Offstage, Bill Murray is as much of an enigma as some of the characters he has played onscreen. Starting his comedy career at The Second City with an invitation from his brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, he graduated from the Mainstage in 1973. After his time at The Second City, he worked on The National Lampoon Radio Hour, later joining the cast of Saturday Night Live in its second season. Following his success on the seminal sketch show, Murray had both leading and supporting roles in a number of successful films. In his career, he has been nominated for six Golden Globe Awards, winning one, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In the early 1970’s, Murray began his comedic career at The Second City, graduating from the Mainstage in 1973. He then moved to New York City to perform as a featured player on The National Lampoon Radio Hour. Among his fellow co-stars were Second City alum John Belushi, Joe Flaherty, Gilda Radner, and Harold Ramis. Many of the writers and performers, including Murray, were hired on Saturday Night Live, which he joined in 1976. His time on SNL allowed him to showcase his talent and a diverse group of characters; in 1977, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked him sixth in most influential SNL cast members of all time.
After his Saturday Night Live departure in 1980, Murray went on to act in a slew of successful films. His first starring role was as Tripper Harrison in Meatballs, which he actually filmed while still working on SNL. In the 1980’s, Murray then had comedic roles in Caddyshack, Stripes, Tootsie, Ghostbusters, Scrooged, Ghostbusters II, and more. The success he had throughout the 80’s allowed him to be more selective in his roles, and he proceeded to have leading or supporting roles in films such as Groundhog Day, Ed Wood, Wild Things, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums.
Though he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Rushmore, he garnered even more critical acclaim through his role in Lost In Translation, where he won Best Actor at the BAFTA’s, the Golden Globes, and the Independent Spirit Awards, and was nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. Since Lost in Translation, Murray has acted in many more critically acclaimed films, including The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Zombieland, Moonrise Kingdom, Get Low, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and St. Vincent. Murray is a frequent Wes Anderson collaborator, and continues to play unique and complicated characters. In 2016, Murray was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.