Richard Dreyfuss – coping with conflict

The navel-gazing luvvy world of showbusiness is about to raise a West End curtain on a play about the famously troubled production of the 1975 movie Jaws and the strained relationship of the two stars Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss which would later become known as one of Hollywood’s greatest feuds. The Shark is Broken.

  Dreyfuss has had a career of sparkling highs, becoming the youngest Oscar winner at 29, sailing through the standout movies of the 70s/80s/90s – American Graffiti, Jaws, The Competition, Stand by Me, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, The Goodbye Girl, Tin Men, Stakeout, Another Stakeout, Always, What About Bob?

  Though he went seriously off the rails, into a haze of cocaine, hard-drinking and hell-raising until a near fatal car crash pulled him up short in 1982 He’s always had a reputation for being tricky to get along with.

  He was born 29 October 1947 6.07pm New York and grew up with a war-veteran and injured father from whom he was estranged when he died. He was diagnosed as bipolar when he was 11.

    His chart is more than unusually difficult especially in relationship to his father and childhood home – with Pluto Mars and Saturn conjunct in Leo which is hair-raising. So no surprises he would have difficulties in relations to his father and following that to certain other men. He also has three planets in intense Scorpio in his hard-working 6th – Sun Mercury Venus. His Sun is opposition a Taurus Moon and square Mars Pluto and his Venus Mercury squares Saturn and Mars Pluto – and that is a tough furrow to plough. 

  He said of Robert Shaw “”In private, he was the kindest, gentlest, funniest guy you ever met. Then we’d walk to the set, and on our way to the set he was possessed by some evil troll, who would then make me his victim.”

 Robert Shaw, the veteran English actor, twenty years his senior, was born 9 August 1927, and had his Leo Sun conjunct Dreyfuss’ Mars Pluto which would stir up all of his early father issues; and Shaw’s Neptune was conjunct Dreyfuss’ Saturn for suspicion and doubt.   More pointedly Shaw’s Saturn in Sagittarius was conjunct Dreyfuss’s Jupiter on his Descendant, so he would be critical and squash his exuberance. Their relationship chart isn’t too tricky apart from a game-laying, tussle for the upper hand composite Jupiter opposition Pluto; and maybe a scratchy Moon opposition Mars.

  Given the hand of cards Dreyfuss was deal he has done not badly to stay afloat and succeed up to the levels he has. There was recently an allegation of historical sexual harassment which he contests furiously.

4 thoughts on “Richard Dreyfuss – coping with conflict

  1. He said of Robert Shaw “”In private, he was the kindest, gentlest, funniest guy you ever met. Then we’d walk to the set, and on our way to the set he was possessed by some evil troll, who would then make me his victim.”

    I’ve had a couple of these types of experiences with people in the past. It’s such a weird feeling to know someone is being themselves, you assume, in front of you, but as soon as there is a crowd they use you to play cruelly to it. I don’t understand psychologically why someone would be this way, unless, it’s to do with narcissism. Reel you in then humiliate you into submission?

    I remember reading about Dreyfuss having an absolute disgust for rock n’ roll music who thought it was downright evil. Ironic, considering he was in American Graffiti based on the 1950’s music culture on youth and showing one of the best music eras in their history.

  2. How curious. Boris Johnson’s remarks about being the reckless Mayor in “Jaws” (keeping the beaches open in the movie) at the start of the pandemic are still floating around. And now this play. A bit of Pluto somewhere?

    I looked at the release date for Jaws in the USA, 20th June, 1975. It has a very fiery Mars/Jupiter conjunction (square Saturn) in Aries that trined Dreyfuss’ Saturn – so I think that suggests long lasting ‘success’ for the project. The Moon’s NN are conjunct his Jupiter, and Robert Shaw’s Saturn – a big, long lasting audience? Certainly, this film entered the collective as a kind of folklore story. The backstory of the two actors sounds like an odd choice for a play, but who knows? The title sounds like it refers to a failed big city banker!

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