William James "Bill" Murray (born September 21, 1950) is an American actor and comedian. He first gained exposure on Saturday Night Live for which he earned an Emmy Award and later went on to star in comedy films, including Meatballs (1979), Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), What About Bob? (1991), and Groundhog Day (1993). Murray garnered additional
William James "Bill" Murray (born September 21, 1950) is an American actor and comedian. He first gained exposure on Saturday Night Live for which he earned an Emmy Award and later went on to star in comedy films, including Meatballs (1979), Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), What About Bob? (1991), and Groundhog Day (1993). Murray garnered additional critical acclaim later in his career, starring in Lost in Translation (2003), which earned him a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. He also received Golden Globe nominations for his roles in Rushmore, Hyde Park on Hudson and St. Vincent.
He is a regular collaborator with director Wes Anderson, including Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).
Murray was born in Evanston, Illinois, and was raised in Wilmette, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago. He is the son of Lucille (née Collins), a mail room clerk, and Edward Joseph Murray II, a lumber salesman. Murray and his eight siblings were raised in a Catholic Irish American family. Three of his siblings, John Murray, Joel Murray, and Brian Doyle-Murray, are also actors. A sister, Nancy, is an Adrian Dominican nun in Michigan, who has traveled the United States in a one-woman program, portraying St. Catherine of Siena. Their father died in 1967 from complications of diabetes when Bill was 17 years old. As a youth, Murray read children's biographies of American heroes like Kit Carson, Wild Bill Hickok, and Davy Crockett. He attended St. Joseph grade school and Loyola Academy. During his teen years, he worked as a golf caddy to fund his education at the Jesuit high school. One of his sisters had polio and his mother suffered several miscarriages. 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. After graduating, Murray attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado, taking pre-medical courses. He quickly dropped out, returning to Illinois. Decades later, in 2007, Regis awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. On September 21, 1970, the police arrested Murray at Chicago's O'Hare Airport for trying to smuggle 10 lb (4.5 kg) of cannabis, which he had allegedly intended to sell. Murray was convicted and later sentenced to probation.
With an invitation from his older brother, Brian, Murray got his start at The Second City in Chicago, an improvisational comedy troupe, studying under Del Close. In 1974, he moved to New York City and was recruited by John Belushi as a featured player on The National Lampoon Radio Hour.
In 1975, an Off Broadway version of a Lampoon show led to his first television role as a cast member of the ABC variety show Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell that featured animal acts and little kids with loud voices. That same season, another variety show titled NBC's Saturday Night premiered. Cosell's show lasted just one season, canceled in early 1976. After working in Los Angeles with the "guerrilla video" commune TVTV on several projects, Murray rose to prominence in 1976. He officially joined the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live for the show's second season, following the departure of Chevy Chase, but had been on the premiere episode of the show. Murray was with SNL for three seasons from 1977–1980. A Rutland Weekend Television sketch Eric Idle brought for his appearance on SNL developed into the 1978 mockumentary All You Need Is Cash with Murray (alongside other SNL cast members) appearing as "Bill Murray the K", a send-up of New York radio host Murray the K, in a segment of the film that is a parody of the Maysles Brothers's documentary The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit. During the first few seasons of SNL, Murray was in a romantic relationship with fellow cast member Gilda Radner.
Murray landed his first starring role with the film Meatballs in 1979. He followed this up with his portrayal of Hunter S. Thompson in the 1980s Where the Buffalo Roam. In the early 1980s, he starred in a string of box-office hits including Caddyshack, Stripes, and Tootsie. Murray became the first guest on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman on February 1, 1982. He would later appear on the first episode of the Late Show with David Letterman in August 1993, when the show moved to CBS. On January 31, 2012 – 30 years after his first appearance with Letterman – Murray appeared again on his talk show.
Murray began work on a film adaptation of the novel The Razor's Edge. The film, which Murray also co-wrote, was his first starring role in a dramatic film. He later agreed to star in Ghostbusters, in a role originally written for John Belushi. This was a deal Murray made with Columbia Pictures in order to gain financing for The Razor's Edge. Ghostbusters became the highest-grossing film of 1984. The Razor's Edge, which was filmed before Ghostbusters but not released until after, was a box-office flop. Upset over the failure of The Razor's Edge, 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 movie Little Shop of Horrors, he did not make any appearances in films, though he did participate in several public readings in Manhattan organized by playwright/director Timothy Mayer and in a stage production of Bertolt Brecht's A Man's A Man. Murray returned to films in 1988 with Scrooged and Ghostbusters II in 1989. In 1990, Murray made his first and only attempt at directing when he co-directed Quick Change with producer Howard Franklin. His subsequent films What About Bob? (1991) and Groundhog Day (1993) were box-office hits. After Groundhog Day, he appeared in a series of well-received supporting roles in films like Ed Wood, Kingpin, and Space Jam (where he appeared as himself.) However, his starring roles in Larger than Life, and The Man Who Knew Too Little were not as successful with critics or audiences. In 1998, he received much critical acclaim for Wes Anderson's Rushmore for which he won Best Supporting Actor awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (tying with Billy Bob Thornton). Murray decided to take a turn towards more dramatic roles and experienced a resurgence in his career, taking on roles in Wild Things, Cradle Will Rock, Hamlet (as Polonius), and The Royal Tenenbaums. In 2003, he appeared in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation and went on to earn a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, and an Independent Spirit Award, as well as Best Actor awards from several film critic organizations. He was considered a favorite to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, but Sean Penn ultimately won the award for his performance in Mystic River. In an interview included on the Lost in Translation DVD, Murray states that it is his favorite movie in which he has appeared. Also in 2003, he appeared in a short cameo for the movie Coffee and Cigarettes, in which he played himself "hiding out" in a local coffee shop. During this time Murray still appeared in comedic roles such as Charlie's Angels and Osmosis Jones. In 2004, he provided the voice of Garfield in Garfield: The Movie, and again in 2006 for Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. (Later, Murray claimed he only took part because he was under the misguided impression the screenplay, co-written by Joel Cohen, was the work of Joel Coen.) In 2004, he made his third collaboration with Wes Anderson in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and also starred in Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers. In 2005, Murray announced that he would take a break from acting as he had not had the time to relax since his new breakthrough in the late 1990s. He did return to the big screen for brief cameos in Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited and in Get Smart as Agent 13, the agent in the tree. In 2008, he played an important role in the post-apocalyptic film City of Ember, and in 2009, played himself in a cameo role in the zombie comedy Zombieland.
Murray provided the voice for the character Mr. Badger for the 2009 animated film Fantastic Mr. Fox.
In the 2010s Murray has been part of ensembles which received several award nominations in two Wes Anderson movies: Moonrise Kingdom (2010) and Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). Murray was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in the 2014 film St. Vincent.During the filming of Stripes, Murray married Margaret Kelly on Super Bowl Sunday in Las Vegas on January 25, 1981. Later, they remarried in Chicago for their families. Margaret gave birth to two sons, Homer (born 1982) and Luke (born 1985). Luke is an assistant basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island. Following Murray's affair with Jennifer Butler, the couple divorced in 1996. In 1997, he married Butler. Together, they have four sons: Caleb (born January 11, 1993), Jackson (born October 6, 1995), Cooper (born January 27, 1997), and Lincoln (born May 30, 2001). Butler filed for divorce on May 12, 2008. Their divorce was finalized on June 13, 2008.