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Richard Dreyfuss


  • Birth Name

    Richard Dreyfuss

  • Birth Date


  • Birthplace

    Brooklyn, New York

  • Credits

    12 Movies, 5 TV appearances, 6 awards
    View All

  • Family

    Wife: Svetlana Erokhin
    married March 16, 2006 in Harrisonburg, VA.

    Daughter: Emily Dreyfuss
    born in November 1983; mother, Jeramie Dreyfuss

    Father: Norman Dreyfus
    later became a restaurateur

    Mother: Gerry Dreyfus
    also a peace activist; acted in two movies with son, "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (1986, portraying his mother) and "Let It Ride" (1989); died on October 19, 2000 from complications of a stroke

    Son: Benjamin Dreyfuss
    born in June 1986 with Peter's anomaly, an abnormality in which his cornea was fused with his iris leaving him permanently blind in one eye; mother, Jeramie Dreyfuss

    Son: Harry Spencer Dreyfuss
    born on August 9, 1990; mother, Jeramie Dreyfuss

  • Notes

    "I didn't anticipate the guilt and the fear of success. I didn't anticipate the down side of success at all . . . I started to resist the position I was in by drinking a lot, doing drugs, eating too much, being childish, denigrating my talent." --Dreyfuss in Esquire, October 10, 1978.
    "I got into films to be Spencer Tracy and Edward G. Robinson and Paul Muni. I knew I wasn't Errol Flynn. I also knew I didn't have to be." --Richard Dreyfuss to Empire, June 1996.
    "I have no memory of not wanting to be an actor." --Richard Dreyfuss ("Earl Blackwell's Entertainment Celebrity Register)
    "I'm 50 and stale. What's the big surprise? I've been performing for 41 years and famous for 25 of them. I know my life has been pretty blessed, and part of my Jewish guilt can't accept that.

    "But in the worst moments of my darkest hours, I've never devalued the work I've done. I've always been proud of the aggregate body. And now I've gotta figure out where I want it to lead." --Richard Dreyfuss in New York Post, February 23, 1998.
    Arrested for illegal possession of cocaine and Percodan after surviving a 1982 car accident, Dreyfuss underwent a court-ordered rehabilitation in lieu of a trial.
    Dreyfuss is a charter member of the Los Angeles Classic Theatre Works group.
    His producing partnership with Judith Rutherford James, Dreyfuss/James Productions, has shared producing responsibilities on "Once Around" (1991, in which Dreyfus starred), Robert Redford's "Quiz Show" (1994), the TNT movie "Kissinger and Nixon" (1995) and "Krippindorf's Tribe" (1998, in which he also starred), among other projects.

