Eddie Murphy. biography
Eddie Murphy was born on April 3, 1961, in Brooklyn and first discovered his quick wit at the age of 15 while playing a "ranking" game at school in which insults are flung around in an improvised manner. Through out his high school years, Murphy spent a majority of the time honing his new comedy skills, practicing after school for hours and performing at the local bars and comedy clubs, which resulted in him having to repeat the 10th grade. After graduating as "Most Popular" in his class, Murphy set out to build a strong career in comedy.
After performing in various comedy clubs in New York City, including the Comic Strip, Murphy obtained his big break when he auditioned six times and finally landed a spot on NBC's night comedy show Saturday Night Live. Murphy quickly became one of SNL's most compelling comedians with his natural skill for impersonations, which included Muhammad Ali, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and many more. In result, he became one of two cast members asked to return for another season - the other was Joe Piscopo.
At the age of 21, Murphy's career gained traction after making his big-screen debut in the action comedy 48 Hours (1982) for which he earned a 1983 Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year, followed by the farce Trading Places (1983). He gained additional attention when he released his second comedy album Eddie Murphy: Comedian (1983) for which he received a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album, as well as for his Golden Globe nominated performance in Beverly Hills Cop (1984).
A few years later, the rising star soon hit the speed bump of mediocrity ensuing his reprised role in Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), The Golden Child (1986) and his directorial debut in Harlem Nights (1989), all of which failed to entertain critics and audiences. As a true performer, Murphy rebooted his comedic persona in the romantic comedy Coming to America (1988) alongside comedian Arsenio Hall, which ended up grossing over $128 million in the U.S.
Following his burst of comedic life, Murphy took a chance and reprised his role in Another 48 Hours (1990), but the film failed to impress audiences and he decided to take a short break from the world of entertainment. He later returned to the big screen in the comedy Boomerang (1992) with Halle Berry, followed by less successful films, including Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) and Vampire in Brooklyn (1995).
In 1996, Murphy made his true come back when he gave a hilariously brilliant performance in the remake of Jerry Lewis' comedy The Nutty Professor for which he earned another Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy and won a 1997 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for Favorite Actor in a Comedy. Despite being caught with a transsexual prostitute by LAPD in that same year, Murphy was able to bypass the scrutiny with solid performances in the family comedy Doctor Doolittle (1998) and as the voice of Mushu in Disney's animated film Mulan (1998).
In the following year, Murphy starred in the comedy Bowfinger (1999) with Steve Martin, the dramedy Life (1999) opposite Martin Lawrence and later played all six characters in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (1999). He then reprised his role in Dr. Doolittle 2 (2001) and voiced the role of Donkey in the hit animated film series Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2003) and Shrek the Third (2007) alongside Cameron Diaz and Mike Myers. Ensuing his role as an unfit father in the family comedy Daddy Day Care (2003), Murphy acquired critical praise for his portrayal as soul singer James "Thunder" Early in the film adaptation of the Broadway hit musical Dreamgirls (2006) for which he earned both an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations.
In addition to his most recent film, Tower Heist (2011) with Ben Stiller, Murphy has a string of upcoming films, including the dramedy A Thousand Words (2012), the made-for-TV film Beverly Hills Cop (2013), a voice-over role in the action comedy Hong Kong Phooey (2014) and the comedy Triplets with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger.