The Kennedy Center

Eddie Murphy


EDDIE MURPHY is the most commercially successful African-American actor in the history of the motion picture business, and is one of the industry's top-five box-office performers overall.  At the tender age of 53, Murphy is on the very short list of actors who have starred in multiple $100 million pictures over the past three decades, from "Beverly Hills Cop" to "Daddy Day Care."  He is also the voice of Donkey in the Oscar(r)-winning animated film "Shrek" and its sequel, "Shrek 2," which is the top-grossing animated film of all time.  Murphy won an Annie Award and earned BAFTA and MTV Movie Award nominations for his performance in the first "Shrek," and recently reprised the role of Donkey in the final installment of the hugely successful franchise, "Shrek Goes Fourth."  Murphy will next be seen in the heist comedy, "Tower Heist" in which he serves as executive producer and co-stars with Ben Stiller.

Murphy began his career as a stand-up comedian 25 years ago.  In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live," and has since gone on to establish a successful career on the big screen.

His films have been among the highest-grossing comedies in the industry, including "48 Hrs.," "Trading Places," "Dr. Dolittle," "Coming to America" and the "Beverly Hills Cop" franchise.  Murphy garnered Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy for his performances in "Beverly Hills Cop," "Trading Places" and "48 Hrs."

In 1989, Murphy made his directorial debut with "Harlem Nights," a period comedy he also wrote and starred in, opposite Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx.  In addition, Murphy starred in and produced the hit comedy "Life," co-starring Martin Lawrence, and starred opposite Steve Martin in the comedy "Bowfinger."  He was also the voice of Mushu the Dragon in the successful animated epic "Mulan." 

In 1996, Murphy portrayed seven different characters in the worldwide box office smash "The Nutty Professor," for which he received another Golden Globe Award nomination.  He added a character to play a total of eight roles in the sequel, "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps," co-starring Janet Jackson.  His more recent films include "Dr. Dolittle 2," "Daddy Day Care," "The Haunted Mansion" and the romantic comedy "Norbit," in which he played three characters as well as serving as the film's producer and screenwriter.

In 2007, Murphy received rave reviews and critical acclaim for his portrayal of James "Thunder" Early in the Dreamworks film "Dreamgirls," a performance which would garner him the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture as well as earning him his first Academy Award nomination in the same category.
Eddie Murphy