Tony Nominee Brian Murray Passes Away at 80
Acclaimed actor and director Brian Murray, who worked extensively on and off Broadway for more than fifty years, passed away last night from natural causes at the age of 80. Born in South Africa, Mr. Murray came to New York in 1964 with the Royal Shakespeare Company's touring production of King Lear starring Paul Scofield. The following year, he made his Broadway debut in All in Good Time. He was nominated for three Tony Awards, including for best featured actor in both Tom Stoppard's classic Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Arthur Miller's The Crucible. In 1977, he appeared in the highly acclaimed MTC/Public Theater production of Ashes, then the next year in the celebrated Broadway production of Da. Mr. Murray won two Drama Desk Awards for Noises Off in 1984 and The Little Foxes in 1997. His directing credits include Hay Fever with Rosemary Harris, Blithe Spirit with Geraldine Paige, and Waltz of the Toreadors with Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson. He received the Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding body of work in 1998 and, in 2004, was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. He is perhaps best known for his work with acclaimed actor Marian Seldes, a beloved friend and collaborator.
In addition to a robust career on stage, Brian Murray appeared in succesful films like The League of Gentlemen and in television shows like 30 Rock. With Yuri Rasovsky's award-winning National Radio Theater, he performed in radio drama versions of A Tale of Two Cities, The Tempest and Uncle Vanya.
Most recently, he appeared on Broadway in The Importance of Being Earnest with Brian Bedford (a lifelong friend) andMary Stuart with Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter.He was last seen on stage at the Lynn Redgrave Theater in 2016. The play was Simon Says. Brian Murray always said the theater has a way of saving your life - when it's really good, it's like God is whispering in your ear.
A memorial service for Brian Murray is to be announced shortly.
Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy