I think I started writing something in the realm of the history of Bill Murray a few months ago, but it was overshadowed due to the fact that it was actually a review for his film “St. Vincent”.
No matter. I am back with a vengeance to pick up where I left off as I try to explain to all of you the grandeur cloaked in public mystery as a living caricature that is Bill Murray. Murray was an SNL regular for sixteen years before going into films. His popularity in comedy reached a new stratosphere in the 1980’s and 90’s doing slapstick comedies; most of which have become cult classics. Misadventures like “Groundhog Day”, “Caddyshack”, “Kingpin”, and the “Ghostbusters” films. (I’m willing to bet he will have a cameo in the upcoming remake.)
His roles were always comedic. He always played some form of character on a quest he didn’t really ask for, but still went with it. Then for a while, he was kind of forgotten. Still working consistently, but nothing really stood out for him.
Then Wes Anderson happened.
But to me what’s even more amazing than his revived film career transitioning from mainstream slapstick comedies to independent dark and artistic comedies is the way he chooses to live his life outside of the Hollywood limelight. He lives a paradoxical life considering his line of work. No agent. No cell phone. If you wanna get a hold of him, you call a private 1-800 number, leave a message and wait. I’ve read stories of directors who had to wait a year for Murray to get back to them just to pitch a film to him. They wait patiently and it’s worth it.
When between projects, he can be seen strolling around New York City crashing bachelor parties, karaoke bars, and other communal gatherings. He offers free and meaningful advice about life and love.
Nominated for one Oscar for his role in “Lost in Translation”, though he didn’t win. I don’t even think that was his best role. I thoroughly enjoyed him in virtually every Wes Anderson film. But none of his roles were as hilariously subtle as Raleigh St. Claire in “The Royal Tenenbaums”.
Having completely revitalized his career, Murray is currently sporting several upcoming major credits according to his IMDB page. The biggest of which is the voice of Baloo in a re-imagination of the Rudyard Kipling novel, “The Jungle Book”, directed by Jon Favreau, and set for an April 2016 release.