Image of Ken Murray

Ken Murray

Ken Murray (born Kenneth Abner Doncourt, July 14, 1903 – October 12, 1988) was an American comedian, actor, radio and television personality and author. After finding success on the vaudeville stage, Murray moved to Hollywood and made his film debut in the 1929 romantic drama Half Marriage, followed by a role in Leathernecking in 1930. Murray was the host of a weekly radio variety show (The Ken Murray Show) on NBC 1932-33 and on CBS 1936–37. He later was the original host (1945-57) of Queen for a Day, on the Mutual Broadcasting System radio show, which was simulcast on KTSL (now KCBS-TV), Channel 2 in Los Angeles. During World War II, Murray was one of the many celebrities to volunteer at the Hollywood Canteen. In 1947, he produced Bill and Coo, a feature film using trained birds and other animals as actors. Bill and Coo won a special Academy Award for "novel and entertaining use of the medium of motion picture" and "artistry and patience" . He was also the host of The Ken Murray Show, a weekly music and comedy show on CBS Television that ran from 1950 to 1953. The show was the first to win a Freedom Foundation Award. Murray also guest starred on several television series, including The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford and The Bing Crosby Show. Murray produced and co-starred as "Smiling Billy Murray" in a 1953 film, The Marshal's Daughter, a western that featured his protege Laurie Anders in the title role, her sole film performance. In 1962, Murray portrayed the top hat wearing, cigar chewing, drunken Doc Willoughby in John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance starring John Wayne and James Stewart, arguably his most memorable screen role. Paired off for most of the picture with Edmond O'Brien as an alcoholic newspaper editor, he drunkenly rolls over the gunshot corpse of villain Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) with his boot, looks around off-handedly, and says "Dead" to the surrounding crowd of euphoric Mexicans. In 1964, Murray played Whipsaw, the operator of a stagecoach depot in the episode "Little Cayuse" of the television series Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews. He and his partner take in a Cayuse orphan (Larry Domasin), who demonstrates his loyalty to the men during an Indian attack. In 1965, Murray played a THRUSH financier and owner of a caribbean casino in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. In 1966, Murray was cast as Melody Murphy in the Walt Disney film Follow Me, Boys! starring Fred MacMurray, Vera Miles and Kurt Russell.

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Jul 14, 1903 In New York City, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Half Marriage 1929-10-12
Latest Project:
Movie Wheelman 2017-10-20
Known For
Poster of The Power
Poster of Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre
Poster of What's My Line?
Poster of The Ed Sullivan Show
Movie Wheelman Passerby 2017-10-20
Movie Frank Capra's American Dream 1997-01-01
Movie The Power Grover 1968-02-21
Movie Follow Me, Boys! Melody Murphy 1966-12-01
Movie Hollywood My Home Town Himself 1965-12-31
Series The Bing Crosby Show Unknown 1964-09-14
Series The Hollywood Palace Unknown 1964-01-04
Movie Son of Flubber Mr. Hurley 1963-01-16
Movie Hollywood Without Make-Up Host 1963-07-01
Series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Unknown 1963-10-04
Series Burke's Law Unknown 1963-09-20
Series The Greatest Show on Earth Unknown 1963-09-17
Movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Doc Willoughby 1962-04-15
Movie The Marshal's Daughter 'Smiling Billy' Murray 1953-06-25
Series This Is Your Life Unknown 1952-10-01
Series The Ken Murray Show 1950-01-07
Series What's My Line? Self - Mystery Guest 1950-02-02
Movie Red Light Ken Murray 1949-09-30
Movie Bill and Coo Ken Murray 1948-03-28
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie Peeks at Hollywood 1946-01-26
Movie Juke Box Jenny Malcolm Hammond 1942-03-27
Movie Swing It Soldier Jerry Traynor 1941-11-07
Movie Swing, Sister, Swing Nap Sisler 1938-12-16
Movie You're a Sweetheart Don King 1937-12-26
Movie Disgraced! Jim McGuire 1933-07-07
Movie From Headquarters Mac 1933-11-06
Movie Ladies of the Jury Spencer B. Dazy 1932-02-02
Movie Crooner Peter Sturgis 1932-08-20
Movie Leathernecking Frank 1930-09-12
Movie Half Marriage Charles Turner 1929-10-12