Childhood & Early Life
William James "Bill" Murray was born to Lucille Collins, a mail room clerk, and Edward Joseph Murray II, a lumber salesman. Murray had eight siblings.
He attended St. Joseph grade school and Loyola Academy. In order to fund his education at the Jesuit high school, he worked as a golf caddy in his teens.
As a teen, he was the singer of a band called the Dutch Masters and performed in high school and community theatre. He attended Regis University, Denver but dropped out and returned to Illinois.
In 1970, he was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare Airport for trying to smuggle cannabis. He was convicted and sentenced to probation.
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He joined his brother in the cast for the improvisational comedy ‘The Second City’ in Chicago and got to study under Del Close. This gave direction to his life and he took up acting.
In 1975, he was cast in the short-lived ABC variety show, Saturday Night Live. Two years later, NBC invited him to their Saturday Night Live. He was with it for three seasons.
In 1979, he landed his first movie role in the box-office hit, ‘Meatballs’. It was followed by ‘Where the Buffalo’s Roam’ in which he portrayed Hunter S. Thompson. However, the movie flopped.
In 1980, he restored his image as an actor with the cult classic ‘Caddyshack’. The following years saw him act in box-office hits such as ‘Stripes’, and ‘Tootsie’.
In 1984, he co-wrote and acted in ‘The Razor’s Edge’. The movie did not do very well and he was so disappointed that he took four years off, appearing in only cameo roles.
He took time off from movies, except for a cameo appearance in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ in 1986, to be with his family and to study philosophy and history at the Sorbonne.
In 1988, he returned to movies with ‘Scrooged’. It was followed by the sequel ‘Ghostbusters II’, the next year. He even co-directed the movie ‘Quick Change’ with Howard Franklin.
In 1999, he wrote a semi-autobiographic book ‘Cinderella Story: My Life in Golf’, explaining his love for the game of golf.
Once he decided to take up dramatic roles, his career started sky-rocketing with roles in ‘Wild Things’, ‘Cradle Will Rock’, ‘Hamlet’, and in the 2001 critically acclaimed movie ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’.
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In 2004, he provided the voice-over for the cartoon character Garfield in ‘Garfield: The Movie’ and two years later for ‘Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties’.
In 2004, he worked in Wes Anderson’s ‘The Aquatic Life’. He also starred in Jim Jarmusch's ‘Broken Flowers’. The next year, he appeared in cameo roles in ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ and ‘Get Smart’.
After a break from acting, he appeared in a notable role in the movie ‘City of Ember’ in 2008. In the next year, he appeared in a cameo role in the comedy ‘Zombieland’.
In 2012, he took up the role of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the movie ‘Hyde Park on Hudson’. He also starred in Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’.
He will be seen starring alongside Johnny Depp and Jude Law in Wes Anderson’s next film ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, which is set to release in 2014.
Awards & Achievements
In 1998, for his role in Wes Anderson's ‘Rushmore’, 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.
In 2003, he acted in Sofia Coppola's ‘Lost in Translation’. He won a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, and an Independent Spirit Award. He lost the Academy Award to Sean Penn.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1981, he married Margaret Kelly on Super Bowl Sunday. They had a marriage ceremony later in church with family on March 25th. They had two sons, Homer and Luke.
Murray and Kelly divorced after Murray’s affair with Jennifer Butler came to light. He married Butler in 1997. They had four sons: Caleb, Jackson, Cooper and Lincoln. Butler filed for divorce on the grounds of domestic violence, infidelity and addiction to sex, marijuana and alcohol. They were granted divorce in 2008.