Michael Murphy



Also Known As
Michael George Murphy
Birth Place
Los Angeles, California, USA
May 05, 1938


A high school teacher turned character actor, Michael Murphy began his collaboration with famed director Robert Altman on an episode of the 1960s TV series "Combat." He made the first of several appearances in Altman films in "Countdown" (1968). Among his other Altman credits are "M*A*S*H" and "Brewster McCloud" (both 1970), "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971), "Nashville" (1975) and "Kansas...

Family & Companions

Wendy Crewson


A high school teacher turned character actor, Michael Murphy began his collaboration with famed director Robert Altman on an episode of the 1960s TV series "Combat." He made the first of several appearances in Altman films in "Countdown" (1968). Among his other Altman credits are "M*A*S*H" and "Brewster McCloud" (both 1970), "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971), "Nashville" (1975) and "Kansas City" (1996). In addition, Murphy portrayed a presidential candidate in Altman's satire of politics "Tanner '88" (HBO, 1988) and was the chief judge in Altman's "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" (CBS, 1988).

Murphy specializes in playing angst-ridden urban types, typified by his roles as cheating husbands in Paul Mazursky's "An Unmarried Woman" (1978) and Woody Allen's "Manhattan" (1979). His other film roles include a journalist in Peter Weir's "The Year of Living Dangerously" (1982), an ambassador in Oliver Stone's "Salvador" (1986), a cop tracking a serial killer in Wes Craven's "Shocker" (1989) and the mayor of Gotham City in Tim Burton's "Batman Returns" (1992).



Cast (Feature Film)

They Came Together (2014)
White House Down (2013)
Jimmy Picard (2013)
The Trotsky (2010)
Surrogates (2009)
According to Greta (2009)
Smokin' Aces (2007)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Away From Her (2006)
Silver City (2004)
Jud Pilager
Heights (2004)
Stuck on You (2003)
Footsteps (2003)
Robbie Lowendahl
The Day Reagan Was Shot (2002)
Michael Deaver
Live From Baghdad (2002)
Orphan (2001)
Magnolia (1999)
Indiscretion of an American Wife (1998)
There's Something About Mary (1998)
Private Parts (1997)
Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story (1997)
The Ultimate Lie (1996)
Malcolm Mcgrath
Kansas City (1996)
Henry Stilton
Special Report: Journey to Mars (1996)
Clean Slate (1994)
Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster (1992)
Folks! (1992)
Batman Returns (1992)
Tailspin: Behind the Korean Airliner Tragedy (1989)
Richard Burt
Shocker (1989)
Lieutenant Don Parker
Hot Money (1989)
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (1988)
Captain Blakely
Mesmerized (1986)
Reverend Wilson
Salvador (1986)
Cloak and Dagger (1984)
Countdown to Looking Glass (1984)
The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
Pete Curtis
Talk to Me (1982)
Strange Behavior (1981)
Manhattan (1979)
Yale Pollack
The Class of Miss MacMichael (1978)
An Unmarried Woman (1978)
The Great Bank Hoax (1977)
The Front (1976)
Nashville (1975)
Gettin' Back (1974)
I Love You... Goodbye (1974)
Alec Shield
Phase IV (1974)
The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman (1974)
Quentin Lerner
The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973)
What's Up, Doc? (1972)
Mr. Smith
The Crooked Hearts (1972)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
[Eugene] Sears
Brewster McCloud (1970)
Frank Shaft
Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)
M*A*S*H (1970)
"Me-Lay" Marston
That Cold Day in the Park (1969)
The Arrangement (1969)
Father Draddy
The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968)
Mark Peter Sheean
Countdown (1968)
Double Trouble (1967)

Cinematography (Feature Film)

Dreams of Glass (1970)
Director of Photography
The Lollipop Cover (1965)
Director of Photography

Art Director (Feature Film)

Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Art Department runner

Cast (Special)

