At 29-years-old, Richard Dreyfuss became the youngest person to ever win the Best Actor Academy Award in history. It was a record he held until 2003 when a slightly younger Adrien Brody won for his performance in The Pianist
During the production of The Goodbye Girl
, actress Marsha Mason, who plays Paula, was married to the film's writer, Neil Simon. The pair were married from 1973-1983.
Sylvester Stallone, who had scored a triumph the previous year with Rocky
(1976), handed Richard Dreyfuss his Academy Award when he announced the winner of the Best Actor category at the Oscars®. After reading the nominees, Stallone said, "The new heavyweight champ is...Richard Dreyfuss."
Oscar®-winner Mike Nichols was originally slated to direct The Goodbye Girl
when it was still known as Bogart Slept Here
The Goodbye Girl
was one of two films directed by Herbert Ross in 1977 that were nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture. The other was The Turning Point
. Both films lost to Woody Allen's Annie Hall
Co-stars Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss have maintained a special bond over their experience making The Goodbye Girl
. "To this day," said Mason in her autobiography, "whenever I see Richard, we just break into big smiles and I hug'm and kiss'm till he laughs."
The ill-fated eccentric production of Richard III
in which Elliot performs in The Goodbye Girl
was inspired by a real-life production of the play that co-starred Marsha Mason as Lady Anne and Michael Moriarty as Richard. "I was and am a fan of Michael Moriarty and find him to be an enormously intelligent and sensitive actor," said Simon in his 1999 memoir The Play Goes On
. "I do not believe his Richard was conceived by Michael but rather was the choice of the director, whose name fortunately escapes me. I sat in my seat opening night, aware that Marsha had been uncomfortable all during the rehearsal period. The house lights dimmed and slowly Richard III appeared, hunched over slightly, showing a trace of his deformed hand. He spoke in a voice that was higher than I anticipated and seemed somewhat effeminate...Moriarty spoke his first line, 'Now is the winter of our discontent,' and before he finished 'discontent,' I said to myself, 'Wrong! This production is doomed.'...Little did I realize that Lady Anne and an effeminate Richard III would soon be playing a major role in The Goodbye Girl
Actress Quinn Cummings, who scored an Oscar® nomination for her memorable portrayal of Marsha Mason's daughter Lucy in The Goodbye Girl
, eventually quit acting and reinvented herself as a writer. Her popular blog The QC Report
generated Cumming's first book Notes from the Underwire
, published in 2009.
Memorable Quotes from THE GOODBYE GIRL
"I'm paying the rent. I'll make the rules. I like to take showers every morning, and I don't like the panties drying on the rod! I like to cook, so I'll use the kitchen whenever I damn well please. And I'm very particular about my condiments, so keep your salt and pepper to yourself. Plus, I play the guitar in the middle of the night whenever I cannot sleep, and I meditate every morning complete with chanting and burning incense, so if you've got to walk around, I would appreciate a little tiptoeing. Also, I sleep in the nude--buffo--winter and summer, rain or snow, with the windows open. And because I may have to go to the potty or the fridge in the middle of the night, and because I don't want to put on jammies, which I do not own in the first place, unless you're looking for a quick thrill or your daughter an advanced education, I'd keep my door closed. Them's my
rules and regulations. How does that
-- Elliot Garfield (Richard Dreyfuss) to Paula McFadden (Marsha Mason)
"May I come in?"
"Are you decent?"
"I am decent."
"Do you realize it's 3:00 in the morning, and my daughter--Jesus Christ, you're naked. I thought you said you were decent."
decent. I also happen to be naked."
--Paula and Elliot
"Miss McFadden, I am a person of health. I do not put unnatural things in my body. Music is one of nature's sedatives. If you will just listen to it instead of fighting it, we would all be asleep in five minutes. However, if you insist, take two sleeping pills and stick one in each ear."
-- Elliot to Paula
"Get your old mother a Coke."
"Mm-mmm. It's fattening."
"Get me the Coke. Mother doesn't want to beat the crap out of you."
-- Paula and her daughter Lucy (Quinn Cummings)
"My carrereth is over. I am making a horseth asseth out of myselfeth!"
--Elliot to Mark (Paul Benedict), the director of Richard III
"Of all the 'right-up-front girls I know, you are the right-up-frontest."
-- Elliot, to Paula
Compiled by Andrea Passafiume