Don Murray (actor)

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Don Murray
Don Murray in Bus Stop trailer cropped.jpg
in Bus Stop (1956)
BornDonald Patrick Murray
(1929-07-31) July 31, 1929 (age 85)
Hollywood, California, USA
OccupationActor
Years active1954–present
Spouse(s)Hope Lange
(m.1956-1961; divorced; 2 children)
Bettie Johnson
(m.1962-present; 3 children)
 
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Don Murray
Don Murray in Bus Stop trailer cropped.jpg
in Bus Stop (1956)
BornDonald Patrick Murray
(1929-07-31) July 31, 1929 (age 85)
Hollywood, California, USA
OccupationActor
Years active1954–present
Spouse(s)Hope Lange
(m.1956-1961; divorced; 2 children)
Bettie Johnson
(m.1962-present; 3 children)

Donald Patrick "Don" Murray (born July 31, 1929) is an American actor.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Murray was born in 1929 the only child of Dennis Aloisius, a Broadway dance director and stage manager, and Ethel Murray, a former Ziegfeld performer.[2] He attended East Rockaway High School (class of 1947) in East Rockaway, New York where he played football and was on the track team. Murray was a member of the student government, glee club, and also joined the Alpha Phi Chapter of the Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity. Upon graduation from high school, he went on to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After graduating, he soon made his Broadway debut in the 1951 play The Rose Tattoo, as Jake Hunter. After taking a three-year break from acting, in order to assist orphans and war casualties during the Korean War, he returned from Europe to America in 1954 and to acting, by appearing alongside Mary Martin in the 1955 stage version of The Skin of Our Teeth. Upon seeing his performance in the play, director Joshua Logan decided to cast him in 20th Century Fox's film version of Bus Stop.[3]

Film and television career[edit]

Don Murray's role as Beauregard "Bo" Decker in Bus Stop (1956) marked his film debut. He starred alongside Marilyn Monroe, who played Cherie, his love desire. His performance as the innocent cowboy who is determined to get Cherie was well received, and he was nominated for a BAFTA for Most Promising Newcomer and for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In 1957, he starred as reserved, married bookkeeper Charlie Sampson in The Bachelor Party. The same year he starred in one of his most successful roles, that of Johnny Pope in the drama A Hatful of Rain. Despite director Fred Zinnemann's intention to typecast the actor as the comical brother Polo, Murray insisted on playing the lead. Thus he portrayed Johnny Pope, a morphine addicted Korean War veteran. The film was one of the first to show the effects of drug abuse on the addicted and those around him.

He starred as a blackmailed United States senator in Advise & Consent (1961), a film version of a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Allen Drury. The movie was directed by Otto Preminger and cast Murray opposite Henry Fonda and Charles Laughton. He also co-starred with Steve McQueen in the film Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965) and played the ape-hating Governor Breck in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972).

In addition to acting, Murray directed a film based on the book The Cross and the Switchblade (1970) starring Pat Boone and Erik Estrada.

Murray starred with Otis Young in the ground breaking ABC western television series The Outcasts (1968–69) featuring an interracial bounty hunter team in the post-Civil War West.

In 1979, he starred as Sid Fairgate on the long-running prime-time soap opera Knots Landing. He also scripted two episodes of the program in 1980. However, in 1981 Murray decided to leave the series after two seasons to concentrate on other projects, although some sources say he left over a salary dispute. The character's death was notable at the time because it was considered rare to "kill off" a star character. The death came in the second episode of season three, following season two's cliffhanger in which Sid's car careened off a cliff. To make viewers doubt the character would actually die, Murray was listed in the newly created credit sequence for season three; that the character survived the plunge off the cliff (thus temporarily reassuring the viewers), but died shortly afterwards in the hospital. Although he effectively distanced himself from the series after that, Murray later contributed an interview segment for Knots Landing: Together Again, a non-fiction reunion special made in 2005.

Personal life[edit]

In 1956, Don Murray married Hope Lange, with whom he'd co-starred in Bus Stop. They had two children:

They divorced in 1961.

In 1962, he married Elizabeth Johnson, They had 3 children:

Despite his character in A Hatful of Rain, Murray had been an objector to the Korean War. Rather than participating, he had done civil work by helping out refugees, including orphans in Europe.[4]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Monush, Barry (2003-04-01). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the silent era to 1965. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 535–. ISBN 978-1-55783-551-2. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Don Murray Biography (1929–). Filmreference.com. Retrieved on 2012-06-18.
  3. ^ Don Murray's. Movies.yahoo.com (2011-04-20). Retrieved on 2012-06-18.
  4. ^ Don Murray Bio at Yahoo Movies[dead link]

External links[edit]