5 Eddie Murphy Movie Roles That Proves He Isn’t Just Your Ordinary Comedian

If you ask any standup comedy fan to list their favorite comedians in history, more than 90% would have Eddie Murphy firmly lodged somewhere around the top ten. Comedy Central certainly does; the network places him at number 10 on its list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All-Time list. While Eddie Murphy is well respected for his work in standup, it is his work onscreen, playing different roles that made him a household name.

He has appeared in more than 60 films, several of which are classics of the comedy genre. From Beverly Hills Cop series to The Nutty Professor, he has shaped generations with his work as a comic actor. Below, we took a look at five acting roles that prove he isn’t just your ordinary comedian.

1. Reggie Hammond in 48 Hrs

48 Hrs

At the age of 21, Eddie Murphy would have been forgiven for an average or lousy performance when he made his debut in 48 Hrs. However, Eddie went on to deliver one of the best performances of his entire career in the action-comedy film, which is often considered the first “buddy cop” film made.

Playing the role of Reggie Hammond, a convict, alongside Nick Nolte’s Jack Cates, Eddie Murphy stood out like a veteran of the big screen. He delivered a performance that is considered today to be a standard of the action-comedy genre. It is even more impressive when you consider that his role was initially supposed to be played by Richard Pryor, a man who is arguably considered the greatest comic of all time.

2. Donkey in Shrek

Eddy Murphy Movie Roles

The concept of a talking animal in animation is not exactly a new idea, and it carries an embedded hilarity. However, only Eddie Murphy could elevate the gag into one of the best voice acting comedy performances of all time with his work in the animated movie series, Shrek.

His role as Donkey, an annoying fast-talking donkey, was nothing short of genius. It is no wonder that despite playing the supporting role in the Shrek series, many fans of the series point to his character as their favorite.

Moreso, it wasn’t just fans who found his performance in the film exceptional, so did critics and award bodies. He earned a BAFTA Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, another from Saturn Awards, Annie Awards, MTV Movie + TV Awards, and more.

READ   Adam Sandler - Net Worth in 2020, Wife & Family Members

3. Billy Ray Valentine in Trading Places

Trading Places

It is one thing to deliver a masterclass as a comedic actor in your first-ever onscreen role; it is another to do so in your first two films. Eddie Murphy did that with his role as Billy Ray Valentine in Trading Places, his second movie role.

His character, Billy Ray, was a hustler who became rich off the scheming antics of two brokers. The film was an exercise in how a stand-up comedian can fully transition their comedic timing, acting ability, and space awareness onscreen, and Eddie scored a perfect mark.

The film not only became the second successful film of his career in as many attempts but solidified him as a movie star. He won a Golden Globe nomination and an Image Awards nomination for his performance.

4. Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills Cop was released in the same year the cult classic; Ghostbusters was released. Beverly Hills Cop outgrossed Ghostbusters at the box office, all thanks to the performance of Eddie Murphy. He delivered a performance worthy of the reputation he had cemented over the course of his first two movies.

Playing the cop, Axel Foley, Eddie Murphy gave an exciting performance worthy of the role of a man seeking revenge. It was the first role outside the more relaxed and comedic characters in his first two films. His performance cemented his ability to take on a meatier role. Unfortunately, one cannot say the same of his performances in the sequels that followed.

See Also: How Eddie Murphy Achieved a Net Worth of Over $100 Million 

5. James ‘Thunder’ Early in Dreamgirls

Eddy Murphy movie roles

Dreamgirls was one of the successful roles in the middle years of Eddie Murphy’s career. The film, which was about three black female singers in the 1960s, saw Eddie play the role of James ‘Thunder’ Early as one of the key supporting actors.

His performance in the role was exemplary and a reminder of how great he was in his early years. And if the audience felt he was remarkable while he shared scenes with Jamie Foxx and Beyonce, so did the Academy Awards, who gave him his only nomination to date.

An Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor is not something you expect from a standup comedian. But, it is just one of the many reasons that prove Eddie Murphy isn’t just your ordinary comedian.

Adeola Seun
Adeola Seun
Seun is a CCNA certified graduate of FUTA. He has been writing on various subjects that include finance, economics, celebrity net worth, lifestyle, biographies and politics for over 7 years, Other than writing, he enjoys movies, video games, and sports

Recommended

18 Richest Black Billionaires and Their Net Worth

In recent times, many black people have been making the list of richest billionaires in the world as they have gathered a net worth...

What is Wale’s Net Worth and Who is The Current Girlfriend or Is He Married?

Wale is an American rapper of Nigerian descent. He first rose to prominence in his hometown of Washington DC in 2006 with the song...

The Untold Truth Of Bo Jackson – His Net Worth, Injury Stats and Family Details

Bo Jackson is a retired American professional baseball and football player. Regarded by many as the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) in his chosen sport,...

Interesting Details About Cooper Kupp And His Wife Anna Croskrey

A common inspirational quote says, aim the moon so that even if you fall, you will land on the stars. If there is one...

All About Deshaun Watson’s Career and the Mia Khalifa Scandal

Watson has become one of the fast-rising quarterbacks in the National Football League (NFL), all thanks to his excellent skills and resilience while in...

The Big Deal About Stan Kroenke’s Net Worth And His Wife Ann Walton of Nearly 50 Years

By the start of 2020, the world had less than 2500 billionaires. Among that group of the world's richest is Stan Kroenke; an American...

Revealing Truths About Jimmy Kimmel’s Net Worth, Wife And Kids

If you don't know Jimmy Kimmel, you are either not of this world - yeah, you are an extraterrestrial being - or one of...

We Bet You Didn’t Know These Things About Aqib Talib

There were only a handful of football players one could count on for a successful performance at the end of every game and Aqib...

The Big Deal About Ndamukong Suh’s Career and Details Of His Partner Katya Leick

The American football player Ndamukong Ngwa Suh, who is better known as just Ndamukong Suh, is one of the playmakers in the defensive position...

What We Know About Anthony Jeselnik’s Net Worth and How He Makes His Money

In an era where comedians have to be careful with what they say, lest they offend some people and get cancelled, Anthony Jeselnik is...

Alex Becker Net Worth and Details of How He Built His Multi Million Dollar Companies

Alex Becker is one fellow who evenly divides opinion wherever he goes. While some have hailed him as a digital marketing guru who gives...

Featured Today

What Is Wrong With Barron Trump, Is He Really Autistic? Where Is He Now?

Autism is prevalent and can affect people of all ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups. The disorder, which limits a person's ability to relate and...

Shimon Prokupecz’ Career Until CNN and Fun Facts About His Sexuality

Shimon Prokupecz may be one of CNN’s most promising Justice Reporters today, but he did not start that way. The American journalist, like many...

Who Is Michelle Moyer? All You Should Know About Dennis Rodman’s Ex-Wife

Does the name Michelle Moyer ring a bell? If it doesn’t, then you’d certainly remember husband Dennis Rodman who is a former NBA player...

Nurdian Cuaca – Bio, Kids & Facts About Jamie Chua’s Ex-Husband

Nurdian Cuaca is an Indonesian businessman who is renowned for his immense wealth and penchant for business. He is reported to have chains of...

18 