Mayday (2005)
Mount Rushmore (2002)
The Irish in America: Long Journey Home (1998)
Tanner '88: The Great Escape (1988)
Jack Tanner
Tanner '88: The Boiler Room (1988)
Jack Tanner
Tanner '88: The Girlfriend Factor (1988)
Jack Tanner
Tanner '88: For Real (1988)
Jack Tanner
Tanner '88: Moonwalker and Bookbag (1988)
Jack Tanner
Tanner '88: Something Borrowed, Something New (1988)
Jack Tanner
Tanner '88: Child's Play (1988)
Jack Tanner
Tanner '88: The Dark Horse (1988)
Jack Tanner
Tanner '88: Night of the Twinkies (1988)
Jack Tanner
Tanner '88: The Reality Check (1988)
Jack Tanner
Tanner '88: Bagels With Bruce (1988)
Jack Tanner
Bell, Book and Candle (1976)
Alex Brandt
A Walk in the Night (1968)
William Smith

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

The Path to 9/11 (2006)
Tanner on Tanner (2004)
Jack Tanner
The Rules Of Marriage (1982)
Alan Murray

Life Events


Served in US Marine Corps


TV acting debut "Saints and Sinners"


Stage acting debut in Los Angeles production of "Take Her, She's Mine"


Feature film acting debut "Double Trouble"


First collaboration with Robert Altman, "Countdown"


Stage directing debut, "Rat's Nest"


Starred as presidential candidate Jack Tanner in Altman's HBO series "Tanner '88"


Cast as the Mayor in Tim Burton's "Batman Returns"


Appeared in "Private Parts" the auto-biographical story of Howard Stern, the radio-rebel


Portryed the father of Olympic diver Greg Louganis in the TV movie "Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story"


Cast in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia"


Cast in HBO's "Live From Baghdad" based on CNN producer Robert Wiener's (Michael Keaton) memoirs of reporting on the 1991 Gulf War


Cast as Senator Judson Pilager in the political satire "Silver City"


Played Warren Worthington II, the father of Angel, in "X-Men: The Last Stand"


Cast in actress, Sarah Polley's directorial debut "Away From Her"


