Bill Murray attends the "The French Dispatch" photocall during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 13, 2021 in Cannes, France.

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.

  • 6. Charlie's Angels

    The Charlie’s Angels trilogy is one of our favorite franchises. We love Bill Murray’s portrayal as John Bosley. Murray’s Bosley character was hilarious, giving rambling speeches of little or no help to the Angels. Though we loved Murray, he was replaced by the late Bernie Mac in the 2003 sequel because he clashed with Lucy Liu on set. According to Deadline, Liu confirmed the rumors the the actor started “to sort of hurl insults” at her.

  • 5. Lost In Translation

    Murray hasn’t starred in many non-comedy films, but this 2003 film written and directed by Sofia Coppola sees the actor star as Bob Harris, a fading American movie star who is having a midlife crisis and marriage problems when he travels to Tokyo to promote a whisky brand. There, he befriends another estranged American named Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), who is there questioning her own marriage.

  • 4. Meatballs

    At 29 years old, Murray starred in his first film role in the 1979 comedy. Meatball also launched the directing career of Ivan Reitman, who later directed comedies Stripes (1981) and Ghostbusters (1984), both starring Murray. In the film, Murray delivered one of the most motivating demotivating speech of all time: “It Just Doesn’t Matter.”

  • 3. Osmosis Jones

    Rewatching this film during the Covid-19 was a great way to pass the time and still holds up as a great animated film. The 2001 family film starred Murray as the grotesque Frank DeTorri, a zookeeper who eats a boiled egg that fell into a chimpanzee’s habitat, allowing Thrax, a virus known as “La Muerte Roja” (“The Red Death”), to enter his body.

  • 2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

    In one of our favorite Wes Anderson films, Murray stars as the titular character Steve Zissou, an eccentric oceanographer who is working on his latest documentary at sea. Murray’s Zissou sets out to exact revenge on the “jaguar shark” that ate his best friend and diving partner Esteban du Plantier (Seymour Cassel). Zissou is both a parody of and homage to French diving pioneer Jacques Cousteau.

  • 1. Caddyshack

    1980’s Caddyshack is one of our favorite films to rewatch and remains funny every time. Murray’s Carl Spackler is a mentally unstable greenskeeper at the Bushwood Country Club who is charged with the duty of hunting a potentially destructive gopher. Throughout the entirety of the movie, Carl attempts to kill it with a rifle and high-pressure hose but fails. At the very end of the film, the gopher emerges from underground, unharmed, and dances in the smoldering ruins of the golf course.

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