Don Murray: “I never understood why Marilyn Monroe was not nominated for ‘Bus Stop'”

Actor Don Murray, for many years a prominent leading American screen and stage actor ever since he debuted as Marilyn Monroe’s leading man in “Bus Stop” (1956), has a long and fascinating career to talk about. He worked with some of Hollywood’s most accomplished directors, appeared in some of the finest films of its era and, thanks to his brilliant acting skills, his audience always got a treat when he appeared on the screen and gave them impeccable performances – time and time again. After all, who can forget his work in films such as “A Hatful of Rain” (1957), “From Hell to Texas” (1958), “The Hoodlum Priest” (1961), “Advise & Consent” (1962) or “Deadly Hero” (1976)?

I met Mr. Murray in a restaurant in Los Angeles where he talked about his life, his career, his work as an actor-writer-director and his passion for his craft.

You were born in Hollywood in 1929. Did you spend most of your life in California so far?

No, not really. My parents were in show business: my mother was a Ziegfeld Girl, and my father was a stage manager, a singer and a dancer. As soon as sound pictures came, in the late 1920s, they hired a lot of Broadway people to make musicals here in Hollywood, and so they hired my father as a dance director. My parents came out here 1928 and I was born in 1929. Right after that, the big Depression hit with the stock market crash on Wall Street; the studios thought there would be a financial disaster and they temporarily suspended production and closed the studios – while it turned out to be the opposite: as the Depression was a boom, it was the greatest economic time ever for movies. But my Dad meantime went back to Broadway, so I was only here for the first year of my life: when I was a little less than a year old, we moved back to New York and I was brought up outside New York City.

How did film director Joshua Logan find you for your leading role in your first film, “Bus Stop” [1956]?

For my first movie “Bus Stop” [1956], I was hired by director Joshua Logan after he had seen me in a Broadway play called ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’ [1955] and he screen-tested me. I married my co-star Hope Lange [April 1956] – the story is that we met on the set because both of us appeared in the movie, but we had known each other for four years. I knew her right from when she graduated from high school, she was 17 and I was 21 when we met. We were already engaged when we were both hired for “Bus Stop”. Joshua Logan saw me on Broadway, he saw her on a television show and he hired us both, so that’s how that happened. We lived in New York for about a year and then we came out to Hollywood, we bought a home here and I have been here from that time, from 1957 till 1973 when I went back to Broadway and spent four years in New York. Before movies, I did my work in Europe, when I was in the forerunner of the Peace Corps.

From the early stages of your career you were able to work with first-rate directors such as Fred Zinnemann, Delbert Mann and Joshua Logan. How important were they to you in those early days?

Oh, they were very important. Joshua Logan, my first director, had a huge hit with “Picnic” [1955] and “Bus Stop” was his first movie after that. Fred Zinnemann of course had won an Academy Award already for “From Here to Eternity” [1953], so he was at the height of his career. Delbert Mann had the year before won an Academy Award for “Marty” [1955]. I had really wonderful directors, like Michael Anderson, and so on. I was very fortunate to work with those people.

How do you look back to “Bus Stop”: it was your first movie, your co-star Marilyn Monroe was also at the height of her career and you earned an Academy Award nomination right away. Did it have an impact on you, because you became an instant star?

Well, when I got into “Bus Stop”, I had only been back in the United States for less than a year. I had been living in Germany for a year and in Italy for a year and a half. Marilyn was famous over there, but not as famous as Sophia Loren or Gina Lollobrigida. I had seen her in only one film, that was “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” [1953]. So I didn’t know that much about her, and when I was hired for “Bus Stop”, I was surprised about all the publicity we were getting. Wherever we went, there were always journalists and cameramen. It was very unusual to me, because I didn’t know how much a big star she was at the time.

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My home turf: the Belgian poster of “Bus Stop” (1956) – popular among collectors – with the film title in the country’s two languages: ‘Bushalte’ in Dutch for the Dutch-speaking part Flanders, and ‘Arrêt d’autobus’ in French for Wallony, the French-speaking part of the country

Actress Sheree North once told me that in the early 1950s at 20th Century Fox, before Marilyn Monroe got her big break, people on the lot were sometimes making fun of her, walking behind her with the same walk, things like that.

Yes, they made fun of her a lot. I must say that I really admire her about the way that she cared enough about the art form of films to actually leave Hollywood at the height of her fame and not be content with just being a sex symbol. She wanted to be a real actress. When she left Hollywood for a year to study at the Actors Studio in New York, “Bus Stop” was her comeback film. And I thought she was magnificent in it, although she was always late on the set and she had a hard time remembering her lines. She also had a very short concentration span: she would start a scene and stop in the middle because she forgot her lines. So she had to do all her scenes in tiny, little pieces because she couldn’t sustain a scene all the way through. We never saw a complete scene with her. All the actors in the film came from the stage, like Hope Lange and I, Arthur O’Connell, Eileen Heckart – everyone in the film – so we were used to having a continuous performance and we would go to the rushes to see yesterday’s work. We would see all these little pieces and we thought the film was going to be a disaster. However, the first time we saw it at a preview, all of a sudden we realized what the magic of films was, with the editing and cutting it all together: she was magnificent! I never understood why she was not nominated [for an Academy Award] for “Bus Stop”. It was won by Ingrid Bergman – a wonderful actress, there’s no question about that – but Marilyn’s performance in “Bus Stop” was so much richer, it had so much more variety and it was so much more interesting than Ingrid Bergman’s character in “Anastasia”. Meanwhile I was surprised that I was nominated. So was the studio, in fact. One day I was on the set of “A Hatful of Rain” [1957] and one of the publicity heads came up to me. ‘Congratulations!’ I said, ‘For what?’ He said, ‘You were nominated for an Academy Award yesterday!’ I said, ‘I was??’ ‘Yeah! Isn’t that amazing? You got nominated and nobody was pushing for you! It was complete spontaneous, that’s unheard of in Hollywood!’ So it was a total surprise to all of us.

