A comedy wunderkind who launched his stand-up career at age 15 and landed a spot on Saturday Night Live four years later in 1980, Eddie Murphy has enjoyed a roller-coaster career with remarkable highs and lows. Audiences were treated to his comedic genius, including his hilarious characters (Buckwheat, Mr. Robinson, a disgruntled Gumby) and uncanny impressions during his four-year tenure on SNL. He also made an auspicious film debut during that time as a foul-mouthed criminal in the buddy flick 48 Hrs., which led to his first Golden Globe nod. Murphy followed that hit with the John Landis directed crowd-pleaser Trading Places, but it was nothing compared to his next film, the outrageous Beverly Hills Cop, which made the Brooklyn-born comic a megastar at age 23. But just as it seemed Murphy could do no wrong he stumbled with the critically lambasted The Golden Child and the disappointing Beverly Hills Cop II. They failed to capture Murphy's inspired comedy which was better showcased in his appropriately titled Raw concert film of 1987. In an attempt to soften his image and deliver a commercial success, Murray reteamed with Landis for the 1988 comedy Coming to America and was rewarded with a box-office hit. But the next year in an egotistical frenzy, he wrote, directed, produced and starred in the bomb Harlem Nights opposite his longtime hero, Richard Pryor. In the early 1990s, Murphy's career continued to fizzle with inferior retreads (Another 48 Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop III) and insipid comedies (Boomerang, Vampire in Brooklyn). But in a stroke of genius he resuscitated his career in 1996 by starring in the family-friendly The Nutty Professor, which showcased his chameleon-like skills to portray multiple characters. Over the next several years the once king of profane comedy, despite a bizarre 1997 incident in which Murphy picked up a transsexual prostitute who was arrested in his car, managed to transform himself into the go-to guy for family laughs with the smash Shrek movies and a host of mostly PG-rated fare. There were occasional bombs (The Adventures of Pluto Nash being the most notorious) but Murphy survived them and his biggest triumph was still to come. He won a Golden Globe and received a much-deserved Oscar nomination for his dramatic turn in the 2006 musical Dreamgirls. Unfortunately, he didn't take home the hardware and his subsequent film appearances were lackluster. Murphy's private life also hit hard times with a 2005 divorce, a 2007 paternity suit by Melanie "Scary Spice" Brown in which she accurately claimed that Murphy was her daughter's father, and a two-week, never legalized, marriage to Tracey Edmonds in 2008. In 2010, the fourth Shrek film appeared and put Eddie Murphy back in the money.

Fast Facts

  • Started doing stand-up in Long Island comedy clubs when he was just 15.
  • Debuted as an extra in the 1980-81 season of Saturday Night Live after auditioning six times; he was one of only two cast members asked to return the next year.
  • Signed an exclusive contract with Paramount Pictures after the wake of his success in 48 Hrs. (1982).
  • Scored a Top 10 hit in 1985 with the pop single "Party All the Time"; he later showcased his singing skills in films like Shrek and Dreamgirls. 
  • Exchanged vows with Tracey Edmonds in Bora Bora in 2008, but the ceremony wasn't legally binding.
  • Announced as the host of the 84th Academy Awards in 2011, but when producer Brett Ratner was replaced, Murphy dropped out (and was subsequently replaced by Billy Crystal).


  • 2001, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2007, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
  • 1983, Grammy — Best Comedy Recording: Winner
  • 1989, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Actor in a Comedy Motion Picture: Winner
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1983, Golden Globe — New Star of the Year - Actor: Nominee
  • 1985, People's Choice Awards — Favorite All-Around Male Entertainer: Winner
  • 2005, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Animated Movie Star: Winner
  • 1985, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1983, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy, Variety or Music Series: Nominee
  • 2002, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Actor in a Comedy Motion Picture: Winner
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
  • 1997, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1999, Emmy — Outstanding Animated Program (for programming one hour or less): Nominee
  • 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 2007, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Winner
  • 2006, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1984, Emmy — Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 1984, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1984, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee


  • Angel Iris Murphy Brown — Daughter
  • Tracey Edmonds — Ex-fiancée
  • Paige Butcher — Significant Other
  • Ray Murphy Sr. — Uncle
  • Ray Murphy Jr. — Cousin
  • Eric Murphy — Son
  • Christian Murphy — Son
  • Lisa Figueroa — Ex-fiancée
  • Paulette McNeely — Ex-significant Other
  • Bella Zahra Murphy — Daughter
  • Nicole Mitchell — Ex-wife
  • Bria Murphy — Daughter
  • Charles Q. Murphy — Brother
  • Vernon Lynch Sr. — Stepfather
  • Zola Ivy Murphy — Daughter
  • Melanie Brown — Ex-significant Other
  • Myles Mitchell Murphy — Son
  • Shayne Audra Murphy — Daughter
  • Tamara Hood — Ex-significant Other
  • Vernon Lynch Jr. — Stepbrother
  • Whitney Houston — Ex-significant Other
  • Robin Givens — Ex-significant Other
  • Charles Q. Murphy — Father
  • Halle Berry — Ex-significant Other
  • Lillian Murphy Lynch — Mother


  • Attended Nassau Community College, Garden City, New York, United States


  • Birth Name: Edward Regan Murphy
  • Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • Birthday: April 3, 1961, Aries
  • Profession: Actor, Comedian, Producer, Screenwriter, Director

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