Comedy icon launched to fame as ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast member
Bill Murray has done a lot in his 71 years of life.
The comedy icon, who is celebrating his birthday on Tuesday, began his Hollywood career with a short film titled “The Hat Act” in 1973. imdb, a few years before he skyrocketed to fame as a member of the “Saturday Night Live” cast in 1977.
These days, he has two Emmys, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar nomination—not to mention the remainder of his vast collection of accolades and nominations.
In celebration of his big day, here’s a look at Murray’s biggest roles:
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“Saturday Night Live” (1977–1980)
Because of all his success in the decades after he left the cast, it’s easy to forget that Murray was part of the “SNL” family in his early days.
Although not a member of its inaugural cast, Murray came on board during season two of the popular and long-running sketch comedy series. He remained on the show for several years, leaving in 1980. He would return the following year as a host and then again several times.
During his tenure, Murray became famous for playing characters like Nick the Lounge Singer, actors and “Family Feud” hosts Richard Dawson and Clark Kent, while his appearance as himself to predict the winners of the Oscars during the show’s “Weekend Update” segment is one of their most memorable moments.
Shortly after making it big on “SNL”, Murray also became a mainstay in comedy films.
One of his previous hits was “Caddyshack”, which saw him playing a non-bright groundskeeper at a golf course who is tasked with the mission of hunting down a gopher that damages the course. Used to be.
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His actions include unsuccessful attempts to end Gopher’s life with a rifle and high-power hose. In his final attempt, Murray’s Karl Speckler detonated plastic explosives placed around the course, changing the outcome of the game.
“Caddyshack” starred “SNL” alum Chevy Chase as well as comedian Rodney Dangerfield.
Perhaps one of his most famous films, “Ghostbusters,” saw Murray play the fictional Columbia University parapsychology professor Peter Venkman, who was fired after a paranormal encounter with his co-workers.
With a job but certain of the existence of ghosts, Venkman and his colleagues develop technology that allows them to fight and capture ghosts. They hire themselves for this kind of work and while business is slow at first, their skills come to fruition when a powerful paranormal force named Zool attempts to spark the apocalypse.
A sequel to the film was released in 1989 and a reboot starring the all-female cast of Ghostbusters was released in 2016—Murray made a cameo appearance in the film as a paranormal expert, but Venkman did not appear. He is set to reprise his role as Venkman in the upcoming “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” which hits theaters in November.
“Groundhog Day” (1993)
In “Groundhog Day”, Murray plays Phil Connors, an eccentric weatherman who travels to Punxsutawney, Penn., to cover Groundhog Day celebrations despite his disdain for the event and the city.
The next morning he wakes up and finds that it has snowed in Punxsutawney and cannot go. Suspiciously, the next day is exactly the same as the day before, and Phil learns that he is stuck in a time loop. There is nothing that helps him break the loop, including self-harm.
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Eventually, his attitude adjusts and he uses a loop to keep people from dying, all while falling in love with a local named Rita. Eventually, the time loop breaks when he professes his love.
“Charlie’s Angels” (2000)
Based on the classic television show, 2000’s “Charlie’s Angels” tells the story of a trio of female agents working for a top-secret organization as they set out to save the world.
While Murray did not play one of the women, he did play a man by the name of Bosley, an assistant to the mysterious and eponymous Charlie, who communicates only remotely via radio.
When she is kidnapped, Bosley joins the women’s mission, but is eventually rescued and treated on a luxurious vacation for her troubles.
“The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001)
After years of churning out more comedy films, Murray went on to appear in more plays. He formed a partnership with writer-director Wes Anderson and has been working on his films regularly since then.
In the films they made together is “The Royal Tenenbaums”, in which she played a neurologist performing routine tests on another person. Throughout the film, he learns that his wife is having an affair and publishes a successful book about her studies.
Murray has collaborated with Anderson on several other films, including “Rushmore,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and more.
“Lost in Translation” (2003)
Murray’s most critically acclaimed performance came in the 2003 film “Lost in Translation”.
The film follows Murray as a fading movie star who travels to Tokyo where he befriends another American misfit – a recent college graduate played by Scarlett Johansson. The two bond over their shared uncertainties about their marriage as well as feeling displaced in Japan.
Murray was nominated for an Oscar for his performance. Although he did not win a gold medal, he did win other prestigious awards such as Golden Globes, BAFTA and Independent Spirit Award for his work.
“On the Rocks” (2020)
Another writer-director with whom Murray frequently works is Sofia Coppola. After working together on “Lost in Translation”, they teamed up again for Apple TV+’s “On the Rocks”.
The film stars Murray as Felix, a man living a Playboy lifestyle who reconnects with his daughter and helps her investigate whether her husband is having an affair.
The film earned Oscar buzz for both Murray and his co-star Rashida Jones, although neither was ultimately nominated. However, Murray earned nominations for a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Award.