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|Also Known As:||William James Murray||Died:|
|Born:||September 21, 1950||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Wilmette, Illinois, USA||Profession:||comedian, actor, director, producer, screenwriter, worked in a pizza parlor, caddy|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
t of the large comedic ensemble of the writer-director's highly praised dark comedy "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001), in which he had a small role as the mild-mannered and romantically unlucky analyst Raleigh St. Clair.Murray's transition to full-fledged dramatic actor came to sublime fruition in "Lost in Translation" (2003), writer-director Sophia Coppola's wonderfully romantic film about an emotionally adrift 50-something Hollywood actor, Bob Harris, who is in Tokyo to film a whiskey commercial and forms a deep, complex and ultimately platonic relationship with a young married tourist, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson). Coppola conceived the role and its blend of comedy and tragedy specifically for Murray, going as far as to say she would not make the movie without him. Coppola spent considerable time wooing the actor, pursuing him via their mutual friend, screenwriter Mitch Glazer, for months before finally winning him over, as Murray had no representation. The results of her quest were well worth it: Murray was never more charming and vulnerable playing Bob Harris, who discovers a kindred spirit in Charlotte, even as he struggles with a floundering marriage. Murray demonstrated a razor-sharp comedic...
t of the large comedic ensemble of the writer-director's highly praised dark comedy "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001), in which he had a small role as the mild-mannered and romantically unlucky analyst Raleigh St. Clair.
Murray's transition to full-fledged dramatic actor came to sublime fruition in "Lost in Translation" (2003), writer-director Sophia Coppola's wonderfully romantic film about an emotionally adrift 50-something Hollywood actor, Bob Harris, who is in Tokyo to film a whiskey commercial and forms a deep, complex and ultimately platonic relationship with a young married tourist, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson). Coppola conceived the role and its blend of comedy and tragedy specifically for Murray, going as far as to say she would not make the movie without him. Coppola spent considerable time wooing the actor, pursuing him via their mutual friend, screenwriter Mitch Glazer, for months before finally winning him over, as Murray had no representation. The results of her quest were well worth it: Murray was never more charming and vulnerable playing Bob Harris, who discovers a kindred spirit in Charlotte, even as he struggles with a floundering marriage. Murray demonstrated a razor-sharp comedic timing, while displaying a rare, multilayered chemistry with Johansson, despite their age difference. Their rapport, which was at first tentative, then confident and cozy, then finally awkward and sexual, fueled the film and carried many scenes without dialogue. The tour de force performance earned Murray a sea of critical kudos and numerous award nominations, including a nod for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, a BAFTA Award for Best Actor and a Golden Globe victory for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. When he lost the Oscar, many felt Bill Murray had been seriously robbed.
Ironically, Murray's next stint on the big screen was a very disparate project, providing the sardonic voice of the comic strip cat in the otherwise lackluster big screen adaptation of "Garfield" (2004). After an appearance in the reflective "Coffee and Cigarettes" (2004), Murray reunited with director Wes Anderson for "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" (2004). Quirky in the extreme, but with several instances of comedic brilliance and genuinely moving moments, "The Life Aquatic" cast Murray as a Jacques Cousteau-like oceanographer and filmmaker whose sagging fortunes and sense of ennui are revitalized when he adds his possible son (Owen Wilson) to his crew. Though the film was flawed, playing Zissou allowed Murray to again demonstrate his flair from combining the dramatic with the comedic. Next was another acting triumph in writer-director Jim Jarmusch's seriocomic "Broken Flowers" (2005), in which Murray was a resolute bachelor who receives an anonymous letter from a former lover revealing that he has a 19-year-old son, prompting him to embark on a cross-country journey to visit a series of his old flames and get to the heart of the mystery. Following the sequel "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties" (2006) and a smaller role as an unnamed businessman in Anderson's disappointing comedy "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007), Murray took a backseat to Steve Carell in the long-desired big screen treatment of "Get Smart" (2008).
