Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss was born on October 29, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York. He spent his childhood in Bayside, Queens but moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was nine. He graduated from Beverly Hills High School in California in 1965. He became interested in acting at an early age, performing at the Beverly Hills Youth Center. When he was 15, he made his debut with the TV production In Mama’s House. For one year, he attended the San Fernando Valley State College. He also worked as a conscientious objector in the Vietnam War while moonlighting as a Los Angeles hospital clerk. At that time, he garnered television roles on shows such as Gidget, Bewitched, The Big Valley and Peyton Place. He has also appeared on a number of stage productions, on Broadway, off-Broadway and improvisational theater. He soon worked his way up the entertainment industry, gaining minor roles including an uncredited on in The Graduate in 1967.
Richard Dreyfuss became remembered for playing the character Baby Face Nelson in John Milius’ Dillinger in 1973. That same year, he became more prominent in show business, being cast as a college-bound young man in American Graffiti. His first lead role came in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, a Canadian film in 1974. He rose to fame during the 70s, and was cast in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In 1977, Dreyfuss won his first Best Actor Oscar for his performance in The Goodbye Girl. After a short period of commercial failures in the 80s, he reestablished his status as a leading actor in the popular Down and Out in Beverly Hills. During the 1990s, he starred in the comedy What About Bob? opposite Bill Murray and was recognized for his performance in Mr. Holland’s Opus. He appeared in the 2006 film Poseidon and narrated Unsung before being cast as the Mystic Man in the series Tin Man in 2007. The miniseries also featured Zoey Deschanel, Alan !$#!#ming and Neal McDonough. In 2008, Dreyfuss was given the role of Irv in the comedy My Life in Ruins.