  • Milestones

    (1964) Made professional stage debut in "In Mama's House" at the Gallery Theatre in Los Angeles (date approximate)
    (1986) Narrated Reiner's "Stand By Me"
    (1987) Offered excellent turns in both Barry Levinson's "Tin Men" and Badham's "Stakeout"
    (1966) Performed in "The Session", improvisational cabaret theater in San Francisco with Larry Bishop (son of Joey), Rob Reiner and David Arkin under Reiner's direction
    (1973) Played Baby Face Nelson in John Milius' "Dillinger"
    (1978) Played Cassius in "Julius Caesar" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
    (2001) Played US Secretary of State Alexander Haig in the Showtime drama "The Day Reagan Was Shot"
    (1997) Played a civil rights attorney based on William Kunstler for Sidney Lumet's "Night Falls on Manhattan"
    (1991) Portrayed Bill Murray's shrink in "What About Bob?"
    (1999) Portrayed infamous Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky in HBO's "Lansky", scripted by David Mamet and directed by John McNaughton
    (1978) Produced and starred in feature film, "The Big Fix"
    (1987) Produced, wrote and hosted TV special, "Funny You Don't Look 200!" (ABC), a variety show celebration of the bicentennial of the US Constitution
    Raised in Bayside, Queens, New York
    (1996) Received star number 2,075 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (October 10)
    (1998) Reteamed with Mason for the stage play "House" (co-authored by Jon Robin Baitz and Terrence McNally), produced at the Bay Street Theater on Long Island
    (1988) Reteamed with Mazursky as the very broad actor-cum-dictator of "Moon Over Parador"
    (1977) Reteamed with Spielberg for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"
    (1992) Returned to Broadway in "Death and the Maiden", with Glenn Close and Gene Hackman
    (2004) Returned to broadway in "Sly Fox", opposite Elizabeth Berkley
    (1991) Reunited with Hunter for Lasse Hallstrom's "Once Around"
    (1994) Stage directorial debut, "Hamlet", for the Birmingham Theatre Company at the Old Rep in England
    (1979) Starred as Iago in "Othello" with the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park
    (2006) Starred in director Wolfgang Petersen's remake of "The Poseidon Adventure"
    (2001-Present) Starred in the CBS TV drama "The Education of Max Bickford"
    (1998) Starred opposite Jenna Elfman in "Krippendorf's Tribe"
    (2004) Starred with Chris Cooper in John Sayles' political satire "Silver City" which centers on a bumbling local politician whose campaign for the governorship of Colorado is disrupted by the discovery of a corpse
    (1986) Started comeback as part of the fine ensemble of Paul Mazursky's "Down and Out in Beverly Hills"
    (1968) Stood out in "The Young Runaways" as a cocky car thief
    (1982) Survived a near fatal car accident but was arrested for possession of illegal substances; subsequently underwent treatment
    (1972) TV movie debut, "Two for the Money" (ABC)
    (1989) Third film with director Spielberg for "Always", a slick remake of 1943's "A Guy Named Joe"; starred opposite Holly Hunter
    (1981) Turned in remarkable performance as paralyzed sculptor who argues for his right to die in John Badham's "Whose Life Is It Anyway?"; however, the actor remembers very little of the experience, having been incredibly drugged-out at the time
    (1977) Won Best Actor Oscar acting opposite Marsha Mason in Neil Simon's "The Goodbye Girl"
    Worked at New York Playboy Club with comedy troupe, but was fired after first performance for insulting customers
    (1995) Acted opposite Christine Lahti in Los Angeles stage production of "Three Hotels" by Jon Robin Baitz
    Added extra 's' to last name after he began acting
    (1971) Appeared Off-Broadway in Israel Horowitz's "Line"
    (1993) Appeared in feature film version of Simon's play "Lost in Yonkers" and in Badham's sequel, "Another Stakeout"
    (1964-1965) Appeared on NBC's "Karen", one of three situation comedies aired consecutively and known collectively as "90 Bristol Court" (the address of the apartment complex where all the characters lived); "Karen" showed the most staying power, surviving the season after the other two ("Harris Against the World" and "Tom, Dick and Mary") were cancelled in January
    As a conscientious objector, did alternative to military service by working as a file clerk at Los Angeles County General Hospital
    (1969) Broadway debut, "But Seriously . . ."
    (2000) Cast as an aging gangster in the comedy "The Crew"
    (1997) Co-produced and starred as Fagin in "The Wonderful World of Disney" presentation of "Oliver Twist" on ABC
    (2001) Co-starred in "The Old Man Who Loved to Read Stories"
    (1999) Co-starred with Mason in London stage production of Simon's "The Prisoner of Second Avenue"
    (1974) Confirmed rising star status with a fine turn as the ambitious title character of "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz"
    (1996) Directed short film "Present Tense, Past Perfect", which aired on Showtime's "Directed By" as part of "Anything for Love", along with Lahti's Academy Award-winning short "Lieberman in Love" and Christian Slater's "Museum of Love"
    (1995) Earned second Best Actor Oscar nomination for "Mr. Holland's Opus"
    (1991) Executive produced Ken Russell's "Prisoner of Honor" (HBO); also starred as George Picquart, the anti-semitic officer who became a hero fighting to prove the innocence of Alfred Dreyfuss (a distant relative), a Jewish army officer accused of treason against France in 1894
    Family sold everything and moved to Europe when Dreyfuss was eight; returned to New York six months later and drove to Los Angeles where family settled
    (1967) First film appearances in "The Graduate" (a one-line bit) and "Valley of the Dolls"
    (1975) First film with Steven Spielberg, "Jaws"; played the icthyologist tracking the great white shark
    (1973) Garnered notice for his turn as the college-bound Curt in George Lucas' "American Graffiti"
    Joined the West Side Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles and began acting, making his stage debut as Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, at the age of nine
    (1996) Made a cameo appearance as a US Senator in Reiner's "The American President"

News & Articles

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