Did your nomination boost your career in any way?

I can’t really say it did. I had done “Bus Stop” and “The Bachelor Party” [1956] which was also very highly thought of, I had finished a Western called “From Hell to Texas” [1958] that some called one of the best Westerns since “High Noon” [1952] and I was already in “A Hatful of Rain”. I had been offered “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” [1958] which I turned down because I always liked to do something just the opposite of the last thing I did, and instead did “Shake Hands With the Devil” [1959] about the Irish revolution. So I can’t say that the nomination really had any effect on my career. As a matter of fact, it was a very trying time because a lot of publicity came out and since I didn’t have a private publicist, I did nothing about the Academy Awards: I didn’t do any publicity before or after being nominated. But then it started coming out in the newspaper that it was not fair for me to be nominated as a supporting actor while I played the leading role. I thought, ‘Well, that’s true.’ I didn’t know anything about the Academy, or about the rules, but such a big fuss was made out of it. There was a famous columnist who wrote an article, he called me one day and asked me to comment. I agreed with him: I was the leading man, and was nominated as a supporting actor, but it was all new to me. I expected him in his column to express that, and to remind the audience and the industry that I didn’t do anything to get nominated and after being nominated still didn’t add and ignored the whole process. And all he said in his column was, ‘Scratch Don Murray from the Oscar consideration because he refuses to advertise.’

As a young actor, you appeared in several very impressive films, as you just indicated. Did you ever need much direction on the set?

In “Bus Stop” I needed more direction than any part I ever played, because the cowboy was the opposite of the things I usually played, like in the play that started my career on Broadway, Tennessee Williams’ ‘The Rose Tattoo’ [1951], I played a sailor. That had some comedy in it, but it was very subtle. It was a very warm and sensitive character to play. ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’ was a very serious drama, a very intense kind of a guy, nothing like the cowboy at all. So on the set of “Bus Stop”, I said, ‘Josh, why did you hire me?’ He said, ‘Because you had an energy on the stage that I want to see here.’ He also said, ‘Now Don, Marilyn is a big star, but I want you to totally forget about her being a star at all, so when you come on the set, I want you to be like Attila the Hun: I want you to take over the scene. Destroy the furniture if you need to [laughs], do anything, I want the wildest cowboy that ever lived.’ So that’s how he directed, I would never have thought of that myself, and whenever anyone talked to me about my nomination, I thought to myself, ‘Well, the one that should get the nomination, is Josh Logan, because it is more his performance than it is my own.’

Did Marilyn Monroe act on the set like a star, or like an actress?

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Don Murray and Marilyn Monroe in a publicity still of “Bus Stop” (1956), directed by Joshua Logan for 20th Century Fox

She acted very much like an actress, but she was very insecure, very frightened of acting in front of the camera, which is amazing. She was this huge star and so wonderful before the camera, but that’s why she was always late. She would show up pretty much on time at the studio. When she was supposed to be there at 6:30 in the morning, she would arrive at 7:00 or 7:30, but then she would stay in her dressing room until 10 or 11 o’clock, she just would not come out on the set. Very few people know this, because I don’t remember seeing this in print – we did a bed scene, she was actually naked under the sheets and I could see her body covered with this red rash, she got so nervous that she’d break out with this red rash and she had to cover it with make-up. Being such a big star, she had done so many films, and yet, she was so frightened. But she took the part very seriously, listened to Josh Logan and took his directions. Her coach Paula Strasberg was also on the set: she was coaching her to do the role. A lot of directors had trouble with Paula being on the set, but for Josh it worked fine. I think together with Paula, he created a wonderful character.

You never needed any coaching on the set, did you? Is it because you were a trained stage actor?

Well, you know, I did have a coach, not like Paula, but I had a director who was a close friend of mine, named Payton Price. He was a teacher and he was with me the entire time when we did the film. We’d work on our scenes together, like two actors working together. He’d never give any directions, but he’d help me to fulfil the directions that Josh Logan would give me on the set.

You had a very long and rewarding career in films, television and on the stage so far. Which parts have been most rewarding to you, most interesting, most challenging?

