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Bill Murray


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Early years

Murray, the fifth of nine children, was born and raised in Wilmette, Illinois (metro Chicago), the son of Lucille (née Collins), a mail room clerk, and Edward J. Murray II, a lumber salesman.[1][2] His parents were Irish American and Catholic.[3] Three of Murray's siblings are also actors: John Murray, Joel Murray, and Brian Doyle-Murray. A sister, Nancy, is an Adrian Dominican Sister in Michigan who travels around the country portraying St. Catherine of Siena.

Growing up, Murray's family had little money and his mother pressured her children to get jobs.[4] As a child, Murray read biographies for children of American heroes like Kit Carson, Wild Bill Hickok and Davy Crockett.[5] He attended Loyola Academy. As a teenager, he worked alongside his brothers as a caddy to pay for his tuition in a Roman Catholic High School.[5][6] The 1960s were tough on Murray and his family. His father had diabetes, one of his sisters had polio and his mother had several miscarriages.[5] During his teen years he was the lead singer of a rock band called the Dutch Masters and took part in high school and community theater.[5]

After graduation, he attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado where he took pre-med courses. He later dropped out after being arrested for possession of marijuana at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.[6][5] He worked numerous jobs including a stint at a Little Caesar's alongside future chef Kerry Simon.

[edit] Marriage and children

During the filming of Stripes, Murray wed Margaret "Mickey" Kelly on Super Bowl Sunday in Las Vegas on January 24, 1981.[4][5] They married again in Chicago in a church for their families.[4] They had two sons, Homer (born 1982) and Luke (born 1985), before divorcing in 1994. In 1997, he married Jennifer Butler. They have four sons together: Caleb (born 1993), Jackson (born 1995), Cooper (born 1996), and Lincoln (born 2001).

Very detached from the Hollywood scene, Murray does not have an agent or manager and reportedly only fields offers for scripts and roles using a personal telephone number with a voice mailbox that he checks infrequently.[7] This practice has the downside of sometimes preventing him from taking parts that he had auditioned for and was interested in, such as that of Sulley in Monsters, Inc, Bernard Berkman in The Squid and the Whale, Frank Ginsburg in Little Miss Sunshine and Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.[8]

Murray has homes in Los Angeles, Martha's Vineyard, MA[9] , Charleston, SC, and Rockland County, New York, just outside of New York City.[10]

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Murray stumped for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader.[11]

Murray is a huge fan of Chicago pro sports teams, especially the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears.[12] He also is a big Michael Jordan fan and has made cameo appearances in Space Jam and Jordan documentaries. He also cheered courtside for the Illinois Fighting Illini's game versus the University of North Carolina in the NCAA Basketball Tournament's championship game in 2005. He is a fixture at home games of those teams when in his native Chicago. After traveling to Florida during the Cubs playoff run to help "inspire" the team (Murray told Cubs slugger Aramis Ramirez he was very ill and needed two home runs to give him the hope to live)[13], he was invited to the champagne party in the Cubs' clubhouse when the team clinched the NL Central in late September of 2007, along with fellow actors John Cusack, Bernie Mac, James Belushi, and former Cubs legend Ron Santo. Murray also appeared in Santo's documentary, This Old Cub.

[edit] Career

With an invitation from his older brother, Brian, Murray got his start at Second City Chicago studying under Del Close.[4] The improvisational comedy troupe was a perfect fit for Murray's clever, dry humor and ad libbing. In 1975, he moved to New York City and was recruited by John Belushi[14] as a featured player on The National Lampoon Radio Hour, which aired on some 600 stations from 1973 to 1974.[4]


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