Ben Murphy

Active - 1968 - 2010  |   Born - Mar 6, 1942 in Jonesboro, Arkansas  |   Genres - Action, Drama, Adventure, Western, War

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Born in Arkansas and raised in Memphis and Chicago, American actor Ben Murphy worked his way through college by driving a pie truck. Eventually he'd attend eight colleges, from the University of Illinois to the University of the Americas in Mexico City, where by his own admission his sole interests were acting and womanizing. A stint at the Pasadena Playhouse led to Murphy's first film role, a one line bit in The Graduate (1967). He was signed to a Universal contract in 1967, appearing in several of the studios' series, including as a semiregular hitch on The Name of the Game. When a midseason cancellation on ABC in 1970 required Universal to come up with a quickie replacement, the studio slapped together a derivation of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid titled Alias Smith and Jones, with Ben Murphy and Pete Deuel in the leads. Much was made at the time of Murphy's resemblance to Paul Newman (one of the stars of Butch Cassidy), though everyone involved with Alias Smith and Jones pooh-poohed the idea that Murphy's looks alone won him the part. After Smith and Jones left the air, Murphy tried his luck with feature films, with results ranging from the tolerable to the tepid: Heat Wave (1974), Sidecar Racers (1975) and Time Walker (1982) were typical titles in the Murphy manifest. He periodically returned to television, where work was more satisfying if not more secure. Ben Murphy was a regular on a whole slew of short-lived TV weeklies, including Griff (1973), The Gemini Man (1976) (for which Murphy dropped several pounds and, it is said, his highly abrasive attitude), The Chisholms (1979), The Winds of War (1983), Lottery$ (1984), Berrenger's (1985), and Dirty Dozen: The Series (1988).

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