First of all, I was very lucky, because when I was a young, aspiring actor, I never wanted to do Shakespeare. To me that was wonderful – I admired Olivier in Shakespeare – but Shakespeare is English, and I always aspired to do American classics. There were three parts that I always wanted to play when I was young: the Scotsman in ‘The Hasty Heart’, a play by John Patrick, Maxwell Anderson’s ‘Winterset’ and Melville’s ‘Billy Budd’. Those were the three plays that I always wanted to do. After I got into movies, I got to do all three of those great parts on television. So I would have to say those were the best parts, along with the roles I played in “Bus Stop”, “A Hatful of Rain” and the political drama “Advise and Consent” [1962]. And my own film which I wrote and directed, “The Hoodlum Priest” [1961], that’s the one I got the best reviews for. I also did another film with one of my favorite performances, called “Deadly Hero” [1976] in which I played a cop that becomes a vigilante cop. On the stage, I loved ‘The Rose Tattoo’, and more recently I did ‘Same Time, Next Year’ almost a year on Broadway and a couple of months on the road. I also loved my part in [the TV series] ‘Knots Landing’. I also wrote the second season’s premiere which was the first ‘Knots Landing’ as a two-parter. I wrote it as a one-parter but they asked me to expand it and make it a two-parter. That was the beginning of the serialization: continuous stories rather than one story with a beginning and an end. That was made into a continuing story, what they called a night-time soap opera. It ran for 14 years, but I left after 2 years. I asked to be written out because I wanted to do my do my own series about a musical family. You see, I once played a part on Broadway in a musical called ‘Smith’, a wonderful musical back in 1973, so I had this opportunity do to a series about a musical family.

You just mentioned “A Hatful of Rain”, a wonderful and beautifully acted film, also very powerful. The leading roles were played by young actors: you played the leading role, Eva Marie Saint played your wife, there was Anthony Franciosa too. No more Gary Cooper or Clark Gable. The young generation was replacing the old generation?

Yes, as a matter of fact they did. I was part of the first few actors who broke away from their contracts to make their own films, like John Cassavetes did a few months after I did. Kirk Douglas had done it already. I was under my six-year contract with 20th Century Fox. When I did “Bus Stop”, they offered me a seven year contract, but I said, ‘No, I won’t do it.’ I always call that a slave contract where they can put you in whatever they want. So they offered me a contract for six years, with only two pictures a year and I was free to do anything else outside of those two pictures. And also, one year off every two years to go back to Broadway, it was a very liberal, free contract. I was not exclusive to them at all. But I was still under contract and meanwhile I had time to make other films like “The Bachelor Party” or “Shake Hands With the Devil”, but I could not produce my own films, I could not take that much time out of my contract. When you’re a producer, it takes you an entire year for a movie. So in the end all I could do was buy my way out of my contract with Fox, that was before “Advise & Consent”.

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Don Murray and veteran actor Charles Laughton in Otto Preminger’s political drama “Advise & Consent” (1962)

That’s still one of the most powerful political films ever made, isn’t it?

I think so, it still holds up today. I saw it recently, and it still looks great. It is still considered to be one of Otto Preminger’s two great films: “Laura” [1945] and “Advise & Consent”.

In “Advise & Consent” you played a young senator, but you are a very versatile actor as you have played a wide variety of characters over the years. When you are offered a role, is there a way to prepare yourself?

When I did ‘The Hasty Heart’, I had about five weeks of preparation and I had already done the part in school. So I had studied it when I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and there was an actor from Scotland whose name was Jimmy Moore and who used the stage name of Sammy Duncan. He used to do songs and dances and Scottish comedy on vaudeville. I studied with him for two months, every day and for several hours a day. I learned about my character, like where he came from, tried to understand what the Scots were like in that particular place. So that makes it very interesting, not only to study the character but also its background. That is what I would do, I would really study the character, not only the accent but also his background. If it was not in the plot, I would even write a history of the character, what his childhood was like, and so on. That is what I did for “A Hatful of Rain” and for “The Bachelor Party”. In “Advise & Consent”, I played a senator from Utah, so that would have made him a Mormon. I read the entire Mormon bible, then I went to Salt Lake City and stayed there a while, talking to the politicians from the area to pick up their accent and so on. I very deeply immersed myself in the part. One of the parts for which I had no time at all to study, was the one I played in “Bus Stop”. I was screen tested, signed the contract and within a week I was in Hollywood to start the movie. So that all came from Josh Logan, from William Inge, the playwright, and from the wonderful scriptwriter George Axelrod. For the accent, I had no time to go to Montana where the character came from, so I just used what sounded like a cowboy accent to me. But it must have convinced a lot of people, because when I played a New York accountant in my second film, a great film critic said, ‘Don Murray was wonderful in the role, although he had a little bit too much of the wide open spaces to him to be believable as a New Yorker’ – I was a New Yorker! I was not a cowboy trying to be a New Yorker, I was a New Yorker trying to be a cowboy [laughs].

Is it true that director Otto Preminger was a difficult man to work with?

He was very difficult to most people. I didn’t have any problem with him, because I found that there’s a certain insecurity about directors that are bullies. People who are completely confident about themselves, don’t have to be bullies. They can get what they want by being reasonable. People will do what they want them to do because they have a certain sense, ease and confidence. “From Hell to Texas” was directed by Henry Hathaway who had the same reputation. When I heard about what a bully he was, and how hard he was to actors, I sensed that had to come from insecurity. So when I went to his office for the first time, he didn’t say anything, he didn’t even say hello, he just stared at me. So I stared back at him and didn’t say anything. Finally he asked, ‘What do you think of the script?’ I did the same with Otto Preminger. Bullies will sense weakness and they will go after you, that’s why he went after women more than men. I knew I had to be very definite with Preminger. I’d have to say, ‘I’m gonna do this and this and this.’ You didn’t say to him, ‘May I do this?’ And if he said, ‘Well I think you should do that.’ Then I’d say, ‘Okay, I can do that.’ So I never had any trouble with him, and also, I laughed at him. I spoke German too, and sometimes I would break out into German to him, talking to him like Hitler to Goebbels, ‘Wass machst du, Otto?’ [laughs].

Being a strict director to so many people, was he usually satisfied with the first take?

It was not so much this one take that he was famous for, he would take very long takes. He would not like to break things up into close-ups. It is very interesting to watch the film: if the actor was in the senate chamber and he was the main character making his speech, he would be there but you would see the people reacting to him as well. You would not only see the main action, but also the sub-actions that were going around. It is very interesting, like in the series ‘West Wing’ when the cameras follow the people on long takes, that’s what Preminger did too. He was one of the very few great directors to do that.

What made Fred Zinnemann such an august filmmaker?

Fred Zinnemann was a great director, not only because he made great films, but he also never made a bad film. All the great ones made at least one bad film. Zinnemann made none, he was really good. Remember “The Member of the Wedding” [1952]? A little film, a very personal film, very touching. “From Here to Eternity” [1953], a big and impressive film; “A Man for All Seasons” [1966], a spectacle; “A Hatful of Rain” [1957], a little film about a dope addict, what a variety and they all were from very good to magnificent. So I think that’s why he was so successful, everything he did was so good. People who knew film knew it was good because it was a Fred Zinnemann film and they would go out and see it. As a director, he was very, very quiet. Most of his direction was already done when he cast a person. He’d cast someone because he knew he had something in his own personality that would fit that role. And then he would encourage that. We had a ten day rehearsal period, we rehearsed the movie like a play. Tony Franciosa had played his part on Broadway, so he was well into the part. Fred would let you develop the part, and when he wanted you to do something, he would come up to you quietly and say something. In the film, I had a scene when I was nervous and I was needing a fix, I hadn’t had my heroine fix, and during rehearsal he’d come over to me and say something quietly about smoking the cigarette. He said, ‘Don, don’t blow the smoke as if you were dragging, let it drift out of your nose and mouth.’ He’d say little things like that which would help you to create the character. He was a very quiet man, a very confident man. You’d never see him shouting, he didn’t have to be a bully. He knew what he was doing at all times.

In the movies you saw when you grew up, the actors had a different style of acting, they acted in a more dramatic way, while your generation played the characters more realistically. Is that the main difference and was this change of style the result of the Method acting?

When referring to actors of my generation, people often talk about the Method with Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, James Dean and so on. Stanislavsky was one of the first ones to bring the Method over to the United States. The Method is simply this: instead of representing the emotions of a character externally – a person who is sad, this is what he would look like and this is what he would act like with all of the external thing, the facial expressions, the movements and the physical attitudes – you actually went into your own life and you felt sad, you genuinely felt sad, and when you had to cry in a scene, you found something in your own life or in someone else’s life to bring something up that made you cry. So that’s it, that’s the whole Method, it’s just using your own emotions. Every good actor today does that too, it’s common now. So you are right, in the films that I saw in the 1930s, it was totally different. And when the actors back then talked, they talked like a mile a minute, it was as if they were being paid for each word they said, they all tried to get a lot of words out. You know, when you watch a film like “The Maltese Falcon” [1941], one of these great classics, Yeah, there she was, I saw her on the street corner and I knew that dame was trouble [talks very fast]. There’s no reality whatsoever [laughs], so that’s the difference between those days and when I got into movies.

What about a comparison with Daniel Day-Lewis: when he plays a part, he takes it home with him, he is also the character at home and when the film is shot, it takes him some time before he’s back in his own routine.

Well, you know, I started doing that in school but then I found out that, when I was rehearsing and while I was on stage, that was enough time for me to live with a character. If you came and talked to me during rehearsal, I would be within the character. If we went to lunch, I would probably still be. If a performance was over by 10:30 PM, let’s say that by 00:30 AM, I’d come out of it, I’d be perfectly normal and I’d usually go against the character, whatever the character was. If it was an introverted character, like in “A Hatful of Rain” or “The Bachelor Party”, I would be joking or would be playing practical jokes and having fun. When I played in a wonderful series called ‘The Outcasts’ with a black and a white cowboy – the white cowboy was a former slave owner and the black was a former slave – my character was very arrogant, with a certain aristocracy. Studio and network executives would come on the set and they would come up to talk to me. Without realizing, I would be arrogant during these conversation, I would be so arrogant while this man was so kind. So I really don’t like to be visited on the set. At night time or in the weekends, that is perfectly okay, but not on the set. Of course, I can’t compare myself with Lewis, my God, what an actor he is! Everything that that man has done, is absolutely superb.

Is it true what they say that the business is run by twelve year olds?

When I was a youngster, even before I went to the American Academy, even in high school, I knew films. I went to see films and I took good film seriously. There are so many executives today who don’t even see many films, they don’t have the love for films. So a lot of them don’t know my work at all, but they also don’t know who a lot of the contemporaries were, because they don’t seem to have the interest for films that we have.

