Born (September 21, 1950) fifth of nine children,
and raised in Wilmette by Chicago.
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 theater.
Also conducted the George Mason University pep band, Green Machine.
When he was 17 in 1967,
his father died from complications from diabetes.
He enrolled at Regis College in Denver to study premed
but dropped out after being arrested for marijuana possession.
During the first few seasons of SNL,
he was in a serious, romantic relationship with Gilda Radner.
Dan Aykroyd nicknamed him "The Murricane" for his notorious mood swings.
In 1981, sang "THE BEST THING" on the soundtrack for John Waters' Polyester.
Late Night with David Letterman premiered on February 1, 1982,
with Murray as the first guest.
He made a deal with Columbia Pictures to star in Ghostbusters,
a role originally written for John Belushi,
in order to gain financing for his film The Razor's Edge,
his only film screenwriting credit to date.
In the film, Larry's farewell speech to commanding officer Piedmont
was written by Bill as a farewell to John Belushi.
Bill even used the line "He will not be missed" at John's wake.
While Ghostbusters became the highest-grossing film of 1984,
Razor's Edge was a box-office flop.
Upset, 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 (Little Shop of Horrors),
he did not make any appearances in films.
Murray returned to films in 1988 with Scrooged,
which cast all three of his brothers.
He accidentally broke Robert De Niro's nose
during the filming of Mad Dog and Glory in 1993.
Murray is an avid golfer.
Cinderella Story: My Life in Golf, 1999, is part autobiography and part essay.
After a 2007 tournament,
he was pulled over by the Stockholm police
for suspicion of driving a golf cart while intoxicated.
"There were no obvious signs, like when someone is really tipsy,"
said police commander Jan-Olov Lundgren.
"He was very calm and friendly. No problem at all."
He is a part-owner of several independent minor-league baseball teams
current and past.
Caddy Shack, a restaurant chain located near St. Augustine,
is owned by "Murray Bros" (Bill and his brothers).
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 he had auditioned for and was interested in
(Monsters, Inc., The Squid and the Whale, Little Miss Sunshine,
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
In 81, he married Margaret Kelly and had two sons; Homer ('82) and Luke ('85).
The couple divorced in 1996, following Murray's affair with Jennifer Butler.
In 97, he married Butler and had four sons: Caleb ('93), Jackson ('95),
Cooper ('97), and Lincoln ('01).
Accusing Bill of domestic violence, adultery and abandonment,
Butler got a divorce in 2008.
She alleged he is addicted to sex, marijuana, and alcohol, and
"hit her in the face and then told her she was lucky he didn't kill her."
Sofia Coppola wrote the lead role of Bob Harris in Lost in Translation (2003),
with Murray specifically in mind.
She did not know the actor and even enlisted the help of her famous father,
Francis Ford Coppola, to track down the sometimes quite elusive Murray.
Once he finally read the script, though, he agreed to do it on the spot.
Murray and Sofia Coppola are now good friends.
Murray on his Lost in Translation role:
"I remember being in Japan 10 years ago for a golf tournament.
I turned over a Kirin beer coaster, and there was Harrison Ford's picture.
He's a guy who would never be caught dead doing a commercial here.
He had a bottle in his hand and the most uncomfortable look on his face,
like, "I can't believe I'm shilling."
When Sofia Coppola, the director of Lost in Translation, sent me the script,
she included a photo and said, 'This is what I have in mind.',
It was Brad Pitt in an ad for espresso in a can, and he had the same grimace:
'I can't believe I'm selling this can of coffee.',
That influenced me when I had to do my own shtick."
He was the M.C. for Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2007,
where he dressed in various guises of Clapton as he appeared through the years.
He was MC again in 2010.
He can be so funny and touching at the same time.
I've loved him in these:
2009 Fantastic Mr. Fox
2007 The Darjeeling Limited
2005 Broken Flowers
2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
2003 Coffee and Cigarettes
2003 Lost in Translation
2001 The Royal Tenenbaums
1994 Ed Wood
1993 Groundhog Day
1991 What About Bob?
1986 Little Shop of Horrors
1984 Ghost Busters
1984 The Razor's Edge
1979 Mr. Mike's Mondo Video
1977-1980 Saturday Night Live
I haven't seen these yet, but heard good things:
1999 Cradle Will Rock
1980 Where the Buffalo Roam
"You know the theory of cell irritability?.
If you take an amoeba cell and poke it a thousand times,
it will change and then re-form into its original shape.
And then, the thousandth time you poke this amoeba,
the cell will completely collapse and become nothing.
That's kind of what it's like being famous.
People say hi, how are you doing,
and after the thousandth time,
you just get angry; you really pop."
"One of the things I like about acting is that,
in a funny way, I come back to myself."
"We used to joke about it:
'Give me an affliction and I'll give you an Oscar!'
They're not giving an award for acting.
It's, 'Thanks for making me feel something. Here's a prize.'
Somehow people don't put comedy in their emotional bank the same way.
It relieves a tension, it unties a knot,
but it's not something where people want to give you a prize.
They just want to say, 'Thanks for making me laugh,'
which I genuinely treasure.
That makes me feel good."
"I have developed a kind of different style over the years.
I hate trying to re-create a tone or a pitch.
Saying, "I want to make it sound like I made it sound the last time"?
That's insane, because the last time doesn't exist.
It's only this time.
And everything is going to be different this time.
There's only now."
"I think that the online world has actually brought books back.
People are reading because they're reading the damn screen.
That's more reading than people used to do."
- ► 2012 (42)
- ▼ February (7)