Actor Bill Murray, whose full name is William James Murray, is known for his deadpan comedic roles. Born on September 21, 1950, in Illinois, Murray grew up with eight other siblings. Three of his siblings are also actors: brothers John Murray, Joel Murray, and Brian Doyle-Murray. Meanwhile, he has a sister named Nancy, an Adrian Dominican nun in Michigan. Murray attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado, taking pre-medical courses, but quickly dropped out and returned to Illinois. On his 20th birthday in 1970, Murray was arrested at the airport for trying to smuggle 10 pounds of cannabis, which he had allegedly intended to sell. He was convicted and sentenced to probation.
Bill’s Early Work
With an invitation from his older brother, Brian, Murray got his start at Second City in Chicago, an improvisational comedy troupe. In 1974, he moved to New York City and was recruited by John Belushi as a featured player on The National Lampoon Radio Hour. The following year, he landed his first television role as a cast member of the ABC variety show Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. That same season, NBC premiered their own variety show called Saturday Night. Cosell’s show only lasted one season, but Murray joined the cast of NBC’s show, now called Saturday Night Live, for the show’s second season following the departure of Chevy Chase. He was a cast member on SNL for three seasons from 1977 to 1980, and he even received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for his work on the show.
Murray landed his first starring role in Ivan Reitman’s Meatballs (1979). He followed that up by working with writer-director Harold Ramis on Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1981), and Tootsie (1982). Murray would go on to star in several box-office hits like Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989), What About Bob? (1991), and Groundhog Day (1993). He has frequently collaborated with directors Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, and Jim Jarmusch. He has earned numerous accolades throughout his 40-year acting career, including two Emmys and a Golden Globe Award.
Take a look below at our favorite Bill Murray movies, ranked.