That’s quite the opposite of your first boss, Mr. Zanuck?

Oh absolutely, he loved movies, and his son Richard is a marvellous filmmaker. His record of films is spectacular. They really loved films.

What advise would you give young people who want to become actors? Many years ago, Betty Grable was asked the same question in an interview and her answer was, ‘Take Fountain,’ because Fountain Avenue is the fastest way between Beverly Hills and Hollywood and back.

That is very good [laughs]. My advise would be: start with yourself. Don’t try to act and be something that you’re not, or that you think is interesting, or because that’s what the public wants. And when you get to play a character, put your own personality in it, your own emotion, lend it to that character and then go with the character. Don’t try to do anything phony. Don’t say, ‘James Dean, Marlon Brando or Daniel Day-Lewis did it this way.’ Start with yourself and be yourself. That’s the main thing. And then you got to act, audition, work hard at it, do theatre, act in the best circumstances you can. If you can bear to do something else, do it. Because as dedicated and as talented as you might be, the odds are against you at being successful. The odds are that you are frustrated for the rest of your life. So if there’s anything else that you would like to do, it may be better that you do that. Chances that you can earn a living out of being a performer are very small.

Who were the actors you looked up to when you started out?

When I was a young man, I loved John Garfield. It was not only as an actor, but there was something about his personality. He was a city kid and I was brought up on Long island, but I was identified with New York City kids. I loved sports, I was not by any means a delinquent, but I was a rough kid and when I was younger, I had a lot of fights. So the tough guy that he played with the heart of gold always appealed to me. One of my favorite movies was “Body and Soul” [1947] in which he played the fighter. Then when I got into dramatic school, when I was 17, I saw my first French film, with Gérard Philipe. To me, there was no greater actor than Gérard Philipe then, because he was magnificent in anything he played, in drama like “Le diable au corps” [1947], in comedy like “Fanfan la Tulipe” [1952, with Gina Lollobrigida], anything he did was totally believable. I was broken-hearted when he died; he died of the disease I had when I came back from Europe: hepatitis. I recovered, and he didn’t. Those two actors didn’t influence my style of acting, but they encouraged me to go on.

Los Angeles, California
March 30, 2008

Trailer of Joshua Logan’s “Bus Stop” (1956) with Marilyn Monroe and Don Murray in the leading roles

FILMS

BUS STOP (1956) DIR Joshua Logan PROD Buddy Adler SCR George Axelrod (play ‘Bus Stop’ [1955] by William Inge) CAST Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray (Beauregard Decker), Arthur O’Connell, Betty Field, Eileen Heckart, Robert Bray, Hope Lange

THE BACHELOR PARTY (1957) DIR Delbert Mann PROD Harold Hecht SCR Paddy Chayefsky (also story) CAST Don Murray (Charlie Samson), E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Philip Abbott, Larry Blyden

A HATFUL OF RAIN (1957) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Buddy Adler SCR Carl Foreman, Michael Vinvenzo Gazzo, Alfred Hayes (play ‘A Hatful of Rain’ [1955] by Michael Vincenzo Gazzo) CAST Don Murray (Johnny Pope), Eva Marie Saint, Anthony Franciosa, Lloyd Nolan, Henry Silva, William Hickey.

FROM HELL TO TEXAS (1957) DIR Henry Hathaway PROD Robert Buckner SCR Robert Buckner, Wendell Mayes (book ‘The Hell Bent Kid’ [1957] by Charles O. Locke) CAST Don Murray (Tod Lohman), Diane Varsi, Chill Wills, Dennis Hopper, R.G. Armstrong, Jay C. Flippen, Margo

THESE THOUSAND HILLS (1959) DIR Richard Fleischer PROD David Weisbart SCR Alfred Hayes (novel ‘These Thousand Hills’ [1956] by A.B. Guthrie, Jr.) CAST Don Murray (Albert Gallatin ‘Lat’ Evans), Richard Egan, Lee Remick, Patricia Owens, Stuart Whitman

SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL (1959) DIR – PROD Michael Anderson SCR Ben Roberts, Ivan Goff (novel ‘Shake Hands With the Devil’ [1934] by Rearden Conner; adaptation by Marian Thompson) CAST James Cagney, Don Murray (Kerry O’Shea), Dana Wynter, Glynis Johns, Michael Redgrave.

ONE FOOT IN HELL (1960) DIR James B. Clark PROD Sydney Boehm SCR Sydney Boehm, Aaron Spelling (story by Aaron Spelling) CAST Alan Ladd, Don Murray (Dan Keats), Dan O’Herlihy, Dolores Michaels, Barry Coe, Larry Gates

HOODLUM PRIEST (1961) DIR Irvin Kershner PROD Walter Wood SCR Don Deer [Don Murray], Joseph Landon CAST Don Murray (Father Charles Dismas Clark), Larry Gates, Cindi Wood, Keir Dullea, Logan Ramsey, Don Joslyn

ADVISE & CONSENT (1962) DIR – PROD Otto Preminger SCR Wendell Mayes (novel ‘Advise and Consent’ [1959] by Allen Drury) CAST Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Don Murray (Senator Brigham Anderson), Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford, Gene Tierney, Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Burgess Meredith

