time with Bill Maher's HBO On November 17, 2006, Dreyfuss appeared on  Dreyfuss has made numerous public appearances since the organization's founding in order to raise awareness to start discussion and dialogue regarding the need for increased civic education. On February 16, 2006, Dreyfuss spoke at The
Richard Dreyfuss is impassioned regarding the need for increased civics in American education, and spent time studying at St. Antony's College, University of Oxford. Mr. Dreyfuss understands how important the political structure of America is and how America is a nation dependent upon unique ideas and values established in the Enlightenment. These values are the principles that make up the Constitution, its Preamble, and the Bill of Rights.