Biographic by Steve McGarry for May 04, 2008
Born Edward Regan Murphy in Brooklyn, New York, on April 3, 1961, by his late teens Eddie Murphy was working as a comedian and impressionist. At 19, he joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" staying with the show for four seasons. By the time, he left, he was a movie star, thanks to his starring roles in "48 Hours" and "Trading Places." His career went into overdrive with 1984s "Beverly Hills Cop," A smash hit that spawned two sequels. The likes of "Coming to America" and "The Golden Child" as well as the concert films "Raw" and "Delirious" helped make him one of the biggest superstars of the 1980s. He even enjoyed a top 5 chart hit with his 1985 single Party All the Time, produced by Rick James. 1989s "Harlem Nights" which was also his directorial debut-marked a downturn in his box office fortunes that continued into the mid-90s a switch to more family-friendly fare, such as "The Nutty Professor" "Dr. Doolittle" and "Daddy Day Care" put him back on top, boosting his salary to upwards of $20 million per movie. Despite the occasional misfire- and the box office disaster that was "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" his recent career has been hallmarked by huge success, including the animated Shrek" movies for which he voiced the character Donkey, and great acclaim- his performance in 2006's "Dreamgirls" earned him an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe. Actor, writer, and producer, he is also the highest-grossing star in movie history.