Billy Murray (actor)

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For other people named William Murray, see William Murray (disambiguation). For the American actor, see Bill Murray.
Billy Murray
Born (1941-10-06) 6 October 1941 (age 72)
Bethnal Green, London, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1963–present
Awards British Soap Award for Best Villain
2006 EastEnders (Johnny Allen)

Billy Murray (born 6 October 1941) is an English actor, best known for playing Don Beech in The Bill from 1995 to 2004, Johnny Allen in the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 2005 to 2006, Captain John Price in the video games Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Career

Murray was born in East London and knew the gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray from Bethnal Green, who paid £400[1] for him to go to the East 15 Acting School, London as a teenager, because they "liked his attitude".[2]

Murray made his acting debut in the 1963 film Two Left Feet where he played a minor uncredited role. He then had small roles in the films Poor Cow (1967), Corruption (1967), Up the Junction (1968) and Performance (shot 1968, released 1971). From the 1970s through to the early 1990s, he made appearances in a wide variety of television series such as Softly, Softly, The Sweeney, The Professionals, Minder, Bergerac and Casualty. He was among those considered for the role of Del Boy Trotter in the BBC TV series Only Fools and Horses[3] before it finally went to David Jason.

In 1980, Murray played the part of "Joey" in the hit film McVicar. In the film, he was to help McVicar hide after escaping from prison. Murray went on to play the corrupt DS Don Beech in the ITV police drama series The Bill from early 1995 to late 2000. In 2001 he returned as Don Beech in a one-off special episode titled Beech on the Run and later that year starred as Beech in a spin-off six-part mini-series entitled Beech is Back. In 2004 he returned as Don Beech once again for a guest stint in five episodes, in which his character escaped from prison and is now back 'on the run'. Before playing Don Beech, Murray played a different character, DI Jackson, in an episode in 1989.

In late 2004, he joined the cast of popular BBC soap opera EastEnders, playing gangster Johnny Allen. His first scenes were broadcast in January 2005. Murray's character terrorised numerous characters on the programme, including Peggy Mitchell, Phil Mitchell, Grant Mitchell Sharon Watts and Pauline Fowler. He also murdered Andy Hunter by pushing him from a motorway flyover, and ordered the killing of Dennis Rickman (carried out by Danny Moon, played by Jake Maskall). He departed from the show in March 2006 when his character was jailed after confessing to ordering the murder of Dennis Rickman and carrying out the murder of Andy Hunter. He won the 'Best Villain' award at the British Soap Awards in May 2006 for his role as Johnny Allen. He made a brief return to EastEnders in October that year when his character was seen in prison and later died of a heart attack. Before playing Johnny Allen in EastEnders he also appeared as Mr X in 1991.

He has since appeared in several British films like Rollin' with the Nines (2006), Rise of the Footsoldier (2007), Doghouse (2009) and Dead Cert (2010).[4][5]

He has provided the voice of Captain John Price in the video games Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. He also fronts the adverts for Injury Lawyers 4 U, a compensation claims company in the UK.[6]

Personal life

Murray has three daughters and a son. One of his daughters is actress Jaime Murray, best known for starring in the series Hustle, as well as playing Lila Tournay in season two of the Showtime series Dexter. Murray currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

He is a West Ham United football club fan.[7]

Murray went to St Bonaventure's School in Forest Gate.[8] Murray is a supporter of the Conservative Party.[9]

Selected filmography

References

  1. ^ Nathan, Sarah (2005-01-24). "Billy's a Kray-zy gangster". The Sun. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  2. ^ Daily Mirror, 23 January 2005.
  3. ^ Clarke, Steve (1998-09-27). "ONLY FACTS and HORSES". Daily Mirror (CNET.com). Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  4. ^ AFM '09: Latest Vamp Pic 'Dead Cert' Now Filming
  5. ^ AFM '09: Vampire Attack in Hi-Res 'Dead Cert' Pics
  6. ^ Injury Lawyers4U
  7. ^ Biography for Billy Murray (I), IMDB.com
  8. ^ Newham Story, Bon's Boy.
  9. ^ Celebrity X Factor – News. People.co.uk (2010-03-28). Retrieved on 2011-01-01.
  10. ^ First pics from DEAD CERT bite in

External links