For his acclaimed role in Lost in Translation (2003), director Sophia Coppola chased the notoriously recluse Bill Murray for six months. Coppola explained that she wrote the screenplay with Murray in mind and that if he had turned down the role, "I wouldn't have made the film."
Clever and idiosyncratic comic actor Bill Murray (1950-) was born on this day in Wilmette, Illinois, the fifth of nine children.
"No one is raised by their parents to be prepared for what happens when you become famous," he once said.
A 1968 graduate of Loyola Academy, he gave up premed courses at Denver's Regis College to join Chicago's Second City and the National Lampoon Show. "Sometimes I feel I was put on the planet to make pretty girls laugh," he said.
Murray added Saturday Night Live to his resume in 1977 and stayed there three years, creating, with astute wit, unforgettable characters that have endured through the years, including Nick the Lounge Singer who wobbled cheesy renditions of songs and Todd DiLaMuca who gave Gilda Radner's Lisa Loopner "noogies" regularly.
He transitioned to wacky (and highly-successful) films like: Meatballs (1979), Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1982), and Ghostbusters (1984). "It's a lot of work to read a crummy script." he admitted.
Along the way, Murray has become the critics' darling with earnest, carefully-selected roles. What About Bob? (1991), Groundhog Day (1993), and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) immediately come to mind, but just scratch the surface of his amazing career.
An avid golfer, devoted father, and the owner of a minor league baseball team, Murray has stepped lightly over time to stay true to himself and avoid the pitfalls of fame. As he put it, "I'm a nut, but not just a nut."
Sometimes it's nice to be proven wrong.