Apr. 3rd, 1961
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Guest TV Roles
Det. Axel Foley
Edward Regan "Eddie" Murphy (born April 3, 1961) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, singer, director, and musician.
Murphy grew up in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. His mother, Lillian, was a telephone operator, and his father, Charles Edward Murphy, was a transit police officer and an amateur actor and comedian. His father died when he was young. When Murphy's single mother became ill, the eight-year-old and his older brother lived in foster care for one year. In interviews, the actor and comedian says that his time in foster care was influential in developing his sense of humour. Later Murphy and his older brother Charlie were raised in Roosevelt, New York by his mother and stepfather Vernon Lynch, a foreman at an ice cream plant. Around the age of 15, Murphy was writing and performing his own routines, which were heavily influenced by 'Bill Cosby' and 'Richard Pryor'.
Box-office takes from Murphy's films make him the second-highest grossing actor in the United States. He was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984 and has worked as a stand-up comedian. He was ranked #10 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.
In 1982, Murphy made his big screen debut in the film 48 Hrs. with 'Nick Nolte'. The following year, Murphy starred in Trading Places with fellow SNL alumnus 'Dan Aykroyd'. The movie marked the first of Murphy's collaborations with director John Landis (who also directed Murphy in Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop III) and proved to be an even greater box office success than 48 Hrs. In 1984, Murphy starred in the successful action comedy film Beverly Hills Cop. The film was Murphy's first starring role.
In 1986, Murphy starred in the supernatural comedy, The Golden Child. Although The Golden Child (featuring Murphy's "I want the knife!" routine) performed well at the box office. The Golden Child was considered a change of pace for Murphy because of the supernatural setting as opposed to the more "street smart" settings of Murphy's previous efforts. A year later, Murphy reprised his role of Axel Foley in the Tony Scott-directed Beverly Hills Cop II.
In Coming to America, he imitated Jackie Wilson when he sang "To Be Loved", but because the character he was playing had a thick accent, he had to sing it in character. In later years, Murphy performed several songs in the Shrek film franchise. In the first film, he performed a version of "I'm a Believer" in the film's final scene; in Shrek 2 he performed Ricky Martin's hit "Livin' La Vida Loca" along with co-star 'Antonio Banderas'.
He also has some very successful family-friendly movies like Mulan, Dr. Dolittle and its sequel, the Shrek series, Daddy Day Care, and The Haunted Mansion, along with Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.
In 2006, he starred in the motion picture version of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls as soul singer James "Thunder" Early. Murphy won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award in that category. Several reviews for the film highlighted Murphy's performance while he received some pre-release Academy Awards buzz. Murphy was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor on January 23, 2007, but lost to 'Alan Arkin' for his performance in Little Miss Sunshine.
Murphy co-starred in Tower Heist, directed by Brett Ratner. Murphy played a thief who joins a group of hardworking men who find out they have fallen victim to a wealthy businessman's Ponzi scheme, and conspire to rob his high-rise residence. 'Ben Stiller', 'Matthew Broderick', and 'Casey Affleck' also starred in the film, released on November 4, 2011.
- At the height of his popularity in the mid 1980s, he began a music career, spawning the popular song "Party all the Time," which he recorded with 'Rick James (II)' (qv). Also recorded an album in the early 90s, entitled "Whazzupwitu," in which he performs in a video of the single of the same name, alongside 'Michael Jackson (I)' (qv). Murphy appeared in Jackson's "Remember the Time" video in 1992 alongside fellow celebrities 'Magic Johnson' (qv) and 'Iman (I)' (qv).
- Huge fan of 'Elvis Presley' (qv).
- Supports Senator 'Barack Obama' (qv)'s bid to win the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential election.
- He and his ex-wife, 'Nicole Mitchell Murphy' (qv), celebrated their first wedding anniversary in Montego Bay, Jamaica where they stayed for one week.
- In 1997, he and his late-night encounter with 'Shalimar Seiuli' (qv) was ranked #61 on E! TV's The Greatest Shocking Moments In Entertainment History.
- Paid for the funeral of comedic inspiration 'Redd Foxx (I)' (qv).
- Older brother 'Charles Q. Murphy' (qv) is also an actor. Younger brother Vernon Jr. was half of the hip-hop group K-9 Posse, which released two albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
- Attended Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York, before beginning his acting career.