ESCAPE FROM EAST BERLIN (1962) DIR Robert Siodmak PROD Walter Wood SCR Millard Lampell (story by Gabrielle Upton, Peter Berneis) CAST Don Murray (Kurt Schröder), Christine Kaufman, Werner Klemperer, Ingrid van Bergen, Carl Schell

ONE MAN’S WAY (1964) DIR Denis Sanders PROD Frank Ross SCR John W. Bloch, Eleanore Griffin (biography ‘Norman Vincent Peale: Minister To Millions’ [1958] by Arthur Gordon) CAST Don Murray (Norman Vincent Peale), Diana Hyland, William Windom, Virginia Christine, Carol Ohmart, Veronica Cartwright

BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL (1965) DIR Robert Mulligan PROD Alan J. Pakula SCR Horton Foote (also play ‘The Traveling Lady’ [1954]) CAST Lee Remick, Steve McQueen, Don Murray (Deputy Sheriff Slim), Paul Fix, Josephine Hutchinson, Ruth White

KID RODELO (1966) DIR Richard Carlson PROD Jack O. Lamont, Eduardo Manzanos Brochero, Arturo Marcos, James L. Storrow, Jr. SCR Jack Natteford (Spanish version by Eduardo Manzanos Brochero; novel ‘Kid Rodelo’ [1966] by Louis L’Amour) CAST Don Murray (Kid Rodelo), Janet Leigh, Broderick Crawford, Richard Carlson, José Nieto, Miguel Del Castillo

THE PLAINSMAN (1966) DIR David Lowell Rich PROD Richard E. Lyons SCR Michael Blankfort CAST Don Murray (Wild Bill Hickock), Guy Stockwell, Abby Dalton, Bradford Dillman, Henry Silva, Simon Oakland, Leslie Nielsen

SWEET LOVE, BITTER (1967) DIR Herbert Danska PROD Lewis Jacobs SCR Herbert Danska, Lewis Jacobs (novel ‘Night Song’ [1961] by John A. Williams) CAST Don Murray (David Hillary), Diana Varsi, Dick Gregory, Robert Hooks, Jeri Archer

THE VIKING QUEEN (1967) DIR Don Chaffey PROD John Temple-Smith SCR Clarke Reynolds (original idea by John Temple-Smith) CAST Don Murray (Justinian), Carita, Donald Houston, Andrew Keir, Adrienne Corri, Niall MacGinnes

CHILDISH THINGS (1969) DIR John Derek, David Nelson PROD Don Murray, Jeffrey M. Sneller SCR Don Murray CAST Don Murray (Tom Harris), Linda Evans, David Brian, Angelique Pettyjohn

THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE (1970) DIR Don Murray PROD Dick Ross SCR Don Murray, James Bonnet (book ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ [1963] by John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill, David Wilkerson) CAST Pat Boone, Erik Estrada, Jackie Giroux, Jo-Ann Robinson, Dino DeFilippi, Don Blakely, Gil Frazier

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WANDA JUNE (1971) DIR Mark Robson PROD Lester M. Goldsmith SCR Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (play ‘Happy Birthday, Wanda June’ [1970] by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.) CAST Rod Steiger, Susannah York, George Grizzard, Don Murray (Herb Shuttle), William Hickey, Steven Paul

JUSTIN MORGAN HAD A HORSE (1972) DIR Hollingsworth Morse PROD Harry Tytle SCR Rod Peterson, Calvin Clements, Jr. (novel ‘Justin Morgan Had a Horse’ [1945] by Marguerite Henry) CAST Don Murray (Justin Morgan), R.G. Armstrong, Whit Bissell, Gary Crosby, E.W. Firestone

CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (1972) DIR J. Lee Thompson PROD Arthur P. Jacobs SCR Paul Dehn (characters created by Pierre Boulle) CAST Roddy McDowell, Don Murray (Breck), Natalie Trundy, Hari Rhodes, Severn Darden

COTTER (1973) DIR Paul Stanley PROD Earle Lyon SCR William D. Gordon CAST Don Murray (Cotter), Carol Lynley, Rip Torn, Sherry Jackson, R.G. Armstrong, Christopher Knight

MOVING ON (1974) DIR Richard Mason PROD Don Murray SCR Anne Brooksband, Cliff Green CAST Ewen Solon, Kay Taylor, Ken Shorter, Lyndel Rowe, Carole Yelland, Brian Anderson, Michelle Brooker

DEADLY HERO (1976) DIR Ivan Nagy PROD Thomas J. McGrath SCR Don Petersen CAST Don Murray (Lacy), Diahn Williams, James Earl Jones, Lilia Skala, George S. Irving, Treat Williams

ENDLESS LOVE (1981) DIR Franco Zeffirelli PROD Dyson Lovell SCR Judith Rascoe (novel ‘Endless Love’ [1979] by Scott Spencer) CAST Brooke Shields, Martin Hewitt, Shirley Knight, Don Murray (Hugh Butterfield), Richard Kiley, Beatrice Straight

