Sloppy, anti-authoritarian and mischievous – both on screen and off – Bill Murray is the unlikeliest of movie stars. Yet in the fifth decade of his career, the actor is still an audience favorite. Here's a look back at his work.
Saturday Night Live (1977)
Like many big names, Murray got his start on NBC's long-running sketch show. He was the first "new" member of the cast, replacing Chevy Chase in the show's third season and staying for four years.
Murray's breakout role was as a summer camp counselor who inspires a lonely camper (Chris Makepeace). This PG-rated comedy was one of several collaborations between Murray, director Ivan Reitman and writer Harold Ramis.
Gopher-hating greensman Carl Spackler is still one of Murray's best-known characters, even though the part is fairly small. His brother, actor Brian Doyle-Murray, cowrote the script with director Ramis and the late Douglas Kenney.
This irreverent Army comedy, written and directed by the same guys behind 'Meatballs,' was Murray's first mega-hit as a leading man. And that's a fact, Jack.
"We're ready to believe you!" The unbeatable Murray-Ramis-Reitman combo peaked with this summer blockbuster, co-written by Murray's costar (and 'SNL' buddy) Dan Aykroyd.
The Razor's Edge (1984)
The actor took a lot of flak for his dramatic turn as an enlightenment-seeking wanderer in this adaptation of Somerset Maugham's novel. (Murray even co-wrote the script.) Nevertheless, it proved that he was more than just a funny man.
Apart from a cameo in 1986's 'Little Shop of Horrors,' Murray took a break from movies after the 'Razor's Edge' debacle. He returned in this safe but successful comic update of Charles Dickens's 'A Christmas Carol.'
Quick Change (1990)
This wacky caper about bank robbers unable to get out of Manhattan marked the first and thus far only time we've seen the credit "Directed by Bill Murray." (Howard Franklin co-directed.) The star also produced the comedy.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Murray's final film with writer/director Harold Ramis is also believed by many to be his best film, period. As a self-centered news reporter doomed to relive the same day over and over, the actor is both hilarious and deeply human.
Mad Dog and Glory (1993)
1993's other Bill Murray movie cast the star against type as a cold-hearted mob boss who "loans" Uma Thurman to Robert De Niro (also cast against type as a meek police photographer).
After two disappointing studio vehicles (1996's 'Larger Than Life' and 1997's 'The Man Who Knew Too Little'), this stylish independent hit connected Murray with a new long-term collaborator, writer/director Wes Anderson.
Lost in Translation (2003)
Despite his newfound relevance as one of the Wes Anderson players, Murray made a few more iffy movies before Sofia Coppola chose him to star in her bittersweet Tokyo dramedy, which earned the actor his first Oscar nomination.
Broken Flowers (2005)
Murray must have decided that he dug the whole indie film thing. After 'Lost in Translation' and Anderson's 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou' (2004), the graying star played a laconic lothario in this typically droll Jim Jarmusch outing.
We've been focusing on his starring roles, but Bill Murray has also stolen several movies with his cameo appearances. We can't think of a better example than this action comedy, where he turns up as a zombified version of himself.
Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)
Murray took a chance with another unexpected character role, this time as Franklin D. Roosevelt. (At left is his 'Rushmore' co-star Olivia Williams as Eleanor, with Laura Linney as FDR's mistress.) Critics weren't kind, but his performance is worth a look.
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