Bill Murray is truly a screen icon: someone who’s amazingly talented and can carry an entire movie on his shoulders. He’s instantly recognisable as Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters, Phil Connors in Groundhog Day, and even as himself in a fantastic appearance in Zombieland. Let’s take a look at this acting great with some facts about Bill Murray you may not have known.
10. He partly owns several baseball teams
Bill Murray is a massive baseball fan and a die-hard supporter of the Chicago Cubs; he’s even been known to include a clause in his contracts allowing him time to watch the big games on TV!
Murray is such a big fan of baseball that he’s part-owner of several minor league teams. These include the New York Yankees’ single-A affiliate team, known as the Charleston RiverDogs.
9. He didn’t get along with his groundhog co-star on Groundhog Day
When filming for Groundhog Day, Bill Murray was bitten twice by the titular rodent – yet another co-star with whom Murray had issues!
8. His Ghostbusters role was intended for John Belushi
The role of Peter Venkman is almost synonymous with Bill Murray, but the role was actually originally intended to be played by his Saturday Night Live co-star John Belushi.
7. He’s a college dropout
Murray’s graduated from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, in 1968 – the year after he sadly lost his father.
Murray then went to college in Denver, but he ended up dropping out before graduation in his sophomore year.
6. He nearly starred in the Doctor Who movie
Bill Murray was almost cast in 1996’s Doctor Who TV movie as The Master, a role which was ultimately given to Eric Roberts. The character could have been very different with Murray in the role.
5. He has a habit of improvising his lines
Murray has a habit of taking scripts and rewriting his segments, sometimes even improvising parts of his scene on the spot. This can reach the point where they no longer bear much resemblance to the page. This has rubbed a few directors and co-stars up the wrong way at times!
4. Woody Harrelson personally requested that he star in Zombieland
Murray agreed to take on the role of himself in Zombieland as a favour to a friend, Woody Harrelson, who personally requested that Murray star in the movie.
3. He was considered for Batman
Bill Murray has been linked with many big roles over the years that were ultimately cast to others, including Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear, Mahoney in the Police Academy series and even Tim Burton’s Batman.
2. He regrets missing out on Who Framed Roger Rabbit
One of Murray’s biggest regrets professionally is having turned down Steve Carell’s role in Little Miss Sunshine. Another is Eddie Valliant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit – Murray is notoriously hard to contact, and director Robert Zemeckis actually attempted to offer him the part but failed to get in touch. Murray screamed when he found out as he would have loved the role!
1. Dan Aykroyd calls him ‘The Murricane’
Murray is well-known for being difficult to work with at times, including having big mood swings. Dan Aykroyd gave him a nickname as a result – The Murricane!