William James "Bill" Murray (born September 21, 1950) is an American actor and comedian. He first gained national exposure on Saturday Night Live in which he earned an Emmy Award and later went on to star in a number of critically and commercially successful comedic films, including Caddyshack (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), and Groundhog Day (1993). Murray gained additional critical acclaim later in his career, starring in Lost in Translation (2003), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, and a series of films directed by Wes Anderson, including Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) and Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).
Murray was born and raised in Wilmette, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago, the son of Lucille (née Collins), a mail room clerk, and Edward Joseph Murray II, a lumber salesman. Murray's father died in 1967 from complications of diabetes when Bill was 17 years old. Murray, along with his eight siblings, grew up in an Irish Catholic family. Three of his siblings are actors: John Murray, Joel Murray, and Brian Doyle-Murray. His sister, Nancy, is an Adrian Dominican Sister in Michigan, traveling around the country portraying St. Catherine of Siena.
The family did not have much money, and Lucille Murray pressed her children to work. As a youth, Murray read children's biographies of American heroes like Kit Carson, Wild Bill Hickok and Davy Crockett. He attended St. Joseph grade school and Loyola Academy. During his teen years, he worked as a caddy to fund his education at the Jesuit High School. One of his sisters had polio and his mother had several miscarriages. During his teen years he was the lead singer of a rock band called the Dutch Masters and took part in high school and community theatre. Murray also conducted the George Mason University pep band, Green Machine, during the Charleston Classic.
After graduating, Murray attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado, taking premedical courses. However, he did not last long at Regis, quickly dropping out and returning to Illinois. In 2007, Regis University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.
Around 1971, police arrested Murray at Chicago's O'Hare Airport for trying to smuggle 9 pounds of marijuana which he had allegedly intended to sell.
With an invitation from his older brother, Brian, Murray got his start at Second City Chicago, an improvisational comedy troupe, studying under Del Close. In 1974, he moved to New York City and was recruited by John Belushi as a featured player on The National Lampoon Radio Hour, which aired on some 600 stations from 1973 to 1974.
Saturday Night Live
In 1975, an Off Broadway version of a Lampoon show led to his first television role as a cast member of the ABC variety show Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell that featured animal acts and little kids with loud voices. That same season, another variety show titled NBC's Saturday Night premiered. Cosell's show lasted just one season, canceled in early 1976.
After working in Los Angeles with the "guerrilla video" commune TVTV on a number of projects, Murray rose to prominence in 1976. He joined the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live for the show's second season, following the departure of Chevy Chase.
As the cult film had originated from a Rutland Weekend Television sketch that Eric Idle had brought for his appearance on SNL, Murray as part of the cast of SNL also appeared next to Idle, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Michael Palin, and Neil Innes in the 1978 mockumentary All You Need Is Cash as "Bill Murray the K", a send-up of New York radio host Murray the K, in a segment of the film that is an obvious parody of the Maysles Brothers's documentary The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit.
During the first few seasons of SNL, Murray was in a serious, romantic relationship with fellow cast member Gilda Radner.
Murray landed his first starring role with the film Meatballs in 1979. He followed this up with his portrayal of famed writer Hunter S. Thompson in 1980's Where the Buffalo Roam. In the early 1980s, he starred in a string of box-office hits including Caddyshack, Stripes, and Tootsie.
Murray became the first guest on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman on February 1, 1982. He would later appear on the first episode of The Late Show with David Letterman in August 1993, when the show moved to CBS.
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 philosophy and history at the Sorbonne, frequent the Cinematheque in Paris, and spend time with his family in their Hudson River Valley home. During that time, his second son, Luke, was born. With the exception of a cameo appearance in the 1986 movie Little Shop of Horrors, he did not make any appearances in films, though he did participate in several public readings in Manhattan organized by playwright/director Timothy Mayer and in a production of Bertolt Brecht's A Man's A Man.
Murray returned to films in 1988 with Scrooged and the sequel Ghostbusters II in 1989. In 1990, Murray made his first and only attempt at directing when he co-directed Quick Change with producer Howard Franklin. His subsequent films What About Bob? (1991) and Groundhog Day (1993) were box-office hits and critically acclaimed.
After a string of films that did not do well with audiences (one of the exceptions being his role in the 1996 comedy Kingpin), he received much critical acclaim for Wes Anderson's Rushmore for which he won Best Supporting Actor awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (tying with Billy Bob Thornton). Murray decided to take a turn towards more dramatic roles. Murray then experienced a resurgence in his career as a dramatic actor, taking on roles in Wild Things, Cradle Will Rock, Hamlet (as Polonius), and The Royal Tenenbaums.
