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Eddie Murphy is an American actor, voice actor, film director, producer, comedian and singer. He is the second-highest grossing lead actor in motion picture history. He was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984 -- keeping that show afloat at a time when it was floundering so badly that NBC was considering cancellation [1] -- and worked as a stand-up comedian throughout The Eighties. He was ranked #10 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.

Amongst his Eighties film roles, he was best-known for playing Axel Foley in the Beverly Hills Cop series; he also helped popularize Salt and Pepper pairings with his work in 48 Hrs. (his film debut) and Trading Places. In 2007, he won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of soul singer James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the same role.

In some of his films he plays multiple roles in addition to his main character, intended as a tribute to one of his idols, Peter Sellers, who played multiple roles in Dr. Strangelove and elsewhere. Murphy has played multiple roles in Coming to America, Wes Craven's Vampire in Brooklyn, The Nutty Professor films (where he played the title role in two incarnations, plus his father, uncle, mother and grandmother), Bowfinger and 2007's Norbit.

After voicing Mushu the dragon in Disney's Mulan, Murphy's work as a voice actor went on to include Thurgood Stubbs in The PJs and Donkey in the Shrek series.

His 1983 stand-up show Delirious is memetically popular with the new generation, featuring memorable sketches such as his drunk foul-mouthed dad, his shoe-throwing mom, his overweight moustached Aunt Bonnie who fell down the stairs (My Shoe!) and is rumored to be Bigfoot (GOONIE GOO GOO!), portraying Mr T and Ralph Kramden as homosexuals, portraying Michael Jackson as a very sensitive young man, discussing offended African-Americans on his portrayal of Stevie Wonder and much much more.

His brother Charlie was a regular on Chappelle's Show and played Ed Wuncler III in The Boondocks. He even appeared in a cameo as himself in a segment from One Thousand Ways to Die.

Unfortunately, as the 1990's and 2000's rolled around, his career took a turn for the worse. The Showtime remake started the beginning of the end and Adventures of Pluto Nash became one of the all time biggest flops, with a budget of $100 million dollars and a worldwide gross of $7.1 million. He had a brief resurgence of quality with the Shrek films and Dreamgirls, but he has yet to have a hit film since then due to Bad Bad Acting and several films that qualify for They Just Didn't Care.

His roles provide examples of:

Notes

  1. At the time, Eddie Murphy was SNL's youngest cast member to join at the age of 19. He was beaten by Anthony Michael Hall -- who was 17 years old -- when Hall joined the cast in 1985. Murphy is still considered the youngest black male cast member to join the cast, despite the upset
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