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Bill Murray - Biography

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Bill Murray - Biography
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Born:

September 21, 1950

Bill Murray Overview:

Comedian and actor Bill Murray is one of the biggest comedy stars of all time. From his early days on Saturday Night Live through his comedic film work in the '80s and '90s to his eventual dramatic work in the 2000s, Murray is a gifted performer and one of the funniest movie stars of all time.

Quick Bill Murray Facts:

  • Bill Murray was born one of eight kids in suburban Chicago, Illinois, in 1950.
  • He got his start performing improv comedy at the legendary Second City in Chicago in the early 1970s.
  • Murray joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1976, where he remained until 1980.
  • Beginning in the late 1970s, Murray began acting in film and went on to become one of the biggest comedy film stars of the 1980s and '90s thanks to movies like Ghostbusters, What About Bob? and Groundhog Day.
  • He won a Golden Globe, an Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his work in 2003's Lost in Translation.

Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live:

After doing one season on the ABC variety series Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell (the title of which originally blocked the sketch show from using the word "Live"), Bill Murray joined the cast of SNL when Chevy Chase departed after the first season. Murray stayed with the show for three seasons until 1980, when he and all the other original Not Ready for Primetime Players left. Murray became a big star on Saturday Night Live thanks to famous characters like his lounge singer and spazzy Todd, boyfriend of Gilda Radner's Lisa Lupner. He won an Emmy Award for his work on the show.

Select Bill Murray Filmography:

Read the Five Funniest Bill Murray Movies
  • Meatballs (1979)
  • Caddyshack (1980)
  • Stripes (1980)
  • Ghostbusters (1984)
  • The Razor's Edge (1984)
  • Scrooged (1988)
  • Ghostbusters II (1989)
  • Quick Change (1990)
  • What About Bob? (1991)
  • Groundhog Day (1993)
  • Kingpin (1996)
  • Rushmore (1998)
  • Charlie's Angels (2000)
  • Lost in Translation (2003)
  • Get Low (2011)
  • Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

Additional Bill Murray Facts:

  • Murray has four brothers, three of whom have had a career in film: Brian Doyle-Murray, Joel Murray and John Murray.
  • He was originally recruited by his future Saturday Night Live cast mate John Belushi to join the National Lampoon Radio Hour in 1974.
  • As a teenager, Murray was the lead singer of a band called The Dutch Masters.
  • He was the first guest to ever appear on the original NBC Late Night with David Letterman. When Letterman moved to CBS in 1993, Murray appeared on his first show there, too.
  • He began to transition into dramatic film work as early as 1984 in a remake of The Razor's Edge, which he co-wrote. The movie was financed because he agreed to star in Ghostbusters for the studio.
  • Murray provided the voice of Garfield the cat in the two Garfield movies in the 2000s.
  • Bill Murray is an avid and very talented golfer, having competed in a number of celebrity tournaments and done very well.
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