Donald Patrick Murray
July 31, 1929
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||American Academy of Dramatic Arts|
|Children||5, including Christopher Murray|
Donald Patrick Murray (born July 31, 1929) is an American actor best known for his breakout performance in the film Bus Stop (1956, with Marilyn Monroe), which earned him a nomination for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His other films include A Hatful of Rain (1957), Shake Hands with the Devil (1959, with James Cagney), One Foot in Hell (1960, with Alan Ladd), The Hoodlum Priest (1961), Advise & Consent (1962, with Henry Fonda and Charles Laughton), Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965, with Steve McQueen and Lee Remick), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), Deadly Hero (1975), and Peggy Sue Got Married (1986, with Kathleen Turner).
Early life and career
Murray attended East Rockaway High School (class of 1947) in East Rockaway, New York, where he played football and was on the track team. He was a member of the student government, glee club, and joined the Alpha Phi Chapter of the Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity. Upon graduation from high school, he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After graduating, he soon made his Broadway debut in the play The Rose Tattoo (1951), as Jack Hunter.
A member of the Brethren Church, Murray registered as a conscientious objector during the Korean War, when many young American men were being drafted into the armed forces. Murray was assigned to alternative service in Europe, where he helped orphans and war casualties.
In 1954, he returned from Europe to the United States and acting. He starred alongside Mary Martin in the stage version of The Skin of Our Teeth. Upon seeing his performance in the play, director Joshua Logan decided to cast him in 20th Century Fox's film adaptation of Bus Stop, a play by William Inge.
Film and television career
Don Murray's role as Beauregard "Beau" Decker in Bus Stop (1956) marked his film debut. He starred alongside Marilyn Monroe, who played Cherie, the object of his desire. His performance as the innocent cowboy who is determined to get Cherie was well received, and he was nominated for a BAFTA for Most Promising Newcomer and for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In 1957, Murray starred as reserved, married bookkeeper Charlie Sampson in The Bachelor Party. That same year he starred in one of his most successful roles, that of Johnny Pope in the drama A Hatful of Rain. Despite director Fred Zinnemann's intention to typecast the actor as the comical brother Polo, Murray insisted on playing the lead. Thus he portrayed Johnny Pope, a morphine-addicted Korean War veteran. The film was one of the first to show the effects of drug abuse on the addicted and those around him.
Murray starred as a blackmailed United States senator in Advise & Consent (1962), a film version of a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Allen Drury. The movie was directed by Otto Preminger and cast Murray opposite Henry Fonda and Charles Laughton. He also co-starred with Steve McQueen in Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965), and played the ape-hating Governor Breck in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972).
In 1976, Murray starred in the film Deadly Hero. In addition to acting, Murray directed a film based on the book The Cross and the Switchblade (1970). He starred with Otis Young in the ABC western television series The Outcasts (1968–1969) featuring an interracial bounty hunter team in the post-Civil War West.
In 1979, Murray starred as Sid Fairgate on the long-running prime-time soap opera Knots Landing. He also scripted two episodes of the program in 1980. In 1981, Murray decided to leave the series after two seasons to concentrate on other projects, but some sources say he left over a salary dispute. The character's death was notable at the time, because it was considered rare to kill off a star character. The death came in the second episode of season three, following season two's cliffhanger in which Sid's car careened off a cliff. To make viewers doubt that the character had actually died, Murray was listed in the credit sequence for season three; in fact, season three revealed that Fairgate had survived the plunge off the cliff (thus temporarily reassuring the viewers), but died shortly afterwards in hospital. Although he effectively distanced himself from the series after that, Murray later contributed an interview segment for Knots Landing: Together Again, a reunion special made in 2005.
In 1956, Murray married Hope Lange, with whom he had co-starred in Bus Stop. They had two children, Christopher and Patricia. They divorced in 1961. In 1962, he married Elizabeth Johnson and they had three children, Coleen, Sean, and Michael.