I AM THE CHEESE (1983) DIR Robert Jiras PROD David Lange SCR Robert Jiras, David Lange (novel ‘I Am the Cheese’ [1977] by Robert Cormier) CAST Frank McGurran, Robert MacNaughton, Russell P. Goslant, Cynthia Nixon, Robert Wagner, Don Murray (David Farmer), Hope Lange

RADIOACTIVE DREAMS (1985) DIR – SCR Albert F. Pyun PROD Tom Karnowski, Moctesuma Esparza CAST John Stockwell, Michael Dudikoff, Lisa Blount, George Kennedy, Don Murray (Dash Hammer), Michele Little

PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED (1986) DIR Francis Ford Coppola PROD Paul R. Gurian SCR Jerry Leichtling, Arlene Sarner CAST Nicolas Cage, Kathleen Turner, Barry Miller, Catherine Hicks, Joan Allen, Jim Carrey, Barbara Harris, Don Murray (Jack Kelcher), Sofia Coppola, Maureen O’Sullivan, Leon Ames

SCORPION (1986) DIR – PROD – SCR William Riead CAST Tonny Tulleners, Don Murray (Gifford Leese), Robert Logan, Allen Williams, Kathryn Daley, Ross Elliott

MADE IN HEAVEN (1987) DIR Alan Rudolph PROD Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon, David Blocker SCR Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon CAST Timothy Hutton, Kelly McGillis, Maureen Stapleton, Ann Wedgeworth, James Gammon, Mare Winningham, Don Murray (Ben Chandler), Amanda Plummer

GHOSTS CAN’T DO IT (1990) DIR – SCR John Derek CAST Bo Derek, Anthony Quinn, Don Murray (Winston), Julie Newman, Jane Damian, Leo Damian

INTERNET LOVE (2000) DIR – PROD – SCR Eckhardt Schmidt CAST Annett Culp, Scott Trost, Harmony Smith, Saint Adeogba, Carrie Barton, Budd Boetticher, Allegra Curtis, Don Murray (Actor), Mickey Rooney

ISLAND PREY (2001) DIR – SCR William Riead PROD William Riead, Lisa Riead CAST Olivia Hussey, Don Murray (Parker Gaits), Anthony John Denison, Edward Asner, Jerry Hardin, Tom Davies

ELVIS IS ALIVE (2001) DIR Don Murray PROD Mickey Maughton SCR (novel by Mickey Maughton) CAST G. Larry Butler, Bob Cousy, Don Murray (Actor), Christopher Otcasek

TV MOVIES

THE BORGIA STICK (1967) DIR David Lowell Rich PROD Richard Lewis TELEPLAY A.J. Russell CAST Inger Stevens, Don Murray (Tom Harrison), Barry Nelson, Fritz Weaver, Sorrell Booke, Marc Connelly

DAUGHTER OF THE MIND (1969) DIR – PROD Walter Grauman TELEPLAY Luther Davis (novel ‘The Hand of Mary Constable’ [1964] by Paul Gallico) CAST Don Murray (Dr. Alex Lauder), Ray Milland, Gene Tierney, Barbara Dana, Edward Asner, John Carradine

THE INTRUDERS (1970) DIR William A. Graham PROD James Duff McAdams TELEPLAY Dean Riesner (story by William Lansford) CAST Don Murray (Sam Garrison), Anne Francis, Edmond O’Brien, John Saxon, Gene Evans, Shelly Novack, Harry Dean Stanton, Harrison Ford

THE GIRL ON THE LATE, LATE SHOW (1974) DIR Gary Nelson PROD Christopher Morgan TELEPLAY Mark Rodgers CAST Don Murray (William Martin), Bert Convy, Yvonne De Carlo, Gloria Grahame, Van Johnson, Ralph Meeker, Cameron Mitchell

THE SEX SYMBOL (1974) DIR David Lowell Rich PROD Douglas S. Cramer TELEPLAY (novel ‘The Symbol: A Novel’ [1966] by Alvah Bessie) CAST Connie Stevens, Shelley Winters, Jack Carter, William Castle, Don Murray (Senator Grant O’Neal), James Olson

A GIRL NAMED SOONER (1975) DIR Delbert Mann PROD Fred Hamilton TELEPLAY (novel ‘A Girl Named Sooner’ [1972] by Suzanne Clauser) CAST Lee Remick, Richard Crenna, Don Murray (Sheriff Phil Rotteman), Anne Francis, Cloris Leachman, Susan Deer

HOW THE WEST WAS WON (1977, miniseries) DIR Delbert Mann, Burt Kennedy PROD John G. Stephens, Jeffrey Hayden TELEPLAY Jim Byrnes, Earl W. Wallace, John Mantley, Ron Bishop, William Kelley CAST James Arness, Eva Marie Saint, Bruce Boxleitner, Kathryn Holcomb, William Kirby Cullen, Vicki Schreck, Anthony Zerbe, Don Murray (Anderson), Woody Strode

RAINBOW (1978) DIR Jackie Cooper PROD Peter Dunne TELEPLAY John McGreevey (book ‘Rainbow: The Stormy Life of Judy Garland’ [1975] by Christopher Finch) CAST Andrea McArdle, Don Murray (Frank Gumm), Michael Parks, Rue McClanahan, Nicholas Pryor, Jack Carter, Donna Pescow, Martin Balsam, Piper Laurie

CRISIS IN MID-AIR (1979) DIR Walter Grauman PROD Roger Lewis TELEPLAY Sean Baine, Stephen Downing CAST George Peppard, Karen Grasse, Desi Arnaz, Jr., Michael Constantine, Fabian, Don Murray (Adam Travis)

POLICE STORY: CONFESSIONS OF A LADY COP (1980) DIR Lee. H. Katzin PROD Hugh Benson TELEPLAY Joseph Wambaugh, Mark Rogers (developed for television by E. Jack Neuman) CAST Karen Black, Don Murray (Sergeant Jack Leland), Pat Crowley, Frank Sinatra, Jr., James Whitmore, Jr.

FUGITIVE FAMILY (1980) DIR Paul Krasny PROD Ronald Lyon TELEPLAY James G. Hirsch, Tony Kayden (story by James G. Hirsch) CAST Richard Crenna, Diane Baker, Don Murray (Peter Ritchie), Ronny Cox, Robin Dearden, Mel Ferrer, Eli Wallach

THE BOY WHO DRANK TOO MUCH (1980) DIR Jerold Freedman PROD Donald A.  Baer TELEPLAY Edward DeBlasio (novel ‘The Boy Who Drank Too Much’ by Shep Greene) CAST Scott Baio, Lance Kerwin, Ed Lauter, Mariclare Costello, Stephen Davies, Toni Kalem, Don Murray (Ken Saunders)

IF THINGS WERE DIFFERENT (1980) DIR Robert Michael Lewis PROD Bill Froehlich, Mark Lisson, Clyde Phillips TELEPLAY Bill Froehlich, Mark Lisson CAST Alice Hirson, Arte Johnson, Chuck McCann, Jane Milmore, Don Murray (Robert Langford), Suzanne Pleshette, Tony Roberts

RETURN OF THE REBELS (1981) DIR Noel Nosseck PROD Frank von Zerneck TELEPLAY Robie Robinson CAST Barara Eden, Don Murray (Sonny Morgan), Christopher Connolly, Michael Baseleon, Robert Mandel, Jamie Farr, Patrick Swayze

THURSDAY’S CHILD (1983) DIR David Lowell Rich PROD Peter Katz TELEPLAY Gwen Bagni-Dubov (book ‘Thursday’s Child’ [1980] by Victoria Poole) CAST Gena Rowlands, Don Murray (Parker Alden), Barbara Walters, Rob Lowe, Tracey Gold, Glenn Morrissey

QUARTERBACK PRINCESS (1983) DIR Noel Black PROD Gary M. Goodman, Barry Rosen TELEPLAY Rod Browning CAST Don Murray (Ralph Maida), Barbara Babcock, Dana Elcar, John Stockwell, Daphne Zuniga, Helen Hunt

LICENSE TO KILL (1984) DIR Jud Taylor PROD Dorothea G. Petrie TELEPLAY William A. Schwartz CAST James Farentino, Penny Fuller, Don Murray (Tim Fiske), Millie Perkins, Ari Meyers, Denzel Washington

A TOUCH OF SCANDAL (1984) DIR Ivan Nagy PROD Doris Keating TELEPLAY Richard A. Guttman CAST Angie Dickinson, Tom Skerritt, Jason Miller, Don Murray (Benjamin Gilvey), Robert Loggia, Stephen Shellen

SOMETHING IN COMMON (1986) DIR – PROD Glenn Jordan TELEPLAY Susan Rice CAST Ellen Burstyn, Tuesday Weld, Patrick Cassidy, Don Murray (Theo Fontana), Eli Wallach, Amanda Wyss

STILLWATCH (1987) DIR Rob Holcomb PROD Terry Morse, Jr. TELEPLAY David E. Peckinpah, Laird Koenig (novel ‘Stillwatch’ [1984] by Mary Higgins Clark) CAST Lynda Carter, Angie Dickinson, Don Murray (Sam Kingsley), Barry Primus, Louise Latham, Stuart Whitman, Walter Olkewicz

THE STEPFORD WIVES (1987) DIR Alan J. Levi PROD Paul Pompian TELEPLAY Bill Bleich (novel ‘The Stepford Wives’ [1972] by Ira Levin; screenplay of THE STEPFORD WIVES [1975] by William Goldman) CAST Barbara Eden, Don Murray (Steven Harding), Tammy Lauren, Pat Corley, Ken Swofford, Richard Anderson

MISTRESS (1987) DIR Michael Tuchner PROD Stephanie Austin TELEPLAY Joyce Eliason CAST Victoria Principal, Don Murray (Wyn), Guy Boyd, Richard Partlow, Joanna Kerns, Clyde Kusatsu

HEARTS ADRIFT (1996) DIR Vic Sarin PROD Perry Husman, Ron McGee TELEPLAY Ron McGee CAST Kathleen Noone, Nicolas Costner, Don Murray (Lloyd Raines), Scott Reeves, Sydney Penny, Rodney Rowland

HEADMISTRESS (1998) DIR James Frawley PROD Steven North TELEPLAY Matt Roshkow, Scott Davis Jones, David Kukoff CAST Harland Williams, Shawna Waldron, Duane Martin, Katey Segal, Don Murray (Reporter), Joel Brooks