In 2003, he garnered considerable acclaim for Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, and went on to earn a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, and an Independent Spirit Award, as well as Best Actor awards from a number of film critic organizations. He was considered a favorite to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, although Sean Penn ultimately won the award for his performance in Mystic River. In an interview included on the Lost in Translation DVD, Murray states that this is his favorite movie in which he has appeared. Also in 2003, he appeared in a short cameo for the movie Coffee and Cigarettes, in which he played himself "hiding out" in a local coffee shop.
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 again in 2006 for Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. In 2004, he made his third collaboration with Wes Anderson in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. His dramatic role in Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers was also well received.
In 2005, Murray announced that he would take a break from acting, as he had not had the time to relax since his new breakthrough in the late 1990s. He did return to the big screen, however, for brief cameos in Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited and in Get Smart as Agent 13, the agent in the tree. In 2008, he played an important role in the post-apocalyptic film City of Ember, and in 2009, played himself in a cameo role in the zombie comedy Zombieland.
Murray provided the voice for the character Mr. Badger for the 2009 animated film Fantastic Mr. Fox. Though there was speculation that he might return to the Ghostbusters franchise for the rumored Ghostbusters 3, he dispelled such speculation in a recent interview with GQ. In March 2010, Bill Murray appeared on Late Show with David Letterman and talked about his return to Ghostbusters III, stating "I'd do it only if my character was killed off in the first reel". In an interview with Coming Soon, Murray said: "You know, maybe I should just do it. Maybe it'd be fun to do." In the interview, when asked "Is the third Ghostbusters movie happening? What's the story with that?", Bill Murray replied, "It's all a bunch of crock." Despite this comment, later reports by Dan Aykroyd and Stefano Paginini suggest the movie is well underway, and the script has already been approved.
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 the game. In 2002, he and his brothers starred in the Comedy Central series, The Sweet Spot, which chronicled their adventures playing golf. Caddyshack, one of Murray's earliest film roles, has him playing assistant greens-keeper Carl Spackler who lives in the golf course's tool shed. The title of his book is derived from a scene he played in Caddyshack, narrating his own golf fantasy (which was listed as #92 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes list).
Murray's love for golf is displayed in Space Jam and Zombieland.
On February 13, 2011, Murray, playing with tournament champion D.A. Points, won the Pro-Am championship at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Outside of show business
He is a partner with his brothers in Murray Bros. Caddy Shack, a restaurant located near St. Augustine.
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, Fort Myers Miracle, Salt Lake Sting (APSL) and Salt Lake City Trappers. He was also a part-owner of the Auburn Astros (now the Auburn Doubledays) in Auburn, New York.
Being 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., Bernard Berkman in The Squid and the Whale, Frank Ginsburg in Little Miss Sunshine and Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He also regretted losing the chance to play Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit when he heard that he was considered for the role, which he says he would have definitely accepted.
During the filming of Stripes, Murray married Margaret Kelly on Super Bowl Sunday in Las Vegas on January 25, 1981. Later, they re-married in Chicago for their families. Margaret gave birth to two sons, Homer (born 1982) and Luke (born 1985). In April 2011, Luke was named an Assistant Coach at Towson University, located outside of Baltimore, MD. Following Murray's affair with Jennifer Butler, the couple divorced in 1996. In 1997, he married Butler. Together, they have four sons: Caleb (born January 11, 1993), Jackson (born October 6, 1995), Cooper (born January 27, 1997), and Lincoln (born May 30, 2001). Butler filed for divorce on May 12, 2008, accusing Murray of domestic violence, infidelity, and sex, drug and alcohol addiction. Their divorce was finalized on June 13, 2008.
Murray has homes in Los Angeles, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Charleston, South Carolina, and Rockland County, New York, just outside of New York City. He enjoys a warm glass of 2% milk before bed.
Murray is a fan of Chicago pro sports teams, especially the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, and the Chicago Bulls. (He was once a guest color commentator for a Cubs game during the 80s.) He also is a Michael Jordan fan and has made cameo appearances in Space Jam and Jordan documentaries. Murray is an avid Quinnipiac University basketball fan, where his son served as head of basketball operations. Murray is a regular fixture at home games. He cheered courtside for the Illinois Fighting Illini's game against the University of North Carolina in the NCAA Basketball Tournament's championship game in 2005. He is a fixture at home games of those teams when in his native Chicago. After traveling to Florida during the Cubs playoff run to help "inspire" the team (Murray told Cubs slugger Aramis Ramírez he was very ill and needed two home runs to give him the hope to live), he was invited to the champagne party in the Cubs' clubhouse when the team clinched the NL Central in late September 2007, along with fellow actors John Cusack, Bernie Mac, James Belushi, and former Cubs legend Ron Santo. Murray appeared in Santo's documentary, This Old Cub.
