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Why Richard Dreyfuss Quit Acting

Richard Dreyfuss is one of the best actors of his generation and he’s given us so many great films. He began his career at the age of 15 and now he’s 75, and he’s got at least 5 films that should be released later this year or in the next year or two. It seems that we haven’t seen the last of Richard Dreyfuss. But the truth is, we are now seeing the last of Richard Dreyfuss.

Richard Dreyfuss has decided to quit acting – the only vocation he’s known and what he’s been passionate about since he was a child.

But how did Richard Dreyfuss get his start? Let’s have a look back at his life’s journey and what he’s up to today.

Richard Dreyfuss Sadly Confirms Why He Quit Acting. Join FactsVerse to learn about his life, career, and what he has to say about his sudden retirement…


Richard Stephen Dreyfuss was born on October 29, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York. His father Norman was a restaurateur and attorney and his mother, Geraldine, was a peace activist. Despite not coming from a show business background, Richard Dreyfuss was interested in acting from a young age. As a child, he took acting classes and studied at the Westside Jewish Community Center – under the acting teacher Bill Miller.

He took his acting very seriously and was eager to start his career as soon as possible. Richard Dreyfuss made his acting debut when he was only 15 years old. He appeared in the TV series “In Mama’s House” – and he never looked back ever since. In the 60 years of his acting career, he’s racked up just over 120 credits and he’s got a few more films in post-production that we should hopefully see in 2023 and perhaps beyond.

He avoided the draft to the Vietnam War by stating he was a conscientious objector and instead worked in a Los Angeles hospital for 2 years – in order to provide some service to the community. During this time, he also pursued his acting career on the side and tried to rack up as many credits as possible.

He focused mainly on television work during this time and appeared in shows such as That Girl, Gunsmoke, Peyton Place, The Big Valley, Bewitched, and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. During this time he also focused heavily on theater work and appeared in Off-Broadway plays as well as quite a lot of improvisational theater.

In the late 1960s, he also made his film debut – in a film you probably know about! He had an uncredited role in one scene of The Graduate in which he states the line “Shall I get the cops? I’ll get the cops!” – little did audiences know that this bit part was being played by someone who’d become a star by the next decade.

His first major film role was in the 1973 film American Graffiti and he was now getting more attention from audiences. This was followed up by a role in the Canadian film The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz – for which he one praise, most notably by the famous film critic Pauline Kael.

This role would lead to his first role in a major blockbuster and this would solidify him as a movie star.



The film that made Richard Dreyfuss’ career was arguably, Jaws. In this film, he played the marine biologist Hooper and as of this video, he’s the only surviving member of the main cast of the film.

Jaws, was of course, a major blockbuster and now Richard Dreyfuss was a household name. While his life has had its ups and downs, its perhaps safe to say that his career has had mostly ups ever since Jaws was released in 1975.

To this day, Jaws is one of the most-watched Hollywood films and is frequently shown on TV, streaming platforms, and at reunion screenings. Hooper is one of Richard Dreyfuss’ best-known characters and solidified him as a serious actor.

Now let’s look at some of Richard Dreyfuss’ other memorable roles and films.

Jaws was followed up by a television movie called Victory at Entebbe – which was about the hijacked plane that stopped at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, with the passengers held hostage by the country’s dictator Idi Amin Dada. Richard Dreyfuss played Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu who helps rescue the hostages. While a TV movie, this was a huge hit and showed audiences that Richard Dreyfuss could hold his own when acting alongside great actors such as Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, and Elizabeth Taylor.

Richard Dreyfuss teamed up again in with Steven Spielberg in 1977 to appear in the science fiction film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In this film, he had his first lead role as Roy Neary. He plays the patriarch of a family who witnesses paranormal activity and wants to investigate further. This is another one of his most famous roles and was fitting for his first lead role in a film.

Some of Richard Dreyfuss’ another notable films and TV shows include Who’s Life Is It Anyway?, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Stand By Me, Tin Men, Stakeout, Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the narrator of American Experience, Another Stakeout, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Lansky, Silver City, W., Paranoia, the TV mini-series Madoff, Murder at Yellowstone City, and his latest release in 2022 – the Christmas movie, Save Christmas.

As of now, he’s got 5 upcoming films that are all in post-production. His career has lasted for at least 60 years and he’s given us so many great films and TV shows. And yet, he’s now ready to step aside.

But before we get to that, let’s look back at his personal life.



Richard Dreyfuss has had a largely successful career but has had to overcome many hurdles in his personal life.

He has suffered from bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, for several years and he appeared in Stephen Fry’s documentary, The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, where he discussed his illness and how it’s affected his life.

He’s been married thrice. First to Jeramie Rain with whom he had 3 children. They were married for 9 years before their divorce in 1992. From 1999 to 2005 he was married to Janelle Lacey until their divorce. His most recent marriage is to Svetlana Erokhin to whom he’s been married since 2006.

Richard Dreyfuss is a respected actor by most of his colleagues though there have also been times when he’s had a tiff or two with some of his co-stars and even a director. Famously, he and Robert Shaw didn’t get along on the set of Jaws. He also didn’t get along with Bill Murray on the set of What About Bob? However, he has claimed that his feud with Robert Shaw was only on the set of Jaws and they made up before the latter’s passing. He also didn’t get along with director Oliver Stone when he worked with him on the set of W.

He was embroiled in a brief controversy in 2017 when writer Jessica Teich stated that she had once been sexually harassed by Richard Dreyfuss. He denied the claims and there hasn’t been a case or any major follow-up on this alleged incident.

Richard Dreyfuss has one several acting awards including an Oscar for best actor in The Goodbye Girl, a Satellite Award for his role in The Day Reagan Was Shot, and a lifetime achievement award at the FEST film festival held in Belgrade, Serbia in 2015.


Richard Dreyfuss has amassed over 120 credits mostly in film with occasional television work. He’s got 5 upcoming projects of which at least one is scheduled to be released in 2023. In addition to his acting work he’s also produced a few films, including Murder at Yellowstone City which he acted in. He’s also lent his hand as a writer for a few productions.

We’re truly grateful that Richard Dreyfuss has given us such a great body of work and that we still haven’t seen the last of him. But it seems that we won’t see any new projects of his anytime soon. Perhaps, for good.

Richard Dreyfuss Sadly Confirms Why He Quit Acting. In addition to his acting, Richard Dreyfuss has always been passionate about his country, the United States and the freedom and opportunities it provides. He’s been outspoken on issues such as free speech, privacy, and the constitution. He feels that dissent is getting quashed in today’s America and that this is profoundly unAmerican.

He’s appeared on several political talk shows to discuss his views and the importance of preserving the values that America was built on.

He helped found The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative which aims to teach the younger and future generations of Americans about the importance of their country and its principles. He’s also been passionate about writing about American history and partaking in documentaries about the country’s culture and values. We may not see him acting again but we certainly haven’t heard the last of Richard Dreyfuss. He’s going to dedicate his time now to speak out about the issues he cares about most. And for that, we are, once again, truly grateful.

So, now let’s hear from you:

Are you a fan of Richard Dreyuss? Did you know about his life and why he decided to quit acting? He’s one of our greatest actors and we’re grateful for his entire body of work.

In fact, here’s what we want to know from you:

Do you think that any of today’s actors or actresses take a stand on important issues?

Or do today’s stars tow whatever the party line is and are afraid to speak their mind?

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