|1956||Bus Stop||Beauregard "Bo" Decker|
|1957||The Bachelor Party||Charlie Samson|
|A Hatful of Rain||Johnny Pope|
|1958||From Hell to Texas||Tod Lohman|
|1959||These Thousand Hills||Albert Gallatin "Lat" Evans|
|Shake Hands with the Devil||Kerry O'Shea|
|1960||One Foot in Hell||Dan Keats|
|1961||The Hoodlum Priest||Father Charles Dismas Clark|
|1962||Advise & Consent||Senator Brigham Anderson|
|Escape from East Berlin||Kurt Schröder|
|1964||One Man's Way||Norman Vincent Peale|
|1965||Baby the Rain Must Fall||"Slim"|
|1966||Kid Rodelo||"Kid" Rodelo|
|The Plainsman||Bill "Wild Bill" Hickok|
|1967||Sweet Love, Bitter||David Hillary|
|The Viking Queen||Justinian|
|1969||Childish Things||Tom Harris|
|1971||Happy Birthday, Wanda June||Herb Shuttle|
|1972||Call Me by My Rightful Name||Doug|
|Justin Morgan Had a Horse||Justin Morgan|
|Conquest of the Planet of the Apes||Governor Breck|
|1981||Endless Love||Hugh Butterfield|
|1983||I Am the Cheese||David Farmer|
|1985||Radioactive Dreams||Dash Hammer|
|1986||Peggy Sue Got Married||Jack Kelcher|
|1987||Made in Heaven||Ben Chandler|
|1990||Ghosts Can't Do It||Winston|
|2001||Island Prey||Parker Gaits|
|Elvis Is Alive||Unknown|
|1967||The Borgia Stick||Tom Harrison|
|1969||Daughter of the Mind||Dr. Alex Lauder|
|1970||The Intruders||Sam Garrison|
|1973||The Girl on the Late, Late Show||William Martin|
|1974||The Sex Symbol||Senator Grant O'Neal|
|1975||A Girl Named Sooner||Sheriff Phil Rotteman|
|1979||Crisis in Mid-Air||Adam Travis|
|1980||If Things Were Different||Robert Langford|
|The Boy Who Drank Too Much||Ken Saunders|
|Police Story: Confessions of a Lady Cop||Sergeant Jack Leland|
|Fugitive Family||Peter Ritchie|
|1981||Return of the Rebels||Sonny Morgan|
|1983||Thursday's Child||Parker Alden|
|Branagan and Mapes||Dan Branagan|
|Quarterback Princess||Ralph Maida|
|1984||License to Kill||Tom Fiske|
|A Touch of Scandal||Benjamin Gilvey|
|1986||Something in Common||Theo Fontana|
|The Stepford Children||Steven Harding|
|1996||Hearts Adrift||Lloyd Raines|
|1950||Studio One||Biondello||Episode: "The Taming of the Shrew"|
|Kraft Television Theatre||George||Episode: "January Thaw"|
|1952||Booth||Episode: "Mr. Lazarus"|
|Lux Video Theatre||Jimmy||Episode: "Welcome Home, Lefty"|
|1955||Producers' Showcase||Henry Antrobus||Episode: "The Skin of Our Teeth"|
|The Philco Television Playhouse||Alex Nordman||Episode: "A Man Is Ten Feet Tall"|
|Fireside Theatre||Ken||Episode: "One Last September"|
|1956||The United States Steel Hour||Don||Episode: "Moment of Courage"|
|1957||Playhouse 90||Bob Munson||Episode: "For I Have Loved Strangers"|
|1959||The DuPont Show of the Month||Billy Budd||Episode: "Billy Budd"|
|1960||Playhouse 90||Randy Bragg||Episode: "Alas, Babylon"|
|1968–1969||The Outcasts||Earl Corey||26 episodes|
|1972||Disneyland||Justin Morgan||2 episodes|
|1973||Police Story||Jack Bonner||Episode: "The Big Walk"|
|Orson Welles Great Mysteries||Jack Stanley||Episode: "The Power of Fear"|
|Love Story||Neil Kaplan||Episode: "The Roller Coaster Stops Here"|
|1974||Amy Prentiss||Connor||Episode: "The Desperate World of Jane Doe"|
|1975||Police Story||Sergeant Stiles||Episode: "Headhunter"|
|1977||How the West Was Won||Anderson||3 episodes|
|1979–1981||Knots Landing||Sid Fairgate||34 episodes|
|1986||T.J. Hooker||Senator Stuart Grayle||Episode: "Blood Sport"|
|1987||Matlock||Albert Gordon||Episode: "The Billionaire"|
|Hotel||Sam Burton||Episode: "Controlling Interests"|
|1989||ABC Afterschool Special||Jack Karpinsky||Episode: "My Dad Can't Be Crazy... Can He?"|
|1989–1990||Brand New Life||Roger Gibbons||6 episodes|
|1991||Sons and Daughters||Bing Hammersmith||6 episodes|
|1993||ABC Afterschool Special||Frank Morrow||Episode: "Montan Crossroads"|
|Murder, She Wrote||Wally Hampton||Episode: "Bloodlines"|
|1995||Wings||Dad||Episode: "Burnin' Down the House: Part 2"|
|1996||The Single Guy||Chip Bremley||Episode: "Distance"|
|1998||The Wonderful World of Disney||Reporter||Episode: "Mr. Headmistress"|
|1999||Soldier of Fortune, Inc.||John James / Colonel Quentin Shepherd||Episode: "White Dragon"|
|2017||Twin Peaks||Bushnell Mullins||8 episodes|
Awards and nominations
- Don Murray profile, Filmreference.com; retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "Alternatives, Narrated by Don Murray". afsc.org. American Friends Service Committee. January 27, 2016. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Monush, Barry (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors. New York: Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. p. 535. ISBN 9781557835512. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Kiefer, Jonathan (July 2, 2014). "Discovering Don". SF Weekly.
- "The 29th Academy Awards (1957) Nominees and Winners". Oscars.org (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- "BAFTA Awards: Film in 1957". BAFTA. 1957. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
- "Emmy's Eye Is on CBS, With 17 Daytime Awards : Television: In the 21st annual presentation, 'Sesame Street' takes 7 honors and Winfrey is once again voted best talk-show host". Los Angeles Times. May 27, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- "Don Murray". Grammy Awards. Retrieved December 18, 2021.