Donald Patrick “Don” Murray

Origin: Hollywood, California, USA

Date Born: July 31, 1929
Hollywood, California, USA

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Donald Patrick “Don” Murray (born July 31, 1929) is an American actor.

Murray was born in 1929 the only child of Dennis Aloisius, a Broadway dance director and stage manager, and Ethel Murray, a former Ziegfeld performer. He attended East Rockaway High School (class of 1947) in East Rockaway, New York where he played football and was on the track team. Murray was a member of the student government, glee club, and also joined the Alpha Phi Chapter of the Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity.

Upon graduation from high school, he went on to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After graduating, he soon made his Broadway debut in the 1951 play The Rose Tattoo, as Jack Hunter.

He took a three-year break from acting in order to assist orphans and war casualties during the Korean War. In 1954, he returned from Europe to America and to acting, when he starred alongside Mary Martin in the stage version of The Skin of Our Teeth. Upon seeing his performance in the play, director Joshua Logan decided to cast him in 20th Century Fox’s film version of Bus Stop.

Film and television career

Don Murray’s role as Beauregard “Bo” Decker in Bus Stop (1956) marked his film debut. He starred alongside Marilyn Monroe, who played Cherie, his love desire. His performance as the innocent cowboy who is determined to get Cherie was well received, and he was nominated for a BAFTA for Most Promising Newcomer and for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In 1957, he starred as reserved, married bookkeeper Charlie Sampson in The Bachelor Party. The same year he starred in one of his most successful roles, that of Johnny Pope in the drama A Hatful of Rain. Despite director Fred Zinnemann’s intention to typecast the actor as the comical brother Polo, Murray insisted on playing the lead. Thus he portrayed Johnny Pope, a morphine addicted Korean War veteran. The film was one of the first to show the effects of drug abuse on the addicted and those around him.

He starred as a blackmailed United States senator in Advise & Consent (1961), a film version of a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Allen Drury. The movie was directed by Otto Preminger and cast Murray opposite Henry Fonda and Charles Laughton. He also co-starred with Steve McQueen in the film Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965) and played the ape-hating Governor Breck in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972).


In addition to acting, Murray directed a film based on the book The Cross and the Switchblade (1970) starring Pat Boone and Erik Estrada.

Murray starred with Otis Young in the ground breaking ABC western television series The Outcasts (1968–69) featuring an interracial bounty hunter team in the post-Civil War West.

In 1979, he starred as Sid Fairgate on the long-running prime-time soap opera Knots Landing. He also scripted two episodes of the program in 1980. However, in 1981 Murray decided to leave the series after two seasons to concentrate on other projects, although some sources say he left over a salary dispute. The character’s death was notable at the time because it was considered rare to “kill off” a star character. The death came in the second episode of season three, following season two’s cliffhanger in which Sid’s car careened off a cliff. To make viewers doubt the character would actually die, Murray was listed in the newly created credit sequence for season three; that the character survived the plunge off the cliff (thus temporarily reassuring the viewers), but died shortly afterwards in the hospital. Although he effectively distanced himself from the series after that, Murray later contributed an interview segment for Knots Landing: Together Again, a non-fiction reunion special made in 2005.

Personal life

In 1956, Don Murray married Hope Lange, with whom he had co-starred in Bus Stop. They had two children: Christopher Murray Patricia Murray

They divorced in 1961.

In 1962, he married Elizabeth Johnson, They had 3 children:
Coleen Murray Sean Murray Michael Murray

Despite the character he played in A Hatful of Rain, Murray had been an objector to the Korean War. Rather than participating, he had done civil work by helping out refugees, including orphans in Europe.



Justice (1954)
Bus Stop (1956)
The Bachelor Party (1957)
A Hatful of Rain (1957)
From Hell to Texas (1958)
These Thousand Hills (1959)
Shake Hands with the Devil (1959)
One Foot in Hell (1960)
The Hoodlum Priest (1961)
Advise & Consent (1961)
Escape from East Berlin (1962)
Here’s Hollywood (1963) (celebrity interview television series)
One Man’s Way (1964)
Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965)
Kid Rodelo (1966)
The Plainsman (1966)
Sweet Love, Bitter (1967)
The Borgia Stick (TV movie) (1967)
The Viking Queen (1967)
The Outcasts (TV series) – 1968
Childish Things – 1969
Daughter of the Mind (TV movie) (1969)
The Intruders (TV movie) (1970)
The Cross and the Switchblade (1970)
Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1971)
Justin Morgan Had a Horse (1972)
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
Cotter (1973)
The Girl on the Late, Late Show (TV movie) (1973)
Love Story (TV series) (1973) (episode: “The Roller Coaster Stops Here”)
The Sex Symbol (TV movie) (1974)
A Girl Named Sooner (TV movie) (1975)
Deadly Hero (1976)
How the West Was Won (TV miniseries) (1977)
Rainbow (TV movie) (1979)
Crisis in Mid-Air (TV movie) (1979)
Knots Landing (TV series) (1979–1981)
If Things Were Different (TV movie) (1980)
The Boy Who Drank Too Much (TV movie) (1980)
Police Story: Confessions of a Lady Cop (TV movie) (1980)
Fugitive Family (TV movie) (1980)
Endless Love (1981)
Return of the Rebels (TV movie) (1981)
Thursday’s Child (TV movie) (1983)
Branagan and Mapes (TV movie) (1983)
I Am the Cheese (1983)
Quarterback Princess (TV movie) (1983)
License to Kill (TV movie) (1984)
A Touch of Scandal (TV movie) (1984)
Radioactive Dreams (1985)
Something in Common (TV movie) (1986)
T. J. Hooker Blood Sport (TV movie) (1986)
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
Scorpion (1986)
Matlock, “The Billionaire” (TV series episode) (1987)
Stillwatch (TV movie) (1987)
The Stepford Children (TV movie) (1987)
Mistress (TV movie) (1987)
Made in Heaven (1987)
My Dad Can’t Be Crazy . . . Can He? (TV episode of ABC Afterschool Specials) (1989)
Brand New Life (TV series) (1989–1990)
Ghosts Can’t Do It (1990)
Sons and Daughters (TV series) (1991)
Montan Crossroads (TV episode of ABC Afterschool Specials) (1993)
Wings (TV series) (1995)
Hearts Adrift (TV movie) (1996)
Mr. Headmistress (TV movie) (1998)
Elvis is ALive (2001)
Island Prey (2005)
The Hard Ride (2011)