Bill Murray

A droll, iconoclastic comedic actor who enjoyed existing outside of Hollywood while thriving in it, Bill Murray carved a unique career that moved successfully from slapstick comedy to subtly complex seriocomic roles that earned him several awards and untold critical praise. After a stint in Chicago's famed comedy troupe, The Second City, Murray took over the space left behind by Chevy Chase on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), where he made his bones as an unpredictable, but ultimately beloved performer. Murray used his success on "SNL" to make a string of successful slapstick comedies, starting with the sophomoric "Meatballs" (1979), which put him on the map, and the iconic "Caddyshack" (1980), which turned him into a certifiable movie star. With his next film, "Stripes" (1982), Murray became synonymous with huge box office, which was confirmed by the gigantic success of his only bona fide blockbuster, "Ghostbusters" (1984). Though he attempted dramatic roles at the peak of his comedy streak - namely "The Razor's Edge" (1984) - Murray found difficulty breaking the confines of his comedic beginnings. It was only when he made gradual progressions - "Scrooged" (1988), "Groundhog Day" (1993), "Rushmore" (1998), and his Oscar-nominated performance in "Lost in Translation" (2003) - that Murray earned well-deserved respect for his deft ability to blend sharp comedy with emotionally complex characters. Thanks to a trifecta of likability, durability and versatility, Murray cemented his stature as something of a national treasure in American pop culture over the course of a career that steadfastly refused to follow Hollywood convention.