Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dreier attended Stanford University, graduating in 1939. He then went into journalism, and was covering Berlin for United Press when he joined NBC in 1941. During his year in Berlin he was under surveillance by the Gestapo, and he left the city one day before the Pearl Harbor attack.
His commentary aired on NBC on Saturdays from 1942 to 1945 and weekdays from 1951 to 1956. Known as Chicago's "Man on the Go," Dreier was the city's top TV anchor during his years on NBC-owned WNBQ-TV, serving as a news reporter and anchor. He also handled news for NBC-TV's Today on the Farm from 1960-61. He was replaced as WMAQ anchor by Floyd Kalber in 1962; he then moved to ABC owned-and-operated WBKB-TV.
From 1959 to 1964, Dreier also co-hosted the television program Championship Bridge with Charles Goren. These can still be seen on the Arts Channel of TV4U.com.
Dreier showed courage at a time of racial tension on Chicago's South Side, when major streets served as de facto racial dividing lines. If a black family dared move even one block across one of these lines, the neighborhood would react as though it were under siege (in part because they knew real estate agents would quickly move in to "change" the entire neighborhood, resulting in a considerable drop in area home prices. The longer one waited to sell, the less one would get for one’s house).
One night, Dreier began the most memorable broadcast of his career with words like, "The streets of one South Side Chicago neighborhood are quiet tonight, because of the decision of one black family" (not to move in after all). Dreier then blasted the white demonstrators who gathered around the black family's house. Pressure was put on his sponsor, Meister Brau Beer, which was thereafter removed from many white neighborhood taverns and liquor stores in the area. The white backlash against this broadcast probably ended Dreier's career as a news anchorman in Chicago.
Dreier moved to California in 1967, where he worked in Los Angeles for KTTV and also began a career as an actor in many films such as The Boston Strangler (1968), Chandler (1971), The Carey Treatment (1972), The Loners (1972), Lady Cocoa (1975) and The Astral Factor (1978), and TV shows, including Mannix, Kojak, Land of the Giants, Hart to Hart and Love, American Style between 1968 and 1979. He served as chairman of the board for the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences and as a board member of the Eisenhower Medical Center. In 1989, he was inducted into the Illinois Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Dreier served on the boards of trustees of institutions including Shimer College and the Eisenhower Medical Center.
Dreier died on March 11, 2000 in Rancho Mirage, California. He is buried in Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.The Boston Strangler (1968) - News Commentator
Chandler (1971) - Ross J. Carmady
The Carey Treatment (1972) - Dr. Joshua Randall
The Loners (1972) - Police Chief Peters
Alias Big Cherry (1975)
Lady Cocoa (1975) - Ramsey
The Astral Factor (1978) - Dr. Ulmer