As a Chicago native, Murray appeared at the 50th annual Chicago Air & Water Show in August 2008. He performed a tandem jump with the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights. He was the M.C. for Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival on July 28, 2007, where he dressed in various guises of Clapton as he appeared through the years. He was MC again in 2010. Also because of his roots in the Chicago area, the founders of Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.) Michael and Lilo Salmon, were able to contact him through his former sister-in-law for support. In 1987 he made a sizeable donation to assist in the development and building of the Nathalie Salmon House. This home has been able to provide affordable housing for low-income seniors. Michael and Lilo Salmon credited him as performing "miracles" for them.
* 1975, Tarzoon: Shape of the Jungle, Reporter, Voice only: English language version.
* 1976, Next Stop, Grenwich Village, Nick Kessel, Uncredited.
* 1977-1980, Saturday Night Live, Various, (73 episodes)
Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program, Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series.
* 1978, All You Need Is Cash, "Bill Murray the K", Parody of Radio Host Murray the K.
* 1978, Meatballs, Tripper Harrison, Nominated — Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor.
* 1979, Mr. Mike's Mondo Video, Man on the street.
* 1980, Where the Buffalo Roam, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
* 1980, Caddyshack, Carl Spackler.
* 1981, Stripes, John Winger.
* 1982, Tootsie, Jeff Slater.
* 1982, Ghostbusters, Dr. Peter Venkham, Nominated- Golden Globe Award for Best Actor- Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
* 1984, The Razor's Edge, Larry Darrell, Also Writer.
* 1986, Little Shop of Horrors, Arthur Denton.
* 1988, She's Having a Baby, Himself, Cameo.
* 1988, Scrooged, Francis Xavier "Frank" Cross, Nominated- Saturn Award for Best Actor.
* 1989, Ghostbusters II, Dr. Peter Venkman.
* 1990, Quick Change, Grimm, Also Director/Producer.
* 1990, Hamlet, Polonius.
* 1991, What About Bob?, Bob Wiley, Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.
* 1993, Groundhog Day, Phil Connors, Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor, Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.
* 1993, Mad Dog and Glory, Frank Milo.
* 1994, Ed Wood, Bunny Beckinridge.
* 1994, Kingpin, Ernie McCraken.
* 1996, Larger Than Life, Jack Corcoran.
* 1996, Space Jam, Himself.
* 1997, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Wallace Ritchie.
* 1997, Wild Things, Kenneth Bowden, American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male, Lone Star Film & Television Award for Best Supporting Actor.
* 1998, Rushmore, Herman Blume, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Wild Things, National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor, New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor, Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture, Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Cradle Will Rock, Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.
* 1999, Cradle Will Rock, Tommy Crickshaw, Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor also for Rushmore, Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture.
* 2000, Charlie's Angels, Josh Bosley.
* 2000, Osmosis Jones, Frank Detore.
* 2001, The Royal Tenenbaums, Raleigh St. Clair, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor- Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor, New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor, San Fransisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor.
* 2003, Lost in Translation, Bob Harris, Seattle Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, Village Voice Film Poll - Best Lead Performance, Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association for Best Actor, Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor, Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor, Nominated — Irish Film and Television Award for Best International Actor, Nominated — London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Performance - Male, Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor, Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.
* 2003, Coffee/Cigarettes, Himself/Waiter, Segment "Delerium".
* 2003, Garfield: The Movie, Garfield, Voice Only.
* 2004, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Steve Zissou, Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast, Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
* 2005, Broken Flowers, Don Johnston, Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy .
* 2005, The Lost City, The Writer.
* 2006, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Garfield, Voice only.
* 2007, The Darjeeling Limited, The Businessman.
* 2007, Get Smart, Agent 13.
* 2008, City of Ember, Mayor Cole.
* 2008, Limits of Control, American.
* 2009, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Clive Badger, Voice only.
* 2009, Zombieland, Himself, Scream Award for Best Cameo, Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best WTF Moment.
* 2010, Get Low, Frank Quinn, Nominated — Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, Nominated — Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor, Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male, Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.
* 2010, Passion Play, Happy Shannon.
* 2012, MAD, Farmer Jimmy/Peter Grant/Old Man Jake Labman/Easter Bunny, Voice Only.
* 2012, Moonrise Kingdom, TBA.