After being cast in some roles as an adulterous man, Michael Murphy chose to break out of that impression. Well, for most of his career, he tried to not be the actor known to play particular roles. But now, when you see a movie plot about a politician, executive, or lawyer, you can almost guess the character would be played by him.
One thing he didn’t shy away from, though, was his attachment to Robert Altman, an American Director who cast Michael in almost all his movies.
Some of his movie credits include roles played in Tanner ’88, Magnolia, Batman Returns, and An Unmarried Woman where he played his first adulterous role.
There is more to this film, television, and stage actor that you would be exposed to if you continue reading.
Bet You Didn’t Know that Michael Murphy Served in the U.S. Marine
This The Front actor was born on May 5, 1938, in Los Angeles, California. He was born to a salesman named Branton Murphy and his wife, a teacher, named Georgia Money Arlyn.
Just after high school, Murphy enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served for a while. However, knowing it wasn’t his calling to be part of any corps, he soon left and began chasing after what truly mattered to him.
Murphy’s Education and Early Career
Michael had a higher education at the University of Arizona and then the University of California, Los Angeles. At the latter, he got a degree and teaching credential.
After his educational pursuits, the actor then began a career as a teacher, teaching at the University High School, in Los Angeles. There, he taught English and Drama from 1962 until 1964.
At this point, Michael Murphy’s career as an actor hadn’t really kickstarted yet but for supporting roles in a couple of movies.
Michael Murphy was Close Friends with Bob Altman
Right from the start of his acting career, Murphy developed a close bond with Robert Altman. Bob is a well-known and celebrated film director in the United States of America.
In most of Bob’s productions, Michael played many roles. Their collaboration started when Michael was cast in Altman’s World War II TV series, The Combat (1962). He remembers being advised by a friend to go meet Bob as he was wont to cast young men for his film. The actor didn’t even have to audition to get the role.
From the late 1960s to the 1990s, the Murphy-Altman collaboration saw the production of movies such as Countdown, M*A*S*H, Kansas City, and many more. It also included theatrical movies and cable TV mini-series directed by Bob.
Aside from working together for decades, Bob and Michael developed a close friendship. Their bond resonated even outside work and they both described the other as their ‘go-to guy’.
History has it that Murphy has appeared in Robert’s feature films and TV productions more than any other actor, ever.
The American Actor Didn’t Want to Be Stereotyped into Certain Roles
Murphy Michael doesn’t want to be known as the serial adulterous man. This is why after playing the same role in Nashville, he decided to take a break from acting just because most of the roles that kept coming for him were the same.
According to the 85-year-old actor, he doesn’t want to cheat on a woman again.
Ironically, it seems like his only problem is with the role of a cheating husband, but not other roles that portray him as a career man.
Murphy has played many roles as a congressman (politician), executive, lawyer, and any other thing that puts him in a position of authority.
In these roles, he has bodied and has become the go-to guy for.
This doesn’t mean that he hasn’t played or isn’t good at other roles. Of course not!
His filmography spans 6 decades and a plethora of roles in films, TV Series, and stage acting.
Murphy’s highest-rated movie so far has remained 2006’s Away From Her where he played the role of Aubrey.
Michael Murphy was Almost Unrecognizable at the Toronto Film Festival premiere in 2004
The Toronto Film Festival premiere of 2004’s Silver City saw an array of actors grace the occasion. However, while the paparazzi had no qualms in recognizing many A-list actors at that event, they couldn’t say the same for Michael Murphy.
This actor went unrecognizable (per IMDB) until publicists realized it was him. As a result, the paparazzi had to make him go back into the limousine he came with, and step out again, this time, for better recognition and pictures.
The Stage Actor was Married, Once, to a Fellow Co-star
— Etalk (@etalkCTV) April 14, 2015
Michael Murphy was married to Wendy Crewson from March 7, 1988 till January 10, 2009. The marriage saw the birth of 2 children, Maggie Murphy who was born in 1989, and then John ‘Jack’ Branton Murphy who was born in 1992.
Crewson is a Canadian actress and was actively involved in the entertainment industry in about the same period as her first husband.
In fact, they have both been featured in a couple of productions together, including, Tanner ’88, theatre productions, Folks! and Sleeping Dogs Lie.
In the TV show, Hard Copy, Michael and his wife were co-stars. They got married the same year this show was released.
Crewson went ahead to remarry in the same year her divorce to Murphy was finalized. She got married to Gary Logan.
However, in December 2014, she revealed to the whole world that she is lesbian. Though she was scared of how her children would take the news, she first opened up to her family years prior. Feeling relieved, she announced that her kids had no problem with her sexual orientation.
In other news, Michael and Wendy’s daughter followed in her parent’s footsteps. She is also an American actress who has had stints in many TV series. Some of her filmography includes; 1997-1998’s Sleepwalkers, 2011-2012’s Debra, and 2016’s Houdini and Doyle.