Edward Regan "Eddie" Murphy (born April 3, 1961, Brooklyn, New York) is an African-American comedian and actor.
Murphy began his comedy career at the young age of 19, as a performer on NBC's Saturday Night Live television show after graduating from Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School. His characters include a parody of Buckwheat from the Little Rascals and of Fred Rogers.
Murphy later starred in many comedies including the Beverly Hills Cop series, Trading Places, and Coming to America.
He is a well-known voice actor and voiced the donkey in the Shrek series and the dragon in Disney's Mulan.
In many of his films, he plays multiple roles in addition to his main character. A perfect example of this is The Nutty Professor, a remake of the Jerry Lewis classic in which Murphy plays several members of the Klump family as well as Sherman Klump's arrogant alter ego, Buddy Love.
His early comedy was racy, akin to Richard Pryor, whom Murphy says was the one "that wanted [him] to get into comedy." Characterized by excessive swearing and making fun of gays, singers, and others, Murphy became, in a sense, the Pryor of the 1980s. He made vicious comments about gays and AIDS during his 80's standup routines, so vicious that some years later he apologized for the remarks. However, in the late 80's and early 90's, Murphy's fame was fading via a series of poor sequels, drab comedies, and ego-driven vehicles that the public avoided in droves. His directorial debut, Harlem Nights was savaged not only by the critics, but also by several of the actors in the film. Richard Pryor had nothing good to say about the film or the star, which stunned Murphy, who had considered Pryor an idol.
Murphy's career continued to slide until 1996, when he would make his comeback in family friendly comedies, starting with The Nutty Professor. His record since then has been hit and miss, with several big flops (Holy Man, Pluto Nash, I Spy, Showtime) and some hits (Dr. Doolitle, Shrek, Bowfinger, Daddy Daycare).
Murphy was also a one-hit wonder in the 1980s with the single "Party All the Time." Intended as dance music, the song was repetitious and resembled the adolescent-driven bubblegum music of the '60s and '70s. As a result, there was a distinct disconnect between "Party" and fans of Murphy's edgier comedic persona. In 2004, VH-1 and Blender magazine voted "Party" number seven among the "50 Worst Songs of All Time," barely behind such efforts as Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice, Baby" and Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy, Breaky Heart."
In 1997 a police officer stopped Murphy and found a transvestite prostitute in the passenger's seat. Murphy claimed that he had just been driving through and he asked him for a ride home.
Eddie Murphy's older brother, Charlie Murphy, is also an actor, most well known recently for his appearances on Chappelle's Show.
In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, he was voted amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.
- 48 Hours, 1982, Reggie Hammond
- Trading Places, 1983, Billy Ray Valentine
- Eddie Murphy Delirious, 1983, Eddie Murphy
- Best Defense , 1984, Landry
- Beverly Hills Cop, 1984, Axel Foley
- The Golden Child , 1986, Chandler Jarrell
- Beverly Hills Cop II, 1987, Axel Foley
- Eddie Murphy Raw, 1987, Eddie Murphy
- Coming to America, 1988, Prince Akeem/Clarence/Saul/Randy Watson
- Harlem Nights, 1989, Quick
- Another 48 Hours, 1990, Reggie Hammond
- Boomerang , 1992, Marcus Graham
- The Distinguished Gentleman , 1992, Thomas Jefferson Johnson
- Beverly Hills Cop III, 1994, Axel Foley
- Vampire in Brooklyn , 1995, Maximillian/Father Pauley/Guido
- The Nutty Professor, 1996, Sherman Klump/Buddy Love/Lance Perkins/Papa Klump/Mama Klump/Grandma Klump/Ernie Klump
- Metro , 1997, Scott Roper
- Dr. Dolittle, 1998, Dr. John Dolittle
- Mulan, 1998, Mushu (voice)
- Bowfinger, 1999, Kit Ramsey/Jeff Ramsey
- Life, 1999, Ray Gibson
- Nutty Professor II. The Klumps , 2000, Sherman Klump/Buddy Love/Grandma Klump/Mama Klump/Papa Klump/Young Papa Klump/Ernie Klump/Lance Perkins
- Dr. Dolittle 2, 2001, Dr. Dolittle
- Shrek, 2001, Donkey (voice)
- The Adventures of Pluto Nash, 2002, Pluto Nash
- I Spy, 2002, Kelly Robinson
- Showtime , 2002, Trey Sellars
- Daddy Day Care, 2003, Charlie Hinton
- The Haunted Mansion, 2003, Jim Evers
- Shrek 2, 2004, Donkey (voice)