Don Murray, the boy-next-door actor who made his movie debut as Marilyn Monroe’s infatuated cowboy in “Bus Cease” in 1956 and performed a priest, a drug addict, a homosexual senator and myriad different roles in motion pictures, on tv and onstage over six many years, died on Friday. He was 94.
His son Christopher confirmed the dying however didn’t say the place he died.
Within the postwar Fifties, when being delicate, accountable and a “good man” have been necessary attributes in a younger man, Mr. Murray was a churchgoing pacifist who turned a conscientious objector in the course of the Korean Conflict. He fulfilled his service obligation by working for 2 and a half years in German and Italian refugee camps for $10 a month, helping orphans, the injured and the displaced.
Again from Europe in 1954, he settled on an performing profession centered on socially accountable themes. He appeared in a tv drama about legal professionals serving poor shoppers, and he had a component within the 1955 Broadway manufacturing of “The Pores and skin of Our Tooth,” Thornton Wilder’s comedic vote of confidence in mankind’s slender potential to outlive, which starred Helen Hayes and Mary Martin.
The director Joshua Logan noticed that manufacturing and forged Mr. Murray in “Bus Cease,” his adaptation of William Inge’s play a few singer who’s pursued by a cowpoke from a Phoenix clip joint to a snowbound Arizona bus cease, the place a spark of dignity and character flame right into a transferring and humbling love. The movie established Marilyn Monroe as a reputable actress and Mr. Murray as an up-and-coming star.
“With a wondrous new actor named Don Murray taking part in the silly, cussed poke and with the litter of broncos, blondes and busters fantastically tangled, Mr. Logan has a booming comedy going earlier than he will get to the romance,” Bosley Crowther wrote in a assessment for The New York Instances. “And the truth that she fitfully however firmly summons the desire and power to humble him — to make him say ‘please,’ which is the purpose of the entire thing — attests to her new performing ability.”
Mr. Murray’s efficiency in “Bus Cease” earned him an Oscar nomination for greatest supporting actor. He received many different honors for a physique of labor that included greater than 35 Hollywood movies, some 25 tv motion pictures and scores of different credit for starring in tv and stage productions, in addition to for writing, directing or producing for motion pictures and tv. However he was by no means once more nominated for an Academy Award.
His best-known early movies additionally included “A Hatful of Rain” (1957), the story of a tormented drug addict hiding his secret from his spouse, performed by Eva Marie Saint; “Shake Arms With the Satan” (1959), a story of the 1921 Irish rise up, which additionally starred James Cagney; and “The Hoodlum Priest” (1961), during which Mr. Murray, who co-wrote the screenplay, portrayed a Jesuit who counsels former convicts.
“Don has grow to be recognized with what is likely to be known as social significance and ‘enchantment to cause’ movie dramas,” Cue journal famous in 1961. “He received’t play in a drama that glamorizes evil or glorifies violence. ‘I’m no nut on that,’ he says, ‘my photos don’t have to hold a message — however they do should say one thing.’”
Mr. Murray performed a memorable position in “Advise and Consent” (1962), Otto Preminger’s vastly profitable movie of Allen Drury’s Pulitzer Prize-winning political novel set within the halls of the Capitol. It starred Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton and Walter Pidgeon; Mr. Murray portrayed a married United States senator with a homosexual encounter in his previous, who’s blackmailed for his vote in a Senate affirmation combat over a nominee for secretary of state.
Mr. Murray’s Hollywood roles dwindled within the late Nineteen Sixties, and he turned more and more to tv. His most notable position was in “The Outcasts,” an ABC sequence during which he and Otis Younger starred as a workforce of post-Civil Conflict bounty hunters — Mr. Younger as a former slave and Union soldier, and Mr. Murray as a former slave proprietor and Accomplice officer.
One of many first tv exhibits with Black and white co-stars, “The Outcasts” ran for 26 weeks within the 1968-69 season. Broadcast after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy have been slain, it was extensively criticized on the time for its depictions of racial tensions and violence. However in later years, seen in reruns and on residence video, it was hailed as a forgotten traditional.
