- NAME: Bill Murray
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Television Actor, Radio Personality
- BIRTH DATE: September 21, 1950 (Age: 63)
- Did You Know?: Bill Murray got his start in comedy after following his brother to join Chicago's Second City improv troupe.
- EDUCATION: George Mason University, Regis University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Wilmette, Illinois
- Full Name: William J. Murray
- AKA: Bill Murray
- AKA: William Murray
- ZODIAC SIGN: Virgo
Best Known For
Comedian and actor Bill Murray is best known for his roles on Saturday Night Live and in the classic comedies Caddy Shack and Stripes. More recently, he was cast as FDR in the film Hyde Park on Hudson.
Bill Murray - The Guys (2:02)
Bill Murray - Improvisation (1:47)
Ivan Reitman talks about Bill Murray's ironic way of speaking and how it represents his generation.
Director Jim Simpson talks about Bill Murray's role in "The Guys" right after 9/11.
Friends and colleagues of Bill Murray discuss is uncanny ability to improvise on set.
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Born in 1950, in Illinois, Bill Murray eventually relocated to New York City, where he took comedic talents to National Lampoon Hour. In 1975, he was in an off-Broadway spin-off of the comedy radio show when Howard Cosell recruited him for Saturday Night Live. It was on the set that he created the comedic character that became his calling card for many films to come, including Hyde Park on Hudson (2013),
"I think all phases of one's career are serious if you take it seriously no matter if you are doing high profile dramatic pieces or not."
"Movie acting suits me because I only need to be good for ninety seconds at a time."
in which Murray plays Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Actor and comedian Bill Murray was born William J. Murray on September 21, 1950, in Wilmette, Illinois. The fifth of nine children, Murray was a self-proclaimed troublemaker, whether it was getting kicked out of Little League or being arrested at age 20 for attempting to smuggle close to nine pounds of marijuana through Chicago's O'Hare Airport. In an attempt to find direction in his life, he joined his older brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, in the cast of Chicago's Second City improvisational comedy troupe.
He eventually relocated to New York City where he took his comedic talents on air in National Lampoon Hour (1973-74) alongside Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner and John Belushi. In 1975, both Murray brothers were in an off-Broadway spin-off of the radio show when Bill was spotted by sportscaster Howard Cosell, who recruited him for the cast of his ABC variety program, Saturday Night Live With Howard Cosell (1975-76). On NBC, a program also named Saturday Night Live (1975-) was creating a much bigger sensation. A year later producer Lorne Michaels tapped Murray to replace Chevy Chase, who had moved on to pursue a film career.
It was on the set of Saturday Night Live that Murray created the sleazy, insincere comedic character that became his calling card for many films to come. He also earned an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for his work on the show. His first major film role was in the 1979 box office hit Meatballs. This was followed by the biography flop Where the Buffalo Roam (1980), where Murray starred as gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
Murray redeemed himself later that year by going back to his comedic roots with the cult classic Caddyshack. He continued with a string of successes on film, such as in the army farce Stripes (1981), Tootsie (1982) and Ghostbusters (1984) with Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The comedy was one of the decade's biggest hits, spawning a cartoon series, action figures and even a chart-topping theme song.
Murray's next move caught loyal fans off guard. He starred in and co-wrote an adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham novel The Razor's Edge in 1984, which had been a lifelong dream. The hairpin turn from farce to literary drama proved too sharp, and the film was a failure. Murray spent the next several years away from Hollywood, only making a cameo appearance in the 1986 musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors.
Murray finally made his comeback in 1988 with Scrooged, a darkly comedic version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843). While it performed moderately well, it was not the smash many predicted—nor was 1989's Ghostbusters II.
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Learn more about the cast of Saturday Night Live, including old-timers such as John Belushi, Billy Crystal, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy and David Spade, as well as newer stars of the series, including Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, Seth Meyers, Kate McKinnon, Molly Shannon and Kristen Wiig.
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