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Richard  Dreyfuss

Richard Dreyfuss

Academy Award-Winning Actor & Social Activist


Richard Dreyfuss is an accomplished actor, outspoken social activist and champion for student engagement. One of Hollywood’s leading men, Dreyfuss has appeared in nearly 60 films, including Mr. Hollands’s Opus, American Graffiti, as well as two of Steven Spielberg’s highest grossing films, Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Dreyfuss is a two-time Academy Award nominee, a four-time Golden Globe Award nominee and won both an Oscar and Golden Globe for The Goodbye Girl. Read More >

In 2015 Dreyfuss received critical acclaim for his captivating performance as Bernie Madoff in the ABC miniseries Madoff, co-staring Blythe Danner who played Madoff’s wife. Madoff bilked investors out of $65 billion through an elaborate Ponzi scheme. Dreyfuss’s work on this mini-series was so compelling that it caught the attention of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners who invited him to speak at their Global Conference. Most recently, Dreyfuss has shown his versatility by going back to his theatrical roots, playing renowned physicist, Albert Einstein in Mark St. Germain’s play Relativity, directed by Rob Ruggiero.

In addition to acting, Dreyfuss has always been passionate about political engagement. He was inspired at a young age by his mother Geraldine who was a peace activist. Dreyfuss’s core belief is that America’s future will be shaped by how we educate the next generation in the democratic process. His passion for teaching civics education to young people led to the founding of The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative; a non-profit organization that aims to revive the teaching of civics in American public education for the purpose of empowering future generations. The organization’s programs promote the advancement of civic education, civic virtue and the role citizens can play in the success of our country. The work Dreyfuss is doing certainly resonates in today’s political climate.

His dedication to service and philanthropy extends beyond political engagement, and he has served on several committees and boards, including the Committee for Education with the American Bar Association, the Board of the National Constitution Center where he has served for twelve years, the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a Senior Research Advisory Member of St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University.

Richard Dreyfuss has a distinguished resume of notable films and plays that have contributed to a career spanning forty-five years. He began his acting career in theater, eventually acting in film before returning back to theater. Dreyfuss is a provocative storyteller who can connect with an audience through his charismatic honesty. Whether it’s speaking about his multi-faceted acting career, his passion for teaching civics to the next generation or the cautionary tale about Bernie Madoff, Richard Dreyfuss is a compelling speaker with several stories and words of advice to offer audiences of all kinds. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Oscar Award Winning Actor

Speech Topics

Acting as an Art Form

For Richard Dreyfuss, acting has always been his central passion, the impenetrable core and guide for his life. As a young man, Dreyfuss was moved by the great stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age; Spencer Tracey, Charles Laughton, Irene Dunne and Claudette all inspired a life-time of acting. In this talk, Dreyfuss shares his love of acting and how it transformed every aspect of his life. It’s an art form that has allowed him to express himself on the canvas of the big-screen, in the theater and on countless stages all over the world. It’s a fascinating talk that takes you inside the life of one of Hollywood’s leading men.

A Violation of Trust: How Bernie Madoff Changed a Nation

Thousands of lives were devastated when Bernie Madoff, the chairman of NASDAQ and pillar of Wall Street, violated the trust of his investors by bilking them out of their life-savings. In this talk, Dreyfuss shares his experience portraying the most hated man in America Bernie Madoff. Although a challenging role for Dreyfuss because of his connection to some of the victims, he believes in the importance of the story to ensure history does not repeat itself. 

Civic Engagement: Civility, Debate & American Citizenship

Richard Dreyfuss has spent a lifetime championing the democratic process and its foundation. In this talk, Dreyfuss advances the very principles that guide democracy. To that end, he founded The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative, a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the need for civic education in our school system. America’s future will be shaped by how we educate the next generation in the democratic process. Dreyfuss will leave you motivated and inspired to engage in the very freedoms for which our forefathers risked their lives.

Courage, Inspiration & Hope: My Ultimate Epiphany to Sobriety

The lure of drugs and alcohol are temptations that many young people fall victim to due to peer pressure, societal influences, and other unnavigable circumstances. In this very candid talk, Dreyfuss shares his personal story of addiction. “I thought I couldn't be killed, I thought I was immortal, and I thought I would always be smarter and faster.” Dreyfuss is boldly honest about the events that changed the trajectory of his own life. The choices he made will inspire and motivate.

Advancing a Peaceful Society is Everyone’s Business

As a global citizen, Dreyfuss believes that each of us has a responsibility to advance a peaceful society. In this talk, Mr. Dreyfuss advocates for solutions to the Arab/Israeli conflict, offering an educated and thoughtful perspective on the Middle East and US foreign policy. His candid viewpoint about what it really means to be Jewish during this time of conflict is challenging, inspirational, and stimulating.