Don Murray Parents: Meet Ethel Murray, Dennis Aloisius


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Donald Patrick Murray, the acclaimed American actor celebrated for his breakout role in the film “Bus Stop,” not only left an indelible mark on the silver screen but also carried with him a rich legacy shaped by his parents, Dennis Aloisius Murray and Ethel Murray


Born on July 31, 1929, in Los Angeles, Donald Patrick Murray was the second of three children, a testament to the love shared between his Broadway dance director and stage manager father, Dennis Aloisius Murray, and his mother, Ethel Murray, a former Ziegfeld Follies performer.

From the vibrant world of Broadway to the glamorous allure of the Ziegfeld Follies, Donald Patrick Murray’s upbringing was steeped in the performing arts, setting the stage for his own illustrious career.

Deeply rooted in his convictions, Murray, a member of the Brethren Church, registered as a conscientious objector during the Korean War. In an era when young American men faced the draft into the armed forces, Murray chose an alternative path.

He dedicated his service to helping orphans and war casualties in Europe, embodying compassion and a commitment to making a positive impact on the world. Returning to the United States in 1954, Donald Patrick Murray resumed his pursuit of acting.


Courtesy Everett Collection

His Broadway debut in the play “The Rose Tattoo” (1951), where he portrayed Jack Hunter, marked the beginning of a journey that would lead him to the heights of Hollywood.

In 1956, Murray’s performance in the stage version of “The Skin of Our Teeth” alongside Mary Martin caught the eye of director Joshua Logan. This fortuitous encounter led to Murray’s casting in the film adaptation of William Inge’s play, “Bus Stop,” produced by 20th Century Fox.

The film showcased Murray’s exceptional talent and earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, a momentous achievement in his storied career.

On February 2, 2024, at the age of 94, Donald Patrick Murray bid farewell to the world. As we remember this cinematic luminary, we also celebrate the influences that shaped him – the love of his parents, the ethos of his upbringing, and the dedication to service that defined his character.


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