18 October 2004 - Dropped out of his role as Max Bialystock in "The Producers" in a London production. He cited a continuing problem following back surgery and a recurring shoulder injury. He was replaced by Nathan Lane.
1967: Uncredited bit part - with a line - in The Graduate (1967). (After Elaine screams while visiting Ben in his apartment at Berkeley).
Attributes much of his ability to end drug addiction to a life-altering vision experienced in hospital after a bad car crash. Under the influence of drugs while driving, Dreyfuss knew the crash was his fault. Though he was the only one injured, in his recovery state he was moved by the image of a beautiful little girl in a white dress. The girl served to remind him of the kind of innocent life he could have destroyed, and it compelled him to save his own life, he says, by confronting his drug demons.
Auditioned for The Sound of Music (1965).
Because of memory loss problems as a result of his drug addiction in the 70s and 80s, during the brief run of Complicit at the Old Vic in 2009 he controversially used an earpiece to enable the prompter to feed him his lines during performances. The play, co-starring Elizabeth McGovern and David Suchet and directed by Kevin Spacey, was widely ridiculed in the British press as a result. Commenting on his many fluffed lines, the Daily Mail's theatre reviewer quipped "We're going to need a bigger earpiece.".
Born in Brooklyn, New York, he grew up in Beverly Hills, L.A., California from an early age.
Brother of Lorin Dreyfuss.
Claims to be a descendant of Alfred Dreyfus, who was wrongfully imprisoned at the notorious Devil's Island penal colony in French Guiana.
During 2004-2005 he took a short break from acting to lecture at Oxford University.
During his struggling actor years, he was constantly subjected to the ridicule of Hollywood casting directors after auditioning. The actor had written up a little list of their names which he kept as a reminder that he would eventually find success.
Father of Ben Dreyfuss.
Formerly, at age 30, the youngest man to win Oscar for Best Actor (The Goodbye Girl (1977)). He was beaten by Adrien Brody(29) at the 2003 ceremony.
Had a serious drug problem in the late 70s and early 80s. One of the side effects was that his memory was damaged, so much so that he still has no memory of filming the movie Whose Life Is It Anyway?.
Has a great dislike for rock music.
Has three children with Jeramie Rain: daughter Emily (b. November 1983), sons Benjamin (b. June 1986) and Harry Spencer (b. August 1990).
His Oscar winning performance in 'The Goodbye Girl' was based on his good friend Harlan Ellison.
In "The Buddy System" (1984), he played a mentor to Wil Wheaton's character in Wheaton's first film. Two years later, he played an adult version of Wheaton's character in "Stand by Me.".
In Stakeout (1987), his and Emilio Estevez's characters were quoting famous movie lines. Estevez said "This was no boating accident!" referring to Dreyfuss's character in Jaws (1975).
In 2004, he announced his retirement from film acting, and that he would concentrate on theater. He implied that he decided upon this course due to a lack of recent work in film and that his greater passion was always theater.