Today in 1947, the actor Richard Dreyfuss was born. Dreyfuss is most closely associated with the films Jaws, Mr. Holland's Opus and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
He won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1977 for his performance in The Goodbye Girl. He was again nominated for the same award in 1995, for his role in Mr. Holland's Opus.
In addition to his Oscar, Dreyfuss has won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA, and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York to an activist mother and a lawyer father. He was raised in Queens. When his father became disenchanted with life in NYC, he moved the family to Europe and then to Los Angeles. Richard was nine when he arrived in LA.
He got his start in acting from an early age. He got his first major role at age fifteen, in the TV production In Mama's House. He was a conscientious objector during Vietnam while a student at San Fernando Valley State College. During this time, he scored a few more minor roles on television.
His role in American Graffiti would eventually land him the roles that made him famous - specifically, Matt Hooper in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Jaws. Today, Dreyfuss is a household name.