Beverly Hills Cop
"I never had aspirations to be in this movie business. I was always a stand-up comedian, that's what I am more than anything." Eddie Murphy
Comedian superstar Eddie Murphy is widely recognized as a cast member and writer for NBC's “Saturday Night Live” (1980-1984). Debuting in the 1982 movie 48 Hrs. (also starred in its 1990 sequel), Murphy continued to star in such films as Trading Places (1983), Coming to America (1988), Beverly Hills Cop trilogy (1984, 1987, 1994), Boomerang (1992), The Nutty Professor films (1996, 2000), Doctor Dolittle films (1998, 2000) and Shrek films (voice, 2001, 2004). A Grammy winner for the 1983 comedy album "Comedian," Murphy also had two hits on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts with "Party All the Time" (US #2, 1985) and "Put Your Mouth on Me" (US #27, 1989).
The 5' 10” tall comic actor, whose trademarks are his goofy laugh and his multiple characters, was one of Comedy Central's “100 Greatest Stand-Up Comics of All Time” (#10). Host of the MTV Movie Awards in 1993, Eddie Murphy was also one of Forbes’ “Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrity” (2003), Empire (UK) magazine's “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” (October 1997) and E!'s “Top 20 Entertainers of 2001.” He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June of 1996.
A father of six and close friends with former late night talk show host Arsenio Hall, Murphy was linked to actress and model Halle Berry, Tamara Moore (gave him one son), actress Robin Givens and singer Whitney Houston (before she married present husband, Bobby Brown). As for his upcoming film projects, Murphy will star in Shrek 3, an Untitled Brett Ratner Project, Norbit, and Eddie Murphy’s Untitled Project.
Roosevelt’s Most Popular
Childhood and Family:
In Brooklyn, New York, Edward Regen Murphy was born on April 3, 1961. His father, Charles Murphy (a New York City police officer and amateur comedian), died when he was three and his mother, Lillian Murphy Lynch (a telephone operator), raised Eddie and his older brother, Charles Q. Murphy (actor and screenwriter, a regular performer on "Chappelle's Show" (2000)). When Eddie was nine years old, his mother married Vernon Lynch Sr. (a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant) and Eddie has a half brother, Vernon Lynch Jr. (was half of the hip-hop group K-9 Posse). Eddie and his new family later moved to the primarily African-American suburb of Roosevelt, Long Island.
Eddie Murphy attended Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School, where he was voted "Most Popular" for his stand-up comedy routines in the school's auditorium and jokes during lunch break. Before beginning his acting career, Murphy also enrolled at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York.
At the NAACP Image Awards’ show in 1988, Eddie Murphy met and fell in love with model Nicole Mitchell. After living together for a year and a half, the couple decided to tie the knot on March 18, 1993, at the Grand Ballroom of The Plaza Hotel in New York City. However, they separated in July 2005 and filed for divorce on August 5, 2005, citing irreconcilable differences. A father of six, Murphy has two sons: Miles Mitchell (born on November 7, 1992; named after jazz great Miles Davis; mother: Nicole Mitchell) and Christian (mother: Tamara Moore), and four daughters (all with Nicole Mitchell): Bella Zahra (born in January 2002), Zola Ivy (born on December 24, 1999), Shane Audra (born on October 10, 1994) and Brea (born on November 18, 1989).
The Nutty Professor
"I started out as an impressionist and that's all about observing - how people move, their voice quality, their attitudes and quirks." Eddie Murphy
Frequently doing such characters as Bugs Bunny, Bullwinkle and Sylvester the Cat while growing up, Eddie Murphy later became a class clown and hosted a youth club talent show. He began writing and performing his own stand-up comedy routines in Long Island clubs at age 15.and managed to perform in a Manhattan showcase, The Comic Strip. The young comedienne impressed the club's co-owners, Robert Wachs and Richard Tienken, who later became Murphy’s managers and get him to an audition for "Saturday Night Live" (1975).
After joining the audition six times, Murphy won a part as a featured player but only performed periodically. However, his impersonation skills stunned audiences and Murphy subsequently became a regular player and writer for the NBC popular late night comedy show. His memorable witty impersonations included such characters as Mister Robinson, a ghetto version of TV’s Mister Rogers, a grown-up Little Rascals' Buckwheat and illiterate convict-poet Tyrone Green. He also impersonated Bill Cosby, Muhammad Ali, James Brown, Jerry Lewis and Stevie Wonder. Murphy stayed on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" from 1980 to 1984.
During his stint in the show, Murphy debuted on the silver screen. Filmmaker Walter Hill cast him to costar with Nick Nolte to play streetwise convict Reggie Hammond in the box office hit action comedy 48 Hrs. (1982). He later reappeared in its 1990 installment, Another 48 Hrs. In the subsequent year, Murphy collaborated with fellow "Saturday Night Live" star Dan Aykroyd in John Landis' Trading Places (1983), playing streetwise hustler Billy Ray Valentine. He also established Eddie Murphy Productions and won a Grammy for his 1983 comedy album "Comedian," which featured his stand-up routine.