Mr. Murray co-wrote and directed “The Cross and the Switchblade” (1970), a movie that starred Pat Boone as a road minister who brings two metropolis road gangs to Christ — a personality primarily based on the work of an precise New York preacher. “Is it convincing?” Howard Thompson requested in a assessment for The Instances. “And the way exhausting does it hit? Solutions: convincing and exhausting sufficient. I appreciated it.”
From 1979 to 1981, Mr. Murray performed Sid Fairgate, a husband and father, on the long-running CBS prime-time cleaning soap opera “Knots Touchdown.” He then returned to the massive display screen, showing with Brooke Shields in “Limitless Love” (1981), Denzel Washington in “License to Kill” (1984) and Barbara Eden in “The Stepford Kids” (1987).
Mr. Murray and Ms. Eden additionally co-starred in “Model New Life” (1989-90), an NBC sequence a few rich widowed lawyer and a divorced waitress, every a mother or father of three youngsters, who marry and make a brand new life collectively in Bel Air, the prosperous enclave of Los Angeles, with the mix of two households from contrasting social backgrounds resulting in conflicts and comedy.
Lean and youthful-looking almost all his life, Mr. Murray was nonetheless showing in motion pictures in his 70s, together with “Web Love” (2000) and “Elvis Is Alive” (2001). After a 16-year hiatus, he resurfaced in 2017 in eight episodes of “Twin Peaks: The Return,” the Showtime continuation of David Lynch’s 1990-91 ABC sequence. His character, Bushnell Mullins, was a Las Vegas insurance coverage man endlessly at odds with shoppers and the authorities.
Donald Patrick Murray was born in Hollywood on July 31, 1929, certainly one of three kids of Dennis and Ethel (Prepare dinner) Murray. His father, a singer and dancer, and his mom, a former Ziegfeld Lady, had moved from New York to work in speaking photos however returned to Broadway because the Nice Melancholy settled in.
Don and his siblings, William and Ethelyn, grew up within the village of East Rockaway on Lengthy Island. He was a soccer and monitor star at East Rockaway Excessive Faculty, from which he graduated in 1946. After graduating in 1948 from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, he labored as a waiter and home painter, acted in summer time inventory and had small elements on tv.
His first break on Broadway was the a part of a sailor in “The Rose Tattoo” (1951), Tennessee Williams’s play a few widow (Maureen Stapleton) returning to life and love.
Mr. Murray was drafted by the Marine Corps in 1952, however he refused induction as a conscientious objector, citing his affiliation first with the Congregational Christian Church and later with the pacifist Church of the Brethren. He was allowed to satisfy his service obligation by helping European refugees.
Whereas filming “Bus Cease” in 1956, he married the actress Hope Lange, a fellow forged member. That they had two kids, Christopher and Patricia, and have been divorced in 1961. In 1962, he married the actress Elizabeth Johnson, generally known as Betty. That they had three kids, Colleen, Sean and Michael.
Full data on survivors moreover his son Christopher was not instantly accessible. Mr. Murray lived in Goleta, Calif., in Santa Barbara County.
In an interview for this obituary in 2017, Mr. Murray stated that, impressed by his work with postwar refugees in barbed-wire camps in Italy, he and Ms. Lange based the Homeless European Land Program and acquired 150 acres on the island of Sardinia in 1956. With monetary assist from worldwide businesses and Protestant charities, he stated, they introduced greater than 100 refugees out of the Italian camps — individuals from Communist international locations in Europe and Franco’s Spain — to Sardinia, to settle in what turned a everlasting self-supporting group.
“They planted crops and constructed houses,” he stated. “The city continues to be there, with kids and grandchildren of the unique refugees.”
Early in his profession, Mr. Murray refused to signal an open-ended contract with twentieth Century Fox. “They might put you in no matter image they wished,” he informed a U.C.L.A. movie soiree celebrating his work in 2014. He agreed to make two photos a 12 months if given break day to behave on Broadway, and he purchased out his contract to supply “The Hoodlum Priest” independently.
“He didn’t play the sport within the studio age,” the creator and movie authority Foster Hirsch informed the gathering. “He by no means did get typecast and had nice versatility.”