TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)
|Also Known As:||Edward Regan Murphy, Fred Braughton||Died:|
|Born:||April 3, 1961||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Brooklyn, New York, USA||Profession:||actor, comedian, screenwriter, director, producer, songwriter, singer, shoe salesman|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
g miniature dragon in Disney's "Mulan" (1998). Rediscovering his aptitude for voice work, Murphy played yet another animated character; this time an ornery donkey in the immensely popular CGI tale, "Shrek" (2001). Murphy's hilarious turn as Donkey proved so popular with young viewers that he was invited back for its two sequels, "Shrek 2" (2004) and "Shrek the Third" (2007). Murphy's next undertaking, "Daddy Day Care" (2003), was decried by critics as a transparent "Mr. Mom" rehash, but as evidenced by its $27 million opening, it was clear few remembered the 1982 Michael Keaton film.Ironically, Murphy's newfound career as America's favorite family-friendly film star was nearly destroyed before it had begun. In 1997, on the eve of his comeback, Murphy became embroiled in a bizarre and salacious scandal that made the comic his own punchline on late night talk shows for weeks. On May 13, during the shooting of "Doctor Dolittle," Murphy was pulled over by West Hollywood police around 4 a.m. for suspicion of soliciting what turned out to be a transsexual prostitute. Though Murphy was never charged with a crime, gossip columnists had a field day when the story broke. Notoriously press-shy since the early...
g miniature dragon in Disney's "Mulan" (1998). Rediscovering his aptitude for voice work, Murphy played yet another animated character; this time an ornery donkey in the immensely popular CGI tale, "Shrek" (2001). Murphy's hilarious turn as Donkey proved so popular with young viewers that he was invited back for its two sequels, "Shrek 2" (2004) and "Shrek the Third" (2007). Murphy's next undertaking, "Daddy Day Care" (2003), was decried by critics as a transparent "Mr. Mom" rehash, but as evidenced by its $27 million opening, it was clear few remembered the 1982 Michael Keaton film.
Ironically, Murphy's newfound career as America's favorite family-friendly film star was nearly destroyed before it had begun. In 1997, on the eve of his comeback, Murphy became embroiled in a bizarre and salacious scandal that made the comic his own punchline on late night talk shows for weeks. On May 13, during the shooting of "Doctor Dolittle," Murphy was pulled over by West Hollywood police around 4 a.m. for suspicion of soliciting what turned out to be a transsexual prostitute. Though Murphy was never charged with a crime, gossip columnists had a field day when the story broke. Notoriously press-shy since the early nineties, Murphy initially kept mum, but his silence only exacerbated the situation. Deeply humiliated and upset by what he claimed were media distortions of the truth, a shamed Murphy eventually broke his silence to defend himself on national TV, claiming that the only thing he was guilty of was trying to be a good Samaritan; that all he did was offer a young woman (or so he thought) a lift home. As expected, Murphy's explanation was roundly ridiculed. Nevertheless, that was Murphy's story and he was sticking to it. Whether the public believed his story or not, Murphy eventually got a pass, perhaps due in part to his relatively scandal-free past, and the brouhaha soon faded.
Seemingly putting his personal troubles behind him, Murphy's career continued along unabated. Finally, after wrapping his latest project (the misguided Disney offering, "The Haunted Mansion,") in 2003, Murphy announced he was taking a sabbatical from acting to spend more time with his family. Unfortunately, this decision proved to have come too little, too late. By 2005, Murphy's 12-year marriage to former model Nicole Mitchell Murphy had come to an end. The couple officially divorced in early 2006, but agreed to joint custody of their five young children. Once again a single man, Murphy wasted no time playing the field. Soon after his split from Mitchell, Murphy was linked in the tabloids to a bevy of beautiful women, including former "Boomerang" co-star Robin Givens and music producer Tracey Edmonds. In late 2006, another of Murphy's paramours, singer Melanie Brown (a.k.a. Scary Spice" of the '90's band, the Spice Girls) happily broke the news that she was pregnant with Murphy's baby. However, in early December 2006, just weeks after their relationship went public, Murphy reportedly dumped Brown, who was by then four months pregnant. The ugly feud escalated in January of 2007, when Murphy publicly questioned the baby's paternity. At this same tumultuous time, Murphy began dating Tracey Edmonds, ex-wife of music producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. The couple were engaged July 25, 2007 and exchanged vows Jan. 1, 2008 on a private island off Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Thankfully this was not a legal union, due to it taking place in a foreign country, because just two weeks later, the pair split, professing in an official statement that they would "remain friends."
His tumultuous personal life notwithstanding, Murphy's career continued to take off into still more uncharted territory. Well into his fourth decade in show business by 2006, Murphy enjoyed yet another career triumph that would propel him back to the heights he had once enjoyed as a comedic superstar. This time around, Murphy's latest comeback came in the form of more grown-up fare; specifically, the big screen adaptation of the 1981 Tony-winning musical, "Dreamgirls" (2006). In his meatiest role to date, Murphy made an impressive dramatic debut as R&B singer James "Thunder" Early, joining Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, and newcomer Jennifer Hudson. Loosely based of the story of the Motown supergroup The Supremes, the film adaptation of "Dreamgirls" was warmly received. Murphy, along with Hudson (as the tragic Effie White), were specially singled out by critics and fans alike for their show-stopping performances. Showing incredible range comically and dramatically ¿ to say nothing of mastering his incomparable singing and dancing routines ¿ Murphy was honored for his performance in "Dreamgirls" with a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. The role also won Murphy an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor. A few months after Murphy lost that award to veteran actor Alan Arkin for his work in "Little Miss Sunshine," a paternity test concluded that Murphy was, in fact, the father of Melanie "Scary Spice" Brown's daughter.
