Date of Birth: October 29, 1947
"I don't think film acting is necessarily a triumph of technique. Film stardom is a friendship that happens between an audience and a performer. It's like you meet someone and you click with that person for whatever reason."
The son of an attorney, Richard Dreyfuss was born in Brooklyn, New York. Having moved to Los Angeles when he was nine, Dreyfuss began acting at the Beverly Hills Jewish Centre. After appearing in television shows like The Mod Squad and Bewitched while still in high school, Dreyfuss' career began to take off. During the late '60s and early '70s, Dreyfuss also did Broadway, off-Broadway, repertory, and improv theater.
Dreyfuss' first film role was one line in The Graduate: "Shall I call the cops? I'll call the cops." Dreyfuss made an impression in Dillinger, and landed a role in the 1973 hit, American Graffiti with other future stars, Harrison Ford and Ron Howard. Playing Curt Henderson, a young man agonizing over his future, the film launched Dreyfuss into the big time, becoming one of the biggest box office hits of its time.
Next up was The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz based on the book by Mordecai Richler. But it was the three films Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Goodbye Girl that really established Dreyfuss as a superstar. Working with the legendary Steven Spielberg, Jaws became a worldwide hit, while his role in The Goodbye Girl earned him an Oscar for Best Actor at the age of 29.
Between 1978 and 1982, he appeared in The Big Fix, The Competition, Whose Life Is It Anyways? and The Buddy System, but none did particularly well at the box office. This lead to a growing drug dependancy, which ended one night in 1982 when his car hit a tree and he was arrested for posession of cocaine.
Dreyfuss cleaned himself up and made a comeback in Down And Out In Beverly Hills, proving that he was still one of Hollywood's most accomplished actors. He went on to star in Stakeout, Tin Men, Always, Once Around, What About Bob? and Silent Fall.
For his work in Mr.Holland's Opus he was nominated for a second Academy Award. In March 2004 he returned to Broadway to appear in the play Sly Fox with Eric Stoltz. He continues to appear in supporting roles in films such as Poseidon (2006) with Kurt Russell and W. (2008) starring Josh Brolin.
In 2014 he appeared as one of the title roles in the Canadian-filmed movie Cas & Dylan, playing a terminally ill doctor who winds up on the lam with a young girl.
Most recently, he played a grandfather who wins a chance to travel to the moon in Astronaut (2019).
Richard is divorced from his second wife, L.A. accountant Janelle Lacy, and has three children by his first wife, Jeramie Rain. He is currently married to third wife, Svetlana Erokhin.
Cas & Dylan (2014)
The Big Valley (2011)
Lone Star Trixie (2010)
Piranha 3D (2010)
The Lightkeepers (2009)
Leaves of Grass (2009)
My Life in Ruins (2009)
Silver City (2004)
Who Is Cletis Tout? (2001)
The Crew (2000)
Krippendorf's Tribe (1998)
A Fine and Private Place (1998)
Night Falls on Manhattan (1997)
James and the Giant Peach (1996) (voice)
Mad Dog Time (1996)
The American President (1995)
Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)
Scenes from Everyday Life (1995)
Silent Fall (1994)
The Last Word (1994)
Another Stakeout (1993)
Lost in Yonkers (1993)
What About Bob? (1991)
Once Around (1991)
Postcards from the Edge (1990)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)
Let It Ride (1989)
Moon Over Parador (1988)
Tin Men (1987)
Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)
Stand by Me (1986)
The Buddy System, (1984)
Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981)
The Competition (1980)
The Big Fix (1978)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
The Goodbye Girl (1977)
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974)
The Second Coming of Suzanne (1974)
American Graffiti (1973)
Hello Down There (1969)
The Young Runaways (1968)
The Graduate (1967) (uncredited)
Valley of the Dolls (1967)