Stage actor and director Brian Murray, who arrived in New York in 1964 with the Royal Shakespeare Company touring production of King Lear and would go on to earn three Tony Award nominations, died yesterday. He was 80.
His death was announced by a spokesperson, who attributed the death to natural causes.
An acclaimed stage actor for more than 50 years, Murray most recently appeared on Broadway in The Importance of Being Earnest with his lifelong friend Brian Bedford, Mary Stuart, Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter. His final stage credit was 2016’s Simon Says at the Lynn Redgrave Theater in 2016.
Murray made his Broadway debut in 1965 with All in Good Time. His Tony-nominated roles were in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1968), Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes (1997) and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (2002).
His other notable stage credits, among many were 1977’s MTC/Public Theater production of Ashes, and 1978’s Broadway production of Da. He won two Drama Desk Awards for Noises Off in 1984 and The Little Foxes in 1997.
In addition to performing, Murray was a director, with credits including Hay Fever with Rosemary Harris, Blithe Spirit with Geraldine Paige, and Waltz of the Toreadors with Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson.
In 1998, Murray received the Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding body of work, and in 2004 he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
On film, Murray appeared in The League of Gentlemen (1960) and on TV played the father of Alec Baldwin’s Jack on 30 Rock. His radio drama performances included acclaimed productions of National Radio Theater’s A Tale of Two Cities, The Tempest and Uncle Vanya.
Murray once said of the theater, “When it’s really good, it’s like God is whispering in your ear.”
A memorial service for Brian Murray is to be announced shortly.