The eight-time father returned to comedy the same year with "Norbit," a critically reviled film that again found the actor playing multiple roles, as well as donning a fat suit to portray his own suitor. The tastelessness of the role seemed like an odd juxtaposition to his stellar work in "Dreamgirls" and moviegoers stayed away in droves. Murphy's follow-up, "Shrek The Third" (2007) was overwhelmingly more successful with audiences, but was the least acclaimed of the "Shrek" series, mainly for its darker, more ironic tone. He next re-teamed with "Norbit" director Brian Robbins in "Meet Dave" (2008), but the sci-fi comedy about a humanoid alien visiting earth from a doomed planet proved a significant financial failure. In one of Murphy's more toned-down comedic roles, he starred as a failing financial executive whose imaginative daughter boosts his career in the kid-friendly comedy "Imagine That" (2009), but audiences appeared disinterested in seeing Murphy in a suit and tie with a kid for a co-star again. The following year, Murphy rolled out the sequel "Shrek Forever After" (2010) and finally sought to avenge the reputation of the "Beverly Hills Cop" franchise with "Beverly Hills Cop IV," which promised an invigorating re-interpretation of beloved wisecracking cop, Axel Foley. Meanwhile, he was poised for another comeback with the release of the action comedy "Tower Heist" (2011), directed by Brett Ratner, while also being named host of the 2012 Academy Awards in late 2011. Unfortunately, Ratner ¿ who had also been tapped to produce the Oscars ¿ made a homophobic slur during press junkets for "Tower Heist" and consequently resigned, causing Murphy to follow suit in solidarity.
By Phil Kimphy continued his box office slide with roles in several less-than-worthy projects including the insipid sci-fi comedy, "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" (2002) ¿ a film which was so bad, it became the defining stinker of his career and the go-to example for late night comics and writers. Losing confidence in Murphy's bankability as a solo act, Hollywood next attempted to sell Murphy as the black half of two separate "salt-and-pepper" buddy comedies released in 2002: the dreadful "I Spy" with Owen Wilson and "Showtime" with Robert De Niro. Both projects tanked. The prognosis once again, did not look good for Murphy.
Strangely enough, just as his appeal was starting to wane again with adult moviegoers, Murphy started to gain momentum with children. Experiencing an unexpected career renaissance as a voice actor in Disney movies, Murphy reinvented himself yet again. This transformation would easily be his most ironic, being that he was originally known for his profane "adults-only" brand of humor. Murphy kicked off this new chapter in his career with a non-musical remake of the talking-with-the-animals romp, "Dr. Dolittle" (1998). He then followed up with a memorable turn as a wisecrackin
Filmographyclose complete filmography
CAST: (feature film)
Milestones close milestones
Eddie Murphy vaulted onto the exhibitors annual poll of top ten boxoffice stars in 1983, placing 2nd. He subsequently made the list for the next six years, placing 4th in 1984, 2nd in 1985 and 1986, 1st in 1987, 2nd in 1988 and 7th in 1989.
"I think Eddie Murphy has had his day. I think he did the same thing that Burt Reynolds did that did him in--he stuck with that one style too long. I think that Eddie Murphy is very talented and I think that he should have broken away when he still had an audience and taken his audience with him. We're in such a disposable society. Audiences don't stay too long with one star and now they're ready to move on to Jim Carrey." --Robert Osborne quoted in USA Today, September 14, 1994.
"The strangest thing I ever hear is when people say my career is in trouble. How can some journalist look at my career and ask if it's in decline? Why don't they write that shit about Christian Slater? He's made about 30 bad movies. . . So what if my career dies? I stopped thinking in terms of career $80 million ago. If it ends, I'll sit home and chill and raise babies." --Eddie Murphy quoted Daily News, May 16, 1994.
"I was a little Sammy Davis-dressing motherf&*#er. I'd wear ascots, a coat over my shoulders." --Eddie Murphy talking about his teenage years in Brooklyn to mrshowbiz.go.com.
"Anytime you see me in a leather suit with the leather gloves equals a period when I was not grounded." --Eddie Murphy to Entertainment Weekly.
"I'm not one of those artists that gets books adapted for me, scripts written for me. I'm this road warrior who generates his own projects." --to the New York Post, June 18, 1996.
"It's not the first hooker that I've helped out ..." Murphy told "Entertainment Tonight", referring to the cross-dressing prostitute he offered a lift to in 1997. "I've seen hookers on corners, and I'll pull over and they'll go, 'Oh, you're Eddie Murphy, oh my God', and I'll empty my wallet out to help. ... I'm just being a nice guy".
Companions close complete companion listing
Bibliography close complete biography
Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.Click here to contribute