- Category : Entertainment-Comedy
- Type : PE
- Profile : 6/3 - Role Model / Martyr
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Plane 2
William James "Bill" Murray (b. September 21, 1950) is an Academy Award-nominated, Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-winning American comedian and actor. He is perhaps most famous for his work in Saturday Night Live, as well as for his comedic roles in films such as Stripes, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Rushmore, among many others. He has gained further acclaim for recent dramatic roles, such as in the acclaimed films Lost In Translation, Broken Flowers and The Royal Tenenbaums.
Murray was born and raised in Wilmette, Illinois, the fifth of nine children of Edward J. Murray II, a lumber salesman, and Lucille Collins, both Irish American Catholics. Three of Murray's siblings are also actors: John Murray, Joel Murray, and Brian Doyle-Murray. A sister, Nancy, is an Adrian Dominican Sister in Illinois.
Murray attended Loyola Academy. As a teenager, he worked alongside his brothers as a caddy to pay for school. After graduation, he attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado where he took pre-med courses. He later dropped out after being arrested for possession of marijuana at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. He worked numerous jobs including a stint in a pizza parlor.
With an invitation from his older brother, Brian, Murray got his start at Second City Chicago studying under Del Close. The improvisational comedy troupe was a perfect fit for Murray's clever, dry humor and ad libbing. While in Chicago, Murray worked at Little Caesar's alongside now-celebrity chef Kerry Simon. He eventually became a featured player on The National Lampoon Radio Hour, aired on some 600 stations from 1973 to 1974.
Saturday Night Live
In 1975, he landed his first television role as a cast member of the ABC variety show Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. That same season, another variety show titled NBC's Saturday Night premiered. Cosell's show lasted just one season.
After working in Los Angeles with the "guerrilla video" commune TVTV on a number of projects, Murray rose to prominence when he joined the cast of NBC's newly-titled Saturday Night Live the following season, replacing Chevy Chase. This was initially a turbulent experience for Murray. He often flubbed his lines and seemed awkward on camera. Chase had been the most popular cast member and some fans sent Murray hate mail stating he was a poor replacement. When Chase appeared as a guest host that season, they got into a fist fight backstage. But by the end of Murray's first season, he had begun to display his witty, laid-back persona. His characters, such as Nick the Lounge Singer and nerd Todd DiLamuca, became very popular with viewers. With the departure of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in 1979, Murray became the most popular member of the ensemble cast. In 1980, the entire cast left the show.
Murray later revisited the troupe he started with in the TV special Bill Murray Live From the Second City in 1980.
Murray landed his first starring role with the film Meatballs in 1979. He followed up with his portrayal of famed writer Hunter S. Thompson in 1980s Where the Buffalo Roam. In the early 1980s, he starred in a string of box-office hits including Caddyshack, Stripes and Tootsie.
Murray began work on a film adaptation of the novel The Razor's Edge. The film, which Murray also co-wrote, was his first starring role in a dramatic film. He later agreed to star in Ghostbusters in a role originally written for John Belushi. This was a deal Murray made with Columbia Pictures in order to gain financing for his film. Ghostbusters became the highest-grossing film of 1984. But The Razor's Edge, which was filmed before Ghostbusters but not released until after, was a box-office flop. Upset over the failure of Razor's Edge, Murray took four years off from acting to study French at the Sorbonne and spend time with his family in their Hudson River Valley home. With the exception of a memorable cameo in the 1986 movie Little Shop of Horrors, he did not make any appearances in films.
Murray returned to films in 1988 with Scrooged and followed up with the long-awaited sequel Ghostbusters II in 1989. In 1990, Murray made his first and only attempt at directing when he co-helmed Quick Change with producer Howard Franklin. His subsequent films What About Bob? (1991) and Groundhog Day (1993) were box-office hits and critically acclaimed, and in recent years have come to be seen as minor classics.
After a string of films that did not do well with audiences (besides Kingpin, in which he played a supporting role), he received much critical acclaim for Wes Anderson's Rushmore for which he won several awards. Murray then experienced a resurgence in his career as a dramatic actor. After dramatic roles in Wild Things, Cradle Will Rock, and Hamlet (as Polonius), and a comedic role in Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums, he garnered considerable acclaim for the 2003 film Lost in Translation. He received a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA award. He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, in what was considered to be a two-horse race between him and Sean Penn, who eventually prevailed. In an interview included on the Lost in Translation DVD, Murray states that this is his favorite movie in which he has appeared.
During this time, Murray still appeared in comedic roles such as Charlie's Angels and Osmosis Jones. In 2004, he provided the voice of Garfield in Garfield: The Movie and marked his third collaboration with Wes Anderson in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Murray also garnered acclaim for his dramatic role in Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers.
In 2005, he announced that he would take a break from acting, as he had not had the time since his new breakthrough in the late-1990s. His last film role to date is Garfield's voice in the sequel Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. Dan Aykroyd has recently confirmed in an interview with CISN Country that Murray will be reprising his role as the voice of Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters III, which will be done with computer animation partially because Murray refused to act in a live action sequel.
Murray wed Margaret Kelly in 1980. They had two sons, Homer (born 1982) and Luke (born 1985), before divorcing in 1994. In 1997, he married Jennifer Butler. They have four children together: Cal (born 1993), Jackson (born 1995), Cooper (born 1996), and Lincoln (born 2001).
He is a partner with his brothers in Murray Bros. Caddy Shack, a restaurant chain with locations near Jacksonville and in Myrtle Beach and St. Augustine. Murray is an avid golfer who often plays in celebrity tournaments. His 1999 book Cinderella Story: My Life in Golf, part autobiography and part essay, expounds on his love of golf. In 2002, he and his brothers starred in the Comedy Central series, The Sweet Spot, which chronicled their adventures playing golf.
He is a part-owner of the St. Paul Saints independent minor-league baseball team and occasionally travels to Saint Paul, Minnesota to watch the team's games. He also owns part of the Charleston RiverDogs, Hudson Valley Renegades, and the Brockton Rox. He invested in a number of other minor league teams in the past, including the Utica Blue Sox, Miami Miracle, and Salt Lake Trappers.
Very detached from the Hollywood scene, Murray does not have an agent or manager and reportedly only fields offers for scripts and roles using a personal telephone number with a voice mailbox that he checks infrequently. This practice has the downside of sometimes preventing him from taking parts that he had auditioned for and was interested in, such as that of Sulley in Monsters, Inc and Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Murray has homes in Los Angeles, Charleston, SC, and New York.
During the 2000 presidential campaign, Murray stumped for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader.
Murray is a huge fan of Chicago pro sports teams, especially the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears. He also is a big Michael Jordan fan and has made cameo appearances in Space Jam and Jordan documentaries. He also cheered courtside for the Illinois Fighting Illini's game versus the University of North Carolina in the NCAA Basketball Tournament's championship game in 2005.