July 30, 2013 by Craig Sutherland
William James “Bill” Murray (born September 21, 1950) is an American actor and comedian. He first gained exposure on Saturday Night Live in which he earned an Emmy Award and later went on to star in comedy films. Here are his top 5 performances…
Murray plays Herman Blume in Wes Anderson’s 1998 cult classic Rushmore. The film centers on a love-triangle between Max Fisher (Student), Herman Blume (Rich Industrialist) and Rosemary Cross (Teacher).
The movie helped launch the careers of Anderson and Schwartzman, while establishing a “second career” for Murray as a respected actor of independent cinema.
Murray plays parapsychologist Peter Venkman in the 1984 classic comedy Ghostbusters, The Peter Venkmen role was originally meant for John Belushi but due to his passing, the role had to be given to Bill Murray. Murray excels and suits the comedy incredibly well.
3) The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
Murray’s third film with Writer/Director Wes Anderson is the perfect vehicle for him, he plays eponymous Zissou, an eccentric oceanographer who sets out to exact revenge on the “Jaguar shark” that ate his partner Esteban.
Zissou is both a parody of and homage to French diving pioneer Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910–1997), to whom the film is dedicated.
2) Lost In Translation
Lost In Translation is Sofia Coppola’s second feature and stars Scarlett Johansson alongside Murray, The film revolves around an aging actor named Bob Harris (Murray) and a recent college graduate named Charlotte (Johansson) who develop a rapport after a chance meeting in a Tokyo hotel.
Lost in Translation was a major critical success and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Bill Murray (His only Oscar nomination to date), and Best Director for Sofia Coppola; Coppola won for Best Original Screenplay.
1) Groundhog Day
Murray plays Phil Connors, an arrogant and egocentric Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again. After indulging in hedonism and numerous suicide attempts, he begins to re-examine his life and priorities.
In 2006, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
This is all opinion and I’d love to hear your Top 5’s, chuck yours in the comment box or let us know if you agree…
Special Mentions: Zombieland, Caddyshack, Scrooged and Ed Wood.
Here are some interesting facts about Bill Murray.
- Accidentally broke Robert De Niro’s nose during the filming of Mad Dog and Glory (1993).
- He owns a minor league baseball team in Charleston, SC, called the Riverdogs.
- Was bitten by the groundhog twice during Groundhog Day.
- His performance as Phil Connors in Groundhog Day (1993) is ranked #48 on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
- Was considered for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in the 1989 Batman (1989) film when it was set to be identical to the 1960s TV Series before Tim Burton came along.
- Turned down Steve Carell’s role in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), which became one of the few choices in his career that he regretted.
- Eight brilliant true stories about Bill Murray (The Telegraph)
- My Top-five Preferred Bill Murray Videos (escritchfield1277.wordpress.com)
- 12 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Movie “Groundhog Day” (buzzfeed.com)
- Films by Sofia Coppola (lmkfilmpicks.wordpress.com)
- Ivan Reitman Clears Up Rumors About ‘Ghostbusters 3′ and Bill Murray (slashfilm.com)
- Billy Murray, Coming to Your Next Poetry Reading (anniecardi.com)
- My Queue Reviews: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) (andthosewhocant.wordpress.com)
- The Royal Tenenbaums (criticoffilm.wordpress.com)
- 13. “It’s Groundhog Day!” (mytormentedlife.wordpress.com)