Movie Clip

Countdown (1968) -- (Movie Clip) Roger, Houston, Apollo 3 Opening scene from director Robert Altman’s first feature, Robert Duvall, James Caan and Michael Murphy the crew of an Apollo spacecraft, when they get an irritating order from Houston, in Countdown, 1968, from a novel by Henry Searls.
Countdown (1968) -- (Movie Clip) An Emergency Backup To Apollo James Caan as scientist-astronaut Lee, joining Barbara Baxley, wife of his Apollo crew chief Chiz (Robert Duvall), who explains to him and colleague Rick (Michael Murphy) about what happened in training that day, and an emergency mission, in director Robert Altman’s first feature, Countdown, 1968.
Countdown (1968) -- (Movie Clip) The Man In The Moon Is A Girl Shot at director Robert Altman’s home, from his first feature, Robert Ridgely the singing guest, Ted Knight a NASA administrator, James Caan as Lee, the astronaut host, Robert Duvall as Chiz, whom he’s been chosen to replace for a solo moon mission, with early-Altman overlapping dialogue, in Countdown, 1968.
Brewster McCloud (1970) -- (Movie Clip) Welcome To The Astrodome First appearance of Shelley Duvall, in her debut as tour-guide Suzanne, also Bud Cort (title character), trench-coated Louise (Sally Kellerman) and image-conscious cop Shaft (Michael Murphy), in Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud, 1970.
What's Up, Doc? (1972) -- (Movie Clip) There Was A Plaid Overnight Case Opening with the storybook from the screenplay by Buck Henry, Robert Benton and David Newman, we meet Michael Murphy, followed by Phil Roth, then Ryan O’Neal and Madeline Kahn at San Francisco International, then Barbra Streisand, apparently by happenstance, in Peter Bodganovich’s hit rom-com, What’s Up, Doc?, 1972.
Front, The (1976) -- (Movie Clip) Communist Sympathizer TV writer Miller (Michael Murphy) explaining how he's been blacklisted to friend Howard (Woody Allen), a cashier and small-time bookie, early in The Front, 1976, by blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein and director Martin Ritt.
Legend Of Lylah Clare, The -- (Movie Clip) Cameras Are Rolling All Hollywood turned out, director Zarcon (Peter Finch) unveils Elsa (Kim Novak), the dead-ringer for his dead wife, columnist Molly Luther (Coral Browne) commenting, in Robert Aldrich's The Legend Of Lylah Clare, 1968
Year Of Living Dangerously, The (1982) -- (Movie Clip) The Tightrope Image New man in 1965 Jakarta, Australian journalist Hamilton (Mel Gibson), with American colleague Curtis (Michael Murphy) and others (Noel Ferrier, Paul Sonkkila), at the palace of President Sukarno, failing to impress his bosses in Sydney, in Peter Weir's The Year Of Living Dangerously, 1982.
Legend Of Lylah Clare, The -- (Movie Clip) Washed Up Two Bit Genius First scene for Ernest Borgnine as studio boss Sheean, Michael Murphy his son, Zarkan (Peter Finch) calling to pitch his film about his deceased actress wife, his star Elsa (Kim Novak) and staff (Milton Selzer, Rossella Falk) listening in, in Robert Aldrich's The Legend Of Lylah Clare, 1968.
Strange Behavior (1981) -- (Movie Clip) Chicago Homicide Cop's son Pete (Dan Shor) getting friendlier with Caroline (Dey Young), then his dad Brady (Michael Murphy) fretting with Hollywood veterans, Charles Lane then Scott Brady, as menace gathers in Strange Behavior, 1981.
Count Yorga, Vampire -- (Movie Clip) Vampire? Eric (Michael Murphy) and Michael (Michael Macready) think the doctor (Roger Perry) is nuts when he suggests a vampire might be on the wing in Count Yorga, Vampire, 1970.
Count Yorga, Vampire -- (Movie Clip) Transfusion Dr. Hayes' (Roger Perry) emergency boyfriend-to-girlfriend transfusion from Paul (Michael Murphy) to the suddenly anemic Erica (Judy Lang) leads to unusual conversation in Count Yorga, Vampire, 1970.


Brewster McCloud - (Original Trailer) A mysterious boy living in the Houston Astrodome dreams of building himself a pair of wings in Brewster McCloud (1970), directed by Robert Altman.
Strange Behavior - (Original Trailer) A scientist's experiments on teenagers turn them into killers in Strange Behavior (1981) starring Michael Murphy and Louise Fletcher.
Countdown - (Original Trailer) An astronaut (James Caan) is caught between precautions and a race to the Moon in Countdown (1968), directed by Robert Altman.
Count Yorga, Vampire - (Original Trailer) A vampire in modern-day Los Angeles uses a seance to lure new victims in Count Yorga, Vampire (1970).
McCabe and Mrs. Miller - (Original Trailer) A gambler (Warren Beatty) and a prostitute (Julie Christie) become business partners in a remote Old West mining town in Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971).
M-A-S-H - (Original Trailer) The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor to keep their sanity during wartime in Robert Altman's breakthrough movie M-A-S-H (1970).
Arrangement, The - (Original Trailer) An advertising executive (Kirk Douglas) has a mid-life breakdown in Elia Kazan's The Arrangement (1969).
Year of Living Dangerously, The - (Original Trailer) Mel Gibson stars as an Australian journalist caught up in the 1965 Indonesian coup in The Year Of Living Dangerously (1982).
Legend of Lylah Clare, The - (Original Trailer) An obsessed movie director grooms an unknown actress to play his deceased movie-star wife in The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968), directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Kim Novak, Peter Finch and Ernest Borgnine.
Double Trouble -- (Original Trailer) A teen heiress falls for an American rock singer in Double Trouble (1967) starring Elvis Presley and featuring such songs as "Long Legged Girl" and "City by Night."


Bearl Branton Murphy
Georgia Arlyn Murphy
Maggie Murphy
Born c. 1989; mother Wendy Crewson.
John Branton Murphy
Born August 20, 1992; mother Wendy Crewson.


Wendy Crewson