What Do You Mean Bill Murray Didn’t Win An Oscar?
Who is he?
The man Wu-Tang's GZA calls "Bill Groundhog Day Ghostbustin'-Ass Murray" has, since his onscreen career began as a cast member on Saturday Night Live in 1977, slowly but steadily become one of the best-loved actors on the planet. This is partly down to his antics off-screen; in recent years Murray has had a tendency to pop in all sorts of weird places, including a student party at St. Andrews University (where he did the washing up) and jumping behind the bar at SXSW to serve drinks with the Wu-Tang Clan.
Like many of the SNL alumni, which includes the likes John Belushi, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Joan Cusack among countless others, Murray has gone on to have a very successful film career, which could perhaps have been more successful if he was easier to get hold of - Murray is notorious for not returning calls and at one point if you wanted to send him a script it had to be faxed to his local office supplies store. He has also admitted publicly that the only reason he took on the Garfield film was because he mistakenly thought it was being directed by Joel Coen (only to later discover the name on the script he was given was actually a guy named Joel Cohen).
While many of his best-loved roles are comedies like Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters, he’s also had starring roles in many dramas, notably Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Despite his acclaimed performances in both and an Oscar nomination for the latter, Murray has never walked away with the coveted golden statuette. His role in Coppola’s film did win him a BAFTA for Best Actor though...
What has he been nominated for?
Surprisingly, Murray didn’t even receive a nomination for The Life Aquatic… and Lost In Translation remains the only film he has been nominated for at the Oscars, though he has received a number of nominations and awards at the BAFTAs and others.
Who was he up against?
At the 76th Academy Awards held in 2004, Murray was up against Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl), Ben Kingsley (House of Sand and Fog) and Jude Law (Cold Mountain), all of whom, along with Murray, eventually lost out to Sean Penn for his role in Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River.
What should he have won?
Not to take anything away from Sean Penn, but Bill Murray really should have taken home the Best Actor award for Lost in Translation, and he was very unlucky not to receive a nomination for The Life Aquatic…, which didn’t receive a single nomination at the Oscars in any category – something that would also give Wes Anderson every right to feel a little aggrieved.
If it were up to us, Bill Murray would win something every year, but out of all his film roles, the video clip below is one of our favourites. Taken from Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes, Bill appears as himself, talking caffeine and herbal medicine with his Wu-Tang buddies RZA & GZA. Enjoy...