Richard Dreyfuss’ starring role as financial charlatan Bernie Madoff in ABC’s two-night “Madoff” miniseries is the latest historical figure the versatile actor has played on TV. Here are five more:
Col. Yonatan Netanyahu In “Victory at Entebbe” (1976), the based-on-fact TV movie about the Israeli commandos who freed hostages from Palestinian-terrorist hijackers, Dreyfuss played the team’s leader. (Netanyahu, the only Israeli killed in the raid, was the older brother of the current Israeli prime minister.)
Col. Georges Picquart In HBO’s “Prisoner of Honor” (1991), he played the French officer who uncovered evidence that proved convicted and exiled Capt. Alfred Dreyfus was a scapegoated victim of anti-Semitism. (Richard Dreyfuss has said he grew up believing he was related to Alfred Dreyfus.)
William Tecumseh Sherman Dreyfuss voiced the ruthless Union general in “Lincoln” (1992), a PBS special in which well-known actors read testimonies from people close to Lincoln about him and his work during the Civil War.
Meyer Lansky In HBO’s “Lansky” (1999), Dreyfuss starred as the title character, the notorious Lower East Side gangster.
Alexander Haig In the Showtime movie, “The Day Reagan Was Shot” (2001), Dreyfuss played the secretary of state who famously asserted, “I’m in control here,” after the president was gravely wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt.