Four decades ago, 21-year-old Eddie Murphy earned the distinction of being one of the final five nominees for the now-retired Golden Globe Award for New Male Star of the Year; he lost to eventual Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (“Gandhi”). Since achieving this recognition for his big screen debut performance in “48 Hrs.,” he has starred in over three dozen more features and remained a perennial Golden Globe contender with six bids and one trophy to his name. Now, the evergreen funnyman is set to become the 69th entrant on the illustrious list of movie legends who have been honored with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Cecil B. DeMille Award.
HFPA President Helen Hoehne says she and her colleagues are “thrilled to be celebrating the lasting impact” of Murphy’s career, which she describes as being filled with “multifaceted and moving performances.” The entertainer has also written or produced many of the films in which he has appeared, fulfilling all three roles on “Harlem Nights” (1989), “Norbit” (2007), and “Coming 2 America” (2021) and even directing the first.
After being bitten by the show business bug as a teenager, Murphy made history in 1980 as the (now second) youngest person to ever join the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” He remained on the sketch show for three years and is credited with having almost single handedly kept it afloat as the original cast’s exodus caused ratings to falter. Between 1983 and 1984, his work on the series brought him one writing and two acting Emmy nominations.
Murphy received his first two Best Comedy/Musical Actor Golden Globe notices for “Trading Places” (1983) and “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984), the latter of which spawned two sequels. He has since garnered two more bids in the same category for “The Nutty Professor” (1996) and “Dolemite Is My Name” (2019). Other credits on his acting resume include “Boomerang” (1992), “Doctor Dolittle” (1998), “Daddy Day Care” (2003), and voice roles in “Mulan” (1998) and the “Shrek” series (2001-2010).
In 2007, Murphy snagged his first Golden Globe for his supporting turn in “Dreamgirls,” which also won the award for Best Comedy/Musical. This performance led to victories at the Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild Awards as well. Throughout his prolific career, Murphy has also been lauded with a Grammy for his second of five comedy albums, an Emmy for guest hosting “Saturday Night Live,” the 2020 Critics Choice Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2015 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Murphy will officially receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 80th Golden Globes ceremony, airing Tuesday, January 10 on NBC and streaming on Peacock.
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