Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Richard Dreyfuss are two of the most celebrated actors in Hollywood, with multiple awards and accolades to their names. But are they related by blood or by marriage? This question has been circulating on the internet for years, especially after Julia’s emotional speech at the 2016 Emmy Awards, where she dedicated her win to her late father. Many people assumed that she was referring to Richard Dreyfuss, who is also known for his roles in movies like Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The Goodbye Girl. However, the truth is that Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Richard Dreyfuss are not related at all. Here’s why.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Father Was a French Businessman
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was born on January 13, 1961, in New York City, to Gérard Louis-Dreyfus and Judith LeFever Bowles. Her father was a French billionaire businessman, who was the chairman of Louis Dreyfus Company, a global conglomerate involved in agriculture, energy, shipping, and telecommunications. He was also an avid art collector and a poet, who served as the chairman of the Poetry Society of America for a decade. He died on September 16, 2016, at the age of 84.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has two half-sisters from her father’s first marriage: Phoebe Louis-Dreyfus and Emma Louis-Dreyfus. She also has a paternal half-brother, Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, from her father’s third marriage. Julia is the great-great-granddaughter of Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, who founded the Louis Dreyfus Company in 1851.
Richard Dreyfuss’ Father Was a Lawyer
Richard Dreyfuss was born on October 29, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York, to Norman Dreyfus and Geraldine Robbins. His father was a lawyer and a restaurateur, who owned the famous Dreyfus Delicatessen in Manhattan. His mother was a peace activist. He has a younger brother, Lorin Dreyfuss, who is also an actor and a producer.
Richard Dreyfuss is of Jewish descent, with his ancestors coming from Poland and Russia. He changed the spelling of his surname from “Dreyfus” to “Dreyfuss” when he became an actor, to avoid confusion with another performer named Richard Dreyfus.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Richard Dreyfuss Have No Family Connection
Despite sharing a similar-sounding surname and being in the same profession, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Richard Dreyfuss have no family connection whatsoever. They have different ethnic backgrounds, different parents, and different spellings of their last names. They have never worked together on screen or on stage, and they have never publicly acknowledged each other as relatives or friends.
The rumor that Richard Dreyfuss was Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ father started when she dedicated her Emmy award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for Veep to her father on stage in 2016. She said: “I’d like to dedicate this to my father William Louis-Dreyfus who passed away on Friday. I’m so glad that he liked Veep because his opinion was the one that really mattered.”
Some people misheard her name as “Richard” instead of “William”, and assumed that she was talking about Richard Dreyfuss. They then took to Twitter to express their condolences to Richard Dreyfuss, who quickly clarified that he was not Julia’s father and that they were not related. He tweeted: “I’m actually not Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ father. But I really appreciate all the concerned tweets.”
According to The Little Facts, this was not the first time that people confused Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Richard Dreyfuss as father and daughter. In 2013, when Julia won another Emmy for Veep, some media outlets mistakenly reported that Richard Dreyfuss was her father. This prompted Richard to tweet: “Congratulations to my darling daughter @OfficialJLD on her Emmy win! I couldn’t be more proud! #notreallyherdad #butshesstillgreat.”
Congratulations to my darling daughter @OfficialJLD on her Emmy win! I couldn’t be more proud! #notreallyherdad #butshesstillgreat — Richard Dreyfuss (@RichardDreyfuss) September 23, 2013
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Richard Dreyfuss are not related by blood or by marriage. They are both successful actors, but they have different backgrounds, different families, and different spellings of their surnames. The rumor that they are father and daughter started from a misunderstanding of Julia’s Emmy speech in 2016, where she honored her late father William Louis-Dreyfus. Richard Dreyfuss has since denied any relation to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and has even joked about it on social media. Therefore, the answer to the question “Is Julia Louis-Dreyfus related to Richard Dreyfuss?” is a resounding no..