Richard DreyfussRichard Dreyfuss (born October 29, 1947) is an American actor. He was born as the son of an attorney in Brooklyn, New York. He spent his early childhood in Brooklyn and in Bayside, Queens until he moved to Los Angeles with his family at age nine.
Dreyfuss' acting career began at this age at the Beverly Hills Jewish Center. He debuted in the TV production In Mama's House when he was fifteen. He attended the San Fernando Valley State College for a year and then became a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, and worked in alternate service for two years as a clerk in an Los Angeles hospital. During this time he acted in some small TV roles on shows such as Peyton Place and The Big Valley. During the late 60s and early 70s, he performed also on stage on Broadway, off-Broadway, repertory and improvisational theater.
Dreyfuss' first film part was a very small, uncredited part in The Graduate, in which he only had one line, "Shall I call the cops? I'll call the cops." He made then an impression in Dillinger, and landed a role in the 1973 hit American Graffiti, acting with other future stars, like Harrison Ford.
Dreyfuss' played his first lead role in the Canadian film The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz. He went on to star in the huge box office hits Jaws and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. For his portrayal of a struggling actor in The Goodbye Girl he won an Oscar, becoming the youngest actor to ever win the Best Actor Award.
Between 1978 and 1982, Dreyfuss acted in several films, 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. He cleaned himself up and made a comeback in Hollywood in the film Down And Out In Beverly Hills, proving that he was still one of Hollywood's most accomplished actors. Since then he has continued his career as one of the most reliable and versatile actors, not only in the movies, but also in television and on stage.