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Bill Murray Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of actor, writer and director Bill Murray.


Birth Date: September 21, 1950

Birth place: Evanston, Illinois

Birth Name: William James Murray

Father: Edward Murray, lumber salesman

Mother: Lucille (Collins) Murray, mailroom worker

Marriages: Jennifer Butler (1997-2008, divorced); Margaret Kelly (1981-1996, divorced)

Children: with Jennifer Butler: Lincoln, Cooper, Jackson and Caleb; with Margaret Kelly: Luke and Homer

Education: Attended Regis University

Other Facts

Nominated for one Academy Award.

Nominated for four Primetime Emmy awards and won two.

A prolific party crasher, Murray has randomly turned up at gatherings around the globe, dancing, pouring tequila, delivering inspiring speeches and washing dishes. In 2014, Murray photo-bombed a South Carolina couple posing for an engagement portrait.

Murray co-owns several minor league baseball teams. During the summer of 2014, he surprised fans by working a day as ticket taker at a Minnesota ballpark, the home of one of his teams, the St. Paul Saints.

Agreed to a voice role as the title cat in “Garfield” because he mistakenly believed the script was written by one of the Coen brothers.

Murray doesn’t have a publicist or an agent. Instead, filmmakers are invited to call his 1-800 number and pitch their projects via voicemail.


1973 – Joins the Second City comedy troupe in Chicago, taking the stage with performers like John Candy and Betty Thomas.

January 15, 1977 – Makes his debut on “Saturday Night Live,” taking Chevy Chase’s place in the cast. During his three-year tenure on the show, his recurring characters include a lounge singer and a whining teenage nerd (alongside Gilda Radner).

September 11, 1977 – Wins a Primetime Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy-variety or music series for “Saturday Night Live.”

1979 – Stars in “Meatballs” as a slacker camp counselor who inspires a group of misfit kids to defeat their preppy competitors in an end-of-summer tournament.

1980 – “Caddyshack,” features Murray as a gopher-chasing groundskeeper.

1982 – Plays a supporting role in “Tootsie,” portraying the main character’s dry-witted roommate.

1984 – In “Ghostbusters,” Murray stars as a wisecracking scientist who zaps evil spirits in New York skyscrapers. The same year, he makes his dramatic debut in “The Razor’s Edge,” an adaptation of a 1944 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. The two films are linked. Murray agreed to play a leading role in “Ghostbusters” after the studio greenlit “The Razor’s Edge,” a passion project for the actor. He co-wrote the screenplay in addition to starring in the movie.

1990 – Co-directs and stars in the caper “Quick Change,” about a hapless group of bank robbers trying to flee New York.

1993 – “Groundhog Day” reunites Murray with Harold Ramis, his “Ghostbusters” costar as well as the director of “Caddyshack.” The comedy centers on a weatherman who finds enlightenment as he relives the same day repeatedly in a time warp.

1994 – Makes a cameo appearance in “Ed Wood,” a biopic that chronicles the making of a famed sci-fi flop, “Plan 9 from Outer Space.”

1998 – Portrays a melancholy millionaire who feuds with a precocious teen in “Rushmore.” Murray works for scale, plus a cut of the profits. Director Wes Anderson estimates that the actor’s salary was $9,000.

2003 – In “Lost in Translation,” Murray plays an aging movie star who befriends a lonely young woman at a Tokyo hotel. He gets an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role but loses to Sean Penn (“Mystic River”).

2009 – Makes a memorable cameo appearance in the apocalyptic comedy “Zombieland,” portraying himself.

2012 – Plays President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the biopic, “Hyde Park on Hudson.”

September 20, 2015 – Wins a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his performance in the HBO literary adaptation, “Olive Kitteridge.”

November 2015 – Chows down on Dixie cuisine in Charleston, South Carolina, with writer-chef Anthony Bourdain in an episode of the CNN series, Parts Unknown.

December 4, 2015 – Netflix releases “A Very Murray Christmas,” a musical holiday special directed by Sofia Coppola that features tuneful appearances by Chris Rock, Miley Cyrus, George Clooney and Amy Poehler.

2016 – Guest stars on the TBS cop comedy, “Angie Tribeca,” playing a flirtatious supermarket clerk.

June 4, 2017 – “New Worlds,” a musical stage show, with Murray and German cellist Jan Vogler premieres in Germany.

January 13, 2018 – Appears as former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in a sketch on “Saturday Night Live.”

October 2, 2020 – “On the Rocks” starring Murray and Rashida Jones and directed by Sofia Coppola is released.

April 18, 2022 – Murray’s new film, “Being Mortal” is suspended after a complaint is made against him for unspecified “inappropriate behavior.” According to an interview he gave CNBC, Murray says, “I did something I thought was funny, and it wasn’t taken that way.”

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