Murphy, Eddie: Actor Profile

Eddie Murphy plays Jimmy, the flamboyant womanizer R&B singer in the musical “Dreamgirls.”

Murphy is the most commercially successful African-American actor in the history of the motion picture business, and is one of the industrys top-five overall box-office performers.

At 45, 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 Academy Award-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. He is reprising the role of Donkey in the next installment, Shrek the Third, and is also currently filming the romantic comedy Norbit. Both films are due out in 2007.

Murphy began his career as a stand-up comedian 25 years ago. In 1980, at the age of nineteen, 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 and The Haunted Mansion.