Our Favourite Richard Dreyfuss Performances

Richard Dreyfuss

Richard Dreyfuss

The Hollywood legend Richard Dreyfuss has featured in over 70 films and television shows. The Oscar winning actor, has also been in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, working with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Here’s our favourite Dreyfuss performances:

The Goodbye Girl

In the 1970’s romantic comedy Dreyfuss plays Elliot Garfield, the struggling actor. The film sees Elliot sublet a Manhattan apartment from a friend, along with the current occupant Marsha and her young daughter. Although they reluctantly agree to share, they constantly bicker, but despite this they end up falling in love.

While the film received mixed reviews Dreyfuss won an Oscar for Best Actor for the role, making him the youngest man (at the time) to win an Oscar.


Considered one of the greatest films ever made – Jaws was the highest grossing film of all time (at the time of its release). The Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA award winning film saw Dreyfuss play Matt Hooper, the young oceanographer fascinated by sharks. In the film Martin Brody; chief of APD, hires Hooper to catch the fearsome predator.

Whilst filming the boat actually began to sink with Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider and Richard Drefuss aboard. So Spielberg sent another boat out to retrieve the actors, however, one camera was submerged – but luckily the film was salvageable.

American Graffiti

The coming of age comedy/drama is set in 1962, a time and place of early rock n’ roll, drag races, and diners. Telling the story of a group of teenagers and their adventures over a single night. They navigate relationships, their futures, and the post-high school decisions that will impact both.

Winning Best Picture at the Golden Globes, and receiving five Oscar nominations. In the iconic film Dreyfuss plays Curt Henderson, who tries to find a mysterious blonde beauty he sees driving a white Ford Thunderbird. His performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical.

Close Encounter of the Third Kind

The sci-fi movie sees Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss), an electrical lineman from Indiana, life change after an encounter with a UFO. The film was hugely successful, receiving an Oscar and 8 further nominations. It is still popular today, 40 years after its release. 

Whilst filming Jaws Spielberg spoke a lot about Close Encounters, so Dreyfuss became interested in the film. The role was initially turned down by Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Gene Hackman and James Caan. Dreyfuss eventually persuaded Spielberg to cast him in the film. 

If like us you are a big Richard Dreyfuss fan, don’t miss A Close Encounter with the man himself – 24th September, for one night only he will be at the Leicester Square Theatre. Get your tickets here.

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