J. Harold Murray

Active - 1929 - 1930  |   Born - Feb 17, 1891 in South Berwick, ME  |   Died - Dec 11, 1940 in Killingworth, CT.  |   Genres - Musical

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Much in evidence during the first years of sound, Broadway baritone J. Harold Murray actually proved a bit too bombastic for the more intimate silver screen. Like so many of his colleagues, Murray seems to have performed for the farthest reaches of a Broadway theater and, like his co-star in the otherwise tuneful Married in Hollywood (1929), Norma Terris, his days in the Hollywood sun were numbered. Born Harry Roulon, the Maine native had made quite a splash in such Broadway extravaganzas as The Passing Show of 1921, Castles in the Air, and Rio Rita before making the inevitable switch to the new audible cinema. Signing with Fox, Murray starred as Prince Nicholai in the aforementioned Married in Hollywood, which came complete with an Oscar Strauss score and Technicolor. Unfortunately, the plot -- Balkan potentate falls for an American singer -- was played absolutely straight and the libretto quickly collapsed. Cameo Kirby, with Norma Terris once again co-starring, was equally ill-fated and derided by one critic as "unintentionally one of the most hilarious burlesques of Mississippi river fiction ever written." Terriss returned to Broadway, posthaste, but Murray joined the all-star cast of Happy Days and serenaded the equally high-spirited Fifi D'Orsay in yet another fruity operetta, Women Everywhere (1930), before leaving films for good.