Few actors can brighten your day just by showing up in a bit part, but comedy legend Bill Murray is surely one of them. Murray exudes a casual eccentricity and a "take-it-or-leave-it" attitude toward acting, so it's not surprising that his choice of cameos is unpredictable. This, of course, only adds to his aura - he could pop up in almost anything, and when he does, you're likely to get a kick out of it.
Here's a list of the most delightful Bill Murray cameos in movies and TV.
- Photo: Columbia Pictures
If you haven't had the chance to see Zombieland, you're missing one of the best Bill Murray cameos ever. In fact, it might be one of the best cameos by any celebrity in any movie.
Even though it was a last-minute casting addition, Murray owns the scene, playing himself. The main characters arrive at his mansion to seek shelter from the zombie apocalypse and are surprised to find out who the owner is. No one could have pulled off the repeated, dramatic demises that Murray's character goes through. The good news is, he reprises his role in Zombieland 2.527Was Bill a sight for sore eyes?
- Photo: Warner Bros.
When Murray was cast as a masochistic patient of Orin Scrivello, the sadistic dentist played by Steve Martin, he had a suggestion. Murray wanted to go off-script and ad-lib the entire scene. In lesser hands, this might have been a bad idea; but with two comedy pros like Martin and Murray, it paid off.
Murray improvised different dialogue in every take, giving director Harold Ramis plenty of cutting-room options.4210Was Bill a sight for sore eyes?
- Photo: NBC
Fans of Parks and Recreation went for years wondering exactly who Mayor Gunderson was. Imagine everyone's surprise when Bill Murray turned up in the role. This mystery mayor is first talked about in Season 2, but not actually seen until Season 7 - after his passing.
Gunderson, who is also Ethel Beavers’s secret lover, has passed and filmed a video message to be played at his memorial service. Murray nails the cameo, even though he spends most of the time in a coffin.3210Was Bill a sight for sore eyes?
Ghostbusters (2016)Photo: Sony Pictures
It seems like almost every classic movie is being remade or rebooted these days; 1984's Ghostbusters wasn't exempt from the trend.
Murray, a star of the original, was asked to appear in the 2016 update; he took a long time to decide whether to do it:
I thought about it for a very long time. Like, many, many months. No, that’s not right. I was seriously thinking about this for years, really … It kept eating at me, and I really respect those girls. And then I started to feel like if I didn’t do this movie, maybe somebody would write a bad review or something, thinking there was some sort of disapproval [on my part].2811Was Bill a sight for sore eyes?