Richard Dreyfuss: New York, New York
Richard Dreyfuss, Academy Award-Winning Actor
New York, New York

Richard Dreyfuss was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947 and began his acting career at the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center when he was eight years old. After portraying ‘Baby Face Nelson’ in 1973's Dillinger, Richard’s breakout performance came in American Graffiti, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best actor. Then Steven Spielberg cast him as ‘Hooper’, the cocky shark expert in Jaws, and next as the UFO obsessed ‘Roy Neary’ in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In 1978 Dreyfuss won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role as ‘Elliot Garfield’ in Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl. At just 29 years old, as a celebrated star on the rise, he became the youngest actor to ever receive this honor. In his personal life, Richard Dreyfuss, who has spent a lifetime championing the democratic process, founded The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative. The non-profit is “a nation-wide enterprise to encourage, revive, elevate and enhance the teaching of civics in American schools.”

For more on Richard Dreyfuss, please follow the Academy Award-winning actor on Twitter, and The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative on Facebook.

What is your favorite word to describe New York?

The center of the world.

What word best reflects the people of New York?

A verb that happens all the time.

What is the most creative, spiritual or emotional place in New York?

218th Street, Bayside Queens, where I was raised as a red diaper baby.

What is your favorite outdoor activity in New York?

Walking between The Ansonia to 116th and Riverside Drive.

What is your favorite indoor activity in New York?

I love reading histories and science fiction. The Devil's Horsemen, by James Chambers, and Time Again, by Jack Finney, are two I have recently enjoyed.

What is your favorite sound or noise in New York?

Walking up Broadway and veering to listen to Shakespeare in the Park.

What is your favorite smell or taste in New York?

Gray’s Papaya and hot dogs.

What drink best reflects New York?

A chocolate egg cream.

What song or type of music best reflects New York?

Gershwin, "Someone to Watch Over Me."

If Heaven were New York, what would God say to a visitor when they arrive at the Pearly Gates?

I’m an agnostic, but I choose heaven.

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