Ken Murray

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ken Murray (real name: Kenneth Doncourt ; born July 14, 1903 in New York City , † October 12, 1988 in Burbank , California) was an American entertainer , actor and author .

life and career

Murray was born Kenneth Doncourt on July 14, 1903. Murray stated in his autobiography, Life on a Pogo Stick , that he later changed his name so that he could pursue his career without being influenced by his father's celebrity, who was a well-known vaudeville artist in New York . Murray learned self-taught and was successful as an entertainer himself in the last years of vaudeville.

At first he started making films as a hobby after getting a 16 mm home movie camera. As he became increasingly popular in Hollywood , he made home movies with famous movie stars. From the mid-1930s, Columbia Pictures used his footage for the Screen Snapshots series , and the images are still used in documentaries and retrospectives today.

From 1942 onwards, Murray became more and more popular with his stage show Blackouts , which ran at the El Capitan Theater on Vine Street in Hollywood. The show was a wild mix of humor, music and well-built young starlets. It was one of the hottest shows at the time of World War II. Murray received a 1947 Special Academy Award for "novel and entertaining use of the medium". From 1945 to 1957 he hosted the radio show Queen for a Day . From 1950 onwards, Murray hosted the television show The Ken Murray Show , which ran until 1953. He also worked in a few shows in Las Vegas in the 1950s and also managed to play a few film and television roles as an actor. He made his best-known film appearance in 1962 in the role of Doc Willoughby in the film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance .

In 1960 his autobiography Life on a Pogo Stick was published . In 1979, many of his home movies were re-released in the anthology of Ken Murray's Shooting Stars . Murray has been married three times and has three children. He died on October 12, 1988 at the age of 85 in Burbank, California. For his work in the radio business, Murray was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame .


Movie compilations

  • 1948: Bill and Coo
  • 1963: Hollywood Without Makeup
  • 1965: Hollywood, My Home Town
  • 1979: Ken Murray's Shooting Stars


  • Foolin 'around (1932)
  • Ken Murray's "Blackouts of 1943" (1943)
  • Ken Murray's "Blackouts of 1947" (1947)
  • Hellions' Hole (1953)
  • Hellion's Hole / Feud In Piney Flats (1953)
  • Ken Murray's Giant Joke Book (1954)
  • Life on a Pogo Stick: Autobiography of a Comedian (1960)
  • The Golden Days of San Simeon (1971)
  • The Body Merchant: The Story of Earl Carroll (1976)

Web links