Eddie Murphy was born in Brooklyn New York, in 1961, the youngest son of Lillian Murphy, a widow who married Vernon Lynch, the step-father of Eddie, his brother Charles Q. Murphy, and Vernon Jr. Eddie himself had aspirations of being in show business since he was a child. A bright kid growing up in the streets of New York, Murphy spent a great deal of time on impressions and comedy stand-up routines rather than academics. His sense of humor and wit made him a stand out amongst his classmates at Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School. By the time he was 15, Murphy worked as a stand-up comic on the lower part of New York, wooing audiences with his dead-on impressions of celebrities and outlooks on life.
In the early 1980s, at the age of 19, Murphy was offered a contract for the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players of "Saturday Night Live" (1975), where Murphy exercised his comedic abilities in impersonating African American figures and originating some of the shows most memorable characters: Velvet Jones, Mr. Robinson, and a disgruntled and angry Gumby.
Murphy made his feature film debut in 48 Hrs. (1982), alongside Nick Nolte. The two's comedic and antagonistic chemistry, alongside Murphy's believable performance as a streetwise convict aiding a bitter, aging cop, won over critics and audiences. The next year, Murphy went two for two, with another hit, pairing him with John Landis, who later became a frequent collaborator with Murphy in Coming to America (1988) and Beverly Hills Cop III (1994). Beverly Hills Cop (1984) was the film that made Murphy a box-office superstar and most notably made him a celebrity worldwide, and it remains one of the all-time biggest domestic blockbusters in motion-picture history. Murphy's performance as a young Detroit cop in pursuit of his friend's murderers earned him a third consecutive Golden Globe nomination. Axel Foley became one of Murphy's signature characters. On top of his game, Murphy was unfazed by his success, that is until his box office appeal and choices in scripts resulted into a spotty mix of hits and misses into the late 1980s and early 1990s. Films like The Golden Child (1986) and Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) were critically panned but were still massive draws at the box office.
In 1989, Murphy, coming off another hit, Coming to America (1988), found failure with his directorial debut, Harlem Nights (1989). Another 48 Hrs. (1990) and his turn as a hopeless romantic in Boomerang (1992) did little to resuscitate his career. However, his remake of Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor (1996) brought Murphy's drawing power back into fruition. From there, Murphy rebounded with occasional hits and misses but has long proven himself as a skilled comedic actor with applaudable range pertaining to characterizations and mannerisms.
Though he has grown up a lot since his fast-lane rise as a superstar in the 1980s, Murphy has lived the Hollywood lifestyle with controversy, criticism, scandal, and the admiration of millions worldwide for his talents. As Murphy had matured throughout the years, learning many lessons about the Hollywood game in the process, he settled down with more family-oriented humor with Doctor Dolittle (1998), Mulan (1998), Bowfinger (1999), and the animated smash Shrek (2001), in a supporting role that showcased Murphy's comedic personality and charm. In spite of being vocal in interviews about his career, Eddie Murphy continues to live a happy life with his wife and kids and has said that if his career would to end tomorrow he would be content just being with his family.
Was cast by "Saturday Night Live" (1975) and NBC when he was 19 years old.
Ranked #78 in Empire (UK) magazine's Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time list. [October 1997]
Born at 1:30pm-EST.
Has a son each with Tamara Hood and Paulette McNeely.
In a TV commercial never shown in the USA, Eddie Murphy kissed the front bumper of a Toyota sedan.
Daughter, Zola Ivy, born 24 December 1999. Other children are daughters Bria (b. 1989) and Shayne (b. 1994). Son, Miles (b. 1992).
Attended Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York, before beginning his acting career.
Did stand-up comedy at the same Bay Area Comedy Club as Robin Williams and Caryn Johnson (whose stage name eventually became Whoopi Goldberg) before getting into acting.
Was voted Most Popular while attending Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School in Roosevelt, New York, due to the stand-up comedy routines he would perform in the school's auditorium and jokes he would tell classmates during lunch.
Older brother Charles Q. Murphy is also an actor. Younger brother Vernon Jr. was half of the hip-hop group K-9 Posse, which released two albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Won a Grammy for his 1983 comedy album "Comedian," which featured his stand-up routine.
Turned down the role of Winston Zeddemore in Ghost Busters (1984).
Idolized Richard Pryor and was inspired by him to do comedy. Went on to cast Pryor in his directorial debut Harlem Nights (1989).
At the height of his popularity in the mid 1980s, he began a music career, spawning the popular song "Party all the Time," which he recorded with Rick James. Also recorded an album in the early 90s, entitled "Whazzupwitu," in which he performs in a video of the single of the same name, alongside Michael Jackson. Murphy appeared in Jackson's "Remember the Time" video in 1992 alongside fellow celebrities Magic Johnson and Iman.
Hosted the very first MTV Video Music Awards in 1984. Went on to do it again the next year.
Dated actress Halle Berry.
Dated Robin Givens.
Close friends with former late night talk show host Arsenio Hall
Paid for the funeral of comedic inspiration Redd Foxx.
Was criticized tremendously by Spike Lee for not using his show business stature to help black actors break into film.
Named one of E!'s Top 20 Rntertainers of 2001.
January 30, 2002 - Daughter Bella Zahra born to Murphy and wife Nicole Mitchell Murphy.
Is the only cast member of "Saturday Night Live" (1975) to host while still a cast member. Nick Nolte was to host but fell ill and Eddie replaced him.
Dated singer Whitney Houston before she married present husband, Bobby Brown.
Has starred in more sequels than any other actor: Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), Shrek 2 (2004), and Daddy Day Camp (2006).
Former wife, Nicole Mitchell Murphy, is an Associate with Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.
In July 2003, he and his late-night encounter with Shalimar Seiuli was ranked #61 on E! TV's The Greatest Shocking Moments In Entertainment History.
His brother Charles Q. Murphy is a regular performer on the hit sketch comedy show "Chappelle's Show" (2003) on Comedy Central.
Has a house in Englewood, New Jersey.
Scored two hits on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts with "Party All the Time" (US #2, 1985) and "Put Your Mouth on Me" (US #27, 1989).
Although arguably the biggest movie star ever to come out of "Saturday Night Live" (1975), he has never attended a cast reunion and is not known to even talk about having been on the show.
Chosen as #10 in Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comics of All Time.
Stepson of Vernon Lynch.
Hosted the MTV Movie Awards in 1993
At one time, was considered to play The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).
Met Nicole Mitchell Murphy in 1988 at an NAACP Image Awards show. They lived together for a year and a half before they married. They were married at the Grand Ballroom of The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Was one of the last movie actors to sign an exclusive contract with a studio. In this case, it was Paramount Pictures, which released all of his early films.
Chris Rock is an admirer of Murphy and considers him his role model and inspiration to become an actor and comedian.
Most successful ex-SNL star.
His favorite TV show is "Star Trek" (1966).
Nephew of Uncle Ray Murphy.
The first actor to receive $1,000,000 for his first film.