The next year, Murphy costarred with Dudley Moore, as a Sergeant specializing in love, in Willard Huyck's war comedy film adopted from Robert Grossbach's novel, Best Defense. He also nabbed the starring role of Detective Axel Foley, a wisecracking, rules-breaking Detroit cop who pursued a murderer in Beverly Hills, in Martin Brest's action comedy Beverly Hills Cop. The film catapulted Murphy to box-office superstar and gave him a third consecutive Golden Globe nomination. He later reprised his role in its following sequels: Beverly Hills Cop II (1987, he also wrote the story) and Beverly Hills Cop III (1994).
"Every bad decision I've made has been based on money. I grew up in the projects and you don't turn down money there. You take it, because you never know when it's all going to end. I made COP III because they offered me $15 million. That $15 million was worth having Roger Ebert's thumb up my ass." Eddie Murphy
Murphy’s single, "Party All the Time," became a top-ten hit single on the pop music charts in 1985. On the wide screen, he portrayed a private detective specializing in missing children in Michael Ritchie's mystical action-comedy The Golden Child (1986) and played an African prince who is looking for a wife, in New York, in John Landis' hit Coming to America (1988, he also wrote the story). Murphy made his producing debut with the documentary concert film Eddie Murphy Raw (1987) and debuted as director and screenwriter in the flop crime comedy Harlem Nights (1989), in which he also starred opposite his idol, Richard Pryor. In the music scene, Murphy scored another hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts with "Put Your Mouth on Me" (US #27, 1989).
In the early 1990s, Murphy hosted ABC's "Sammy Davis Jr's 60th Anniversary Celebration” and executive produced his first TV-movie, the syndicated The Kid Who Loved Christmas. He then hosted CBS' "A Party for Richard Pryor" and created and executive produced the short-lived CBS sitcom "The Royal Family" (starring Redd Foxx). He then starred as a successful advertising executive, womanizer Marcus Graham, in Reginald Hudlin's romantic comedy Boomerang (with Martin Lawrence, Halle Berry and Chris Rock, Murphy also wrote the story) and as a con man turned congressman in Jonathan Lynn's The Distinguished Gentleman (both in 1992).
In the mid 1990s, Murphy starred as the last survivor of a race of vampires from the Caribbean in Wes Craven's offbeat mix of comedy, horror, and romance, Vampire in Brooklyn (1995, opposite Angela Bassett). He is also remembered for successfully portraying four members of the Klump family in Tom Shadyac's remake of Jerry Lewis and Bill Richmond's 1963 motion picture, the romantic comedy The Nutty Professor (1996). The film was an instant box office hit and Murphy later reprised his character in its 2000 installment, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.
Thomas Carter handed Murphy the lead role of a wisecracking police hostage negotiator in his action comedy Metro (1997, Murphy also executive produced) and Murphy provided his voice to the animated movie Mulan (1998). In Betty Thomas' screen version of Hugh Lofting's stories, the family comedy Doctor Dolittle (1998), Murphy played the title role of a doctor who understands what animals are saying. He later reprised his role in its 2001 sequel. The rest of the 1990s also saw Murphy starring as televangelist G in Stephen Herek's satire Holy Man (with Jeff Goldblum and Kelly Preston), teaming with Martin Lawrence in Ted Demme's Life and play the dual character of action star Kit Ramsey, and his half-witted brother, in Frank Oz's Bowfinger (opposite actor-writer Steve Martin). On TV, Murphy created and lent his voice to the urban animated comedy series "The PJs" (Fox, 1999-2000; The WB, 2000-2001).
In the animated movie version of William Steig's book, the blockbuster Shrek (2001), Murphy lent his voice to the chatterbox donkey (alongside Cameron Diaz and Mike Myers) and continued to provide his voice in its 2004 installment. He then teamed up with Robert De Niro, playing two different cops forced to star on a reality-based TV show, in Tom Dey's spoof Showtime and played the title role of an audacious nightclub owner in Ron Underwood's futuristic comedy The Adventures of Pluto Nash (with "SNL" alumni Jay Mohr and Randy Quaid). He also portrayed World Class Boxing Champion Kelly Robinson in Betty Thomas' adaptation of the 1960's television series, I Spy (2002, alongside Owen Wilson) and joined Steve Zahn and Jeff Garlin as stay-at-home dads in Steve Carr's Daddy Day Care (2003). That same year, Murphy could be seen as a workaholic father who neglects his family in Rob Minkoff's horror comedy film, based upon the popular Disney theme park attraction, The Haunted Mansion.
Shrek fans will soon be able to listen to Murphy’s voice in the upcoming sequel, Shrek 3, which is slated for a 2007 release. He will also team with former "SNL" star Chris Rock in an Untitled Brett Ratner Project and will play the title role of a mild-mannered guy in Brian Robbins' romantic comedy Norbit.
"I'd like to produce, direct, write, score, and star in a film in exactly the way [Charlie] Chaplin did. I'll do that before I'm thirty." Eddie Murphy
- People's Choice: Favorite Motion Picture Star in a Comedy, 2002
- Annie: Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Feature Production, Shrek, 2001
- National Society of Film Critics: Best Actor, The Nutty Professor, 1997
- Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Actor - Comedy, The Nutty Professor, 1997
- ShoWest Convention: Special Award - Star of the Decade, 1992
- Image: Special Award - Entertainer of the Year, 1990
- Razzie: Worst Screenplay, Harlem Nights, 1990
- People's Choice: Favorite Comedy Motion Picture Actor, 1989
- NAACP Image: Entertainer of the Year, 1988
- Grammy: Best Comedy Album, Eddie Murphy: Comedian, 1983