In the post-apocalyptic adventure fable "City of Ember" (2008), Murray played the unscrupulous mayor of an underground community slowly running out of energy, resources and time. The following year, he turned in a hilarious cameo as himself in the horror comedy "Zombieland" (2009), starring Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson as survivors in a world overrun by the living dead. Murray reteamed with indie director Jim Jarmusch for a small supporting role as an unnamed American corporate executive in the enigmatic crime drama "The Limits of Control" (2009). Sticking with familiar directors for the time being, he also lent his voice to Wes Anderson¿s whimsical stop-motion animated feature, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" (2009), as the wily title character¿s (George Clooney) friend and attorney, Badger. Based on the beloved children¿s book by Roald Dahl, the wonderfully inventive film boasted an impressive cast of voice talent, including Meryl Streep, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman. Back in front of the camera, he delivered another uniquely Murray-esque performance in the period mystery drama, "Get Low" (2010), as a cash-strapped mortician eager to assist a curmudgeonly hermit (Robert Duvall) with his plans to throw a "funeral party" for himself before he dies. Murray¿s humorous, yet modulated portrayal garnered him an Indie Spirit Award nod for Best Supporting Male. After a reunion with Anderson for "Moonrise Kingdom" (2012), Murray expanded his dramatic horizons with a starring performance as President Franklin D. Roosevelt in "Hyde Park on Hudson" (2012), a winning drama about the forging of the relationship between FDR and England¿s King George VI (Samuel West). His performance of the 32nd president earned Murray a Golden Globe nod for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. Small roles in Roman Coppola's "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III" (2012) and Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (2014) followed, along with a larger supporting role in George Clooney's World War II comedy-drama "The Monument Men" (2014) and the acclaimed mini-series "Olive Kitteridge" (HBO 2014). Murray also appeared occasionally as a U.S. Senator on the Garry Trudeau-penned comedy "Alpha House" (Amazon 2013- ) and had a cameo in the long-anticipated comedy sequel "Dumb and Dumber To" (2014). The same year, he starred opposite Melissa McCarthy in the comedy-drama "St. Vincent" (2014), playing a crotchety neighbor antagonizing the single mom and adolescent boy who move in next door. After a small supporting role in Cameron Crowe's "Aloha" (2015), Murray starred in Barry Levinson's "Rock the Kasbah" as a rock manager having a personal crisis in war-torn Afghanistan.'s Blume exudes misery, thanks to an indifferent wife and two spoiled sons who also attend Rushmore. Life suddenly brightens, however, when he takes the 15-year-old Max Fischer under his wing, bonding over a mutually-shared background and Max's undeniable, albeit, misplaced enthusiasm. But when he realizes that Blume is attracted to a teacher (Olivia Willams) who is the object of his affections, Max declares war and the two engage in mean-spirited tit-for-tat with ugly repercussions. While there were laughs-a-plenty in "Rushmore," Murray delivered a layered performance, reveling in Blume's mercilessness while still managing to convey more serious and conflicted feelings. Critics proclaimed "Rushmore" the best work of his career, stoking hype for an Oscar nod that never came. He did win Critics Circle Awards in New York and Los Angeles, establishing himself as a serious actor worthy of greater consideration.
Murray's brief, but affective and moving turn as ventriloquist Tommy Crickshaw in director Tim Robbin's 1930s WPA story "The Cradle Will Rock" (1999) was another step in developing his more seriocomic side, while his amusing, light-as-a-feather sidekick stint as a post-modern Bosley in the hyperactive big screen version of "Charlie's Angels" (2000) seemed a complete lark and a role that he seemed to phone in. Though a fair success, Murray was not to return for the "Charlie's Angels" sequel, thanks to an on-set feud between him and co-star Lucy Liu that shut down production for an entire day. In perhaps his first stab at Shakespeare, he gave a stand-out performance as Polonius in a modern update of "Hamlet" (2000), starring Ethan Hawke as the troubled heir of Denmark Corp. Less well-received was "Osmosis Jones" (2001), an unorthodox hybrid of live action and animation directed by the Farrelly Brothers which featured cartoon antibodies and germs battling for supremacy inside the body of the hapless and sickly Frank (Murray). That same year, Murray successfully reunited with Wes Anderson as par
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CAST: (feature film)
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He has received the Jack Benny Award for Excellence in Entertainment from UCLA.
A great baseball fan, particularly of the Chicago Cubs, Murray is co-owner of the minor league St. Paul (Minnesota) Saints. One upcoming project is a film version of Bill Veeck's "Veeck as in Wreck", in which he would play the legendary baseball owner who once sent a midget to the plate in the big leagues.
"My esteemed agent at the time, Mr. Mike Ovitz... said, 'You know, you and a elephant would be funny.' And I'm like, what? And when he says this stuff, I always know there's an agenda. Somebody he knows has got an elephant script. 'You and a elephant would be funny.' No, you and an elephant. You and a mouse would be funny, Mike."--Bill Murray on deciding to do "Larger than Life" to USA TODAY, October 30, 1996.
"I took 'Rushmore' because the writing was so precise. Anybody that writes it that way knows exactly what they want to show. A lot of 'Rushmore' is about the struggle to retain civility and kindness in the face of extraordinary pain. And I've felt a lot of that in my life. Movies don't usually show the failure of relationships; they want to give the audience a final, happy resolution. In 'Rushmore', I play a guy who's aware that his life is not working, but he's still holding on, hoping something will happen and that's what's most interesting. In life, you never have to completely quit. There's some futile paddling toward some shore of relief, and that's what gets people through. Only the really lucky get a tailwind that takes them to shore. So many get the headwind that they fight and, then, tip over and drown."---Bill Murray to THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, January 31, 1999.
"... the truth is, anybody that becomes famous becomes an ass for a year and a half. You gotta give them a year and a half, two years. They are getting so much smoke blown, and their whole world gets so turned upside down, their own responses become distorted. I give everybody a year or two to pull it together."---Bill Murray quoted to Rolling Stone, September 9, 2003.
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