Richard Stephen Dreyfuss is an American actor best known for starring in a number of film, television, and theater roles since the late 1960s, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and The Goodbye Girl.
Dreyfuss won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1978 for The Goodbye Girl (1977), and was nominated in 1995 for Mr. Holland’s Opus. He has also won a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, and was nominated in 2002 for Screen Actors Guild Awards in the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries categories.
Dreyfuss has been outspoken on the issue of how the media influences the shaping of public opinion, policy, and legislation. In the 2000s, he expressed his sentiments in favor of right to privacy, freedom of speech, democracy, and individual accountability.
Dreyfuss has organized and promoted campaigns to inform and instruct audiences in what he considers potential erosion of individual rights, a personal initiative he began in 2006, responding to what he believes were violations of individual rights under the presidential administration of George W. Bush. On February 16, 2006, Dreyfuss spoke at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in hopes of prompting national discussion on impeachment charges against U.S. President George W. Bush. On November 17, 2006, Dreyfuss appeared on HBO‘s Real Time with Bill Maher as a panel member to discuss teaching civics in schools. Dreyfuss formerly served on the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.