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Born in Brooklyn, New York, RICHARD DREYFUSS (Alexander Dunning) began his acting career at the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center within the first few months of his family moving to LA when he was 8, and in grammar school and high school productions in Beverly Hills. He started getting acting jobs on network television series such as "Peyton Place,” "Gidget,” "Bewitched” and "The Big Valley,” among others.

During those school years, he was constantly doing professional theater work at all the Equity theaters in the LA area, including the Mark Taper Forum, all of which was put on hold when he became a conscientious objector during the Viet Nam years and worked full-time on the graveyard shift at LA County Hospital for two years.

He had his first film role in The Graduate in 1967, but did not get his first big break until 1973 when he played Baby Face Nelson in the bloody biopic Dillinger. The next few years, Dreyfuss saw his career explode when three films opened in what felt like the same minute: George Lucas' American Graffiti, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, and Steven Spielberg's Jaws. After that, he worked for Spielberg again in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and after that, The Goodbye Girl, for which his performance earned him the Oscar®.

The next few years were a roller coaster of work and personal melodrama, including an arrest for possession of drugs, sobriety, marriage and fatherhood. He rebuilt his career and reputation by deciding not to let anyone else define him or lead him where he felt uncomfortable going.

He deliberately set out to do drama, comedy, and theater. By 1986, he had starred in Paul Mazursky's hit comedy Down And Out In Beverly Hills, followed by Stakeout in 1987, among others, and performed Joe Egg, Requiem For a Heavyweight, Total Abandon, and many others, in theaters from NY to LA.

Dreyfuss was also nominated for an Oscar® and a Golden Globe for his performance as Glenn Holland in Mr. Holland's Opus in 1995. Since then he has continued working in movies, television and on stage, including the 2006 film Poseidon, and Oliver Stone's 2008 biopic W. In his personal life, Dreyfuss has semi-retired from acting, and has founded

TheDreyfussInitiative.org, a nationwide enterprise to encourage the teaching of civics in American schools. He has become outspoken on the issue of media informing policy, legislation, and public opinion, both speaking and writing to express his sentiments in favor of privacy, freedom of speech, democracy, and individual accountability.

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