Who is Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy

Life & Work

American film actor. Highly decorated US soldier of the Second World War and a real war hero, Audie Murphy was one of the B-movie heroes of the 1950s and played the outlaw, rancher, sheriff or soldier in around 40 westerns for Universal. He played Billy the Kid and Jesse James. A delightful contrast was created by Murphy's youthful appearance (“I always looked 15 years younger than in reality”) on the one hand and his courageous behavior on the other. Murphy was criticized by critics for lack of talent for being into method acting. Today his representations appear natural, realistic and with the ironic understatement that results from Murphy's innate shyness.

Audie Leon Murphy was born in 1924 as the son of poor cotton pickers in Texas and wanted to join the military at an early age, but was turned away because of his youth. When he was engaged in 1942, he was commanded to the European theater of war, where he fought for three years. Including European medals, it has been decorated 33 times, including the highest honor ever, the Congress Medal of Honor. Murphy's confirmed exploits include boarding a burning armored car, from which he smeared attacking opponents with the machine gun. In 1949 Murphy wrote his autobiography "To Hell and Back", which was filmed with him in the lead role in 1955: The war film "To Hell and Back" held the US box office record until 1976 and was only replaced by "Jaws".

After the war Murphy worked as a contract actor with Universal, was an ideal Billy the Kid in "The Kid from Texas" (1950) and shone as a soldier who overcomes his fear in the civil war west "The Red Medal for Bravery" (1951). John Huston's film, which suffered a bad star due to production difficulties, is now a classic. Murphy's westerns include “Escape from Death” (1952), “Destry cleans up” (1954; remake of the western comedy “The Great Bluff”, 1939), “The Fort of Courageous Women” (1954), “The Clock Has Expired ”(1957, as James Stewart's younger brother),“ The bullet had no name ”and“ The White Devil of Arkansas ”(1958),“ Who will not be forgiven ”(1960, by Huston) and“ Rifles to the Apaches -Pass "(1967). His last film and the last western from director Budd Boetticher was "Time to Die" (1969), where Murphy plays the aged Jesse James, whom he played as a young outlaw in 1950 in Kansas Raiders.

In addition to westerns, Murphy has been in adventure films (Don Siegel's "Dash through the Bill," 1958, remake of Howard Hawks' Bogart-Bacall film, "To have and not to have," 1944) and in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's political thriller, "Four Pipes of Opium" (1957; remake 2003 with Michael Caine as "The Silent American"), where his unpretentiously laconic manner of presentation is pleasantly noticeable.

Murphy was married to actress Wanda Hendrix in 1949/1950, who reported post-traumatic stress, nightmares and the Colt 45 under the pillow. From 1951 until his death, Murphy was married to Pamela Archer, with whom he had two sons. As a rancher in Texas, Arizona, and California, Murphy went bankrupt in 1968. He campaigned for the concerns of those returning from the Vietnam War. Murphy died in a plane crash in Virginia in 1971 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His grave is one of the most visited memorials after that of President John F. Kennedy.

films and series

Videos and pictures

Often searched together