Childhood & Early Life
Brian Murray was born on 31st October, 1945, to Edward J. Murray and Lucille Murray in Chicago. His father was a lumber salesman while his mother was a mail room clerk. He has eight siblings, of which three, Bill, Joel, and John, are actors like him. His elder brother, Ed, runs a business while one of his younger brothers, Andy, is a chef.
His family is of Irish descent and devout Catholics. Brian adopted his grandmother’s maiden name, Doyle, and uses it with his surname, making his full name Brian Doyle-Murray.
He graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California, situated in Moraga, California, in the year 1968.
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Murray’s career in the film industry started in 1972 when he played the part of a detective in the comedy movie ‘Fuzz’. He was a part of the improvisational comedy troupe known as “The Second City”. This theatre troupe, which has also ventured into the television and movie industries in both Canada and the United States, has an impressive list of alumni which includes, in addition to the Murray brothers, award winning actors, writers and directors such as Tina Frey, Steve Carell, John Candy and Stephen Colbert.
Murray was a part of this group for a long time. He has appeared on a number of movies and television shows while with The Second City, the most notable of which was ‘Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell’ in 1975-76. The same year he also appeared in ‘The TVTV Show’. He was also a writer for these shows.
Brian also tried his hand in radio. In 1973, he became a regular member on ‘The National Lampoon Radio Hour’. The show was a hit and was broadcast across the country on over 600 stations. The show ended in 1975 after a successful three year gig. While working there, Brian rubbed shoulders with the likes of John Belushi, Richard Belzer, Harold Ramis and Gilda Radner to name a few. Younger brother, Bill Murray, was also a colleague on the show.
During the 1979-80 season, he featured in NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’. He retained the spot in the 1980-81 season as well, also writing for Jean Doumanian in the meantime. In the process, he became one of the few artists to have worked with all the three producers of SNL.
In 1980, Brian collaborated with a host of other artists in the comedy movie, ‘Caddyshack’. The film had Chevy Chase, Micheal O’Keefe, Ted Knight, Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray in lead roles. It was directed by Harold Ramis, whom Murray knew from his time in radio. Apart from being the co-writer of the movie, Brian also appears in a supporting role in it, sharing screen-space with Bill. The movie was the first of several similarly themed movies that released all throughout the 80s.
In addition to Caddyshack, Brian has worked with younger brother Bill on a number of other projects as well. The most notable films in which the actor brother duo appear together are ‘Razor’s Edge’ (1984), ‘Scrooged’(1988), ‘Ghostbusters II’ (1989), and ‘Groundhog Day’ (1993). The two brothers share a visibly easy chemistry, as is evident from all these movies.
Among other artists with whom Brian shares an excellent chemistry, the most notable is perhaps Chevy Chase. Another acquaintance from his time in radio, Chevy has appeared with Brian in a number of movies including ‘Modern Problems’ in 1981 and ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’ series in 1983 and 1989.
Other movies that Brian was part of all through the 80s and 90s include ‘Head Office’,’ How I Got into College’, ’Nothing but Trouble’, ’JFK’, ’My Brother’s Keeper’, ‘Stuart Little’ and ’Love and Money’, to name a few. In most of these movies, Brian plays small supporting roles.
More recently we have seen Brian in films like ‘17 Again’ where he plays the role of a time travelling janitor who guides the protagonist towards his destiny. He can also be seen in ‘Love Comes Lately’ and ‘Eye of Hurricane’.
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Murray is also very famous for his voice roles in a number of animated movies. The one role that defines him is his voice portrayal of The Flying Dutchman, a ghost ship, in the widely acclaimed animated series ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’, since 1997. In total, he has worked in 12 episodes of the series.
His other voice roles include the role of Captain K’nuckles in ‘The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack’, Coach Gill in ‘My Gym Partner’s a Monkey’, Maggie’s Dad in ‘The Buzz on Maggie’, Jack, the barber in ‘King of the Hill’ and Charlie in ‘The Goode Family’.
Murray has been a part of several TV series in small capacities. In the 90s, he made cameos in shows like ‘Married…with Children’, ‘Wings’, ‘Seinfeld’, and ‘Between Brothers’. In the first decade of the 20th century, he can be seen in series such as ‘Yes, Dear’ where he had a recurring role of Mr. George Savitsky. He also plays a recurring role in ‘The Middle’ from 2009-2015 and a cameo in the hit series ‘Supernatural’.
Murray landed one of the main roles in the comedy series ‘Sullivan & Son’, where he plays Hank Murphy. The show was on air from 2012 to 2014. He also got another main role ‘Motorcity’ in 2012.
Most recently, Brian has been seen in ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’, where he plays President Grandpa, as well as ‘Billy Dilley’s Super-Duper Subterranean Summer’, both of which released in 2017.
He has also lent his voice to the Ghostbusters video game, where he is the voice of the Mayor.