Eddie Murphy is an American comedian, actor, writer, singer, and producer. He was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984. He has worked as a stand-up comedian and was ranked 10th on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time. Murphy first earned national attention as a cast member on Saturday Night Live (SNL) and was credited with helping to revitalize the show during the early 1980s. His notable characters included a grown-up version of the Little Rascals character Buckwheat, a street-wise children’s show host named Mr. Robinson (a spoof of Fred Rogers, who found it amusing and a morose, cynical Gumby, whose trademark slogan became an SNL catchphrase: “I’m Gumby, dammit!”.
In films, he has received Golden Globe Award nominations for his performances in ’48 Hrs.’, the ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ series, ‘Trading Places’, and ‘The Nutty Professor’. In 2007, he won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of soul singer James “Thunder” Early in ‘Dreamgirls’.
His work as a voice actor in films includes Thurgood Stubbs in ‘The PJs’, Donkey in DreamWorks’ ‘Shrek’ series, and the Chinese dragon Mushu in Disney’s ‘Mulan’. In some films, he plays multiple roles in addition to his main character, intended as a tribute to one of his idols Peter Sellers, who played multiple roles in ‘Dr. Strangelove’ and elsewhere. He has played multiple roles in ‘Coming to America’, Wes Craven’s ‘Vampire in Brooklyn’, the ‘Nutty Professor’ films (where he played the title role in two incarnations, plus his character’s father, brother, mother, and grandmother), ‘Bowfinger’, ‘The Adventures of Pluto Nash’, ‘Norbit’, and ‘Meet Dave’. As of 2014, Murphy’s films have grossed over $3.8 billion in the United States and Canada box office and $6.6 billion worldwide. In 2015, his films made him the sixth-highest grossing actor in the United States.
Murphy is also a singer, having frequently provided background vocals to songs released by ‘The Bus Boys’; the song “(The Boys Are) Back in Town” was featured in ’48 Hrs.’ and Murphy’s comedy special ‘Eddie Murphy Delirious’. As a solo artist, Murphy had two hit singles, “Party All the Time” (which was produced by Rick James) and “Put Your Mouth On Me” during the latter half of the 1980s. He had started singing earlier in his career, with the songs “Boogie in Your Butt” and “Enough Is Enough”, the latter being a parody of Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer’s 1979 song, “No More Tears” (They both appear on his 1982 self-titled comedy album.)
Murphy recorded the album Love’s Alright in the early 1990s. He performed in a music video of the single “Whatzupwitu”, featuring Michael Jackson. He recorded a duet with Shabba Ranks called “I Was a King”. In 1992, Murphy appeared in Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” alongside Magic Johnson and Iman.
In ‘Coming to America’, he imitated Jackie Wilson when he sang “To Be Loved”, but because the character he was playing had a thick accent, he had to sing it in character. In later years, Murphy performed several songs in the ‘Shrek’ film franchise. In the first film, he performed a version of “I’m a Believer” in the film’s final scene; in ‘Shrek 2′ he performed Ricky Martin’s hit “Livin’ La Vida Loca” along with co-star Antonio Banderas; Murphy performed “Thank You” (Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Again) for ‘Shrek the Third’, once again with Banderas. In 2013, he released his first single in years titled “Red Light”, a reggae song featuring Snoop Lion. He is also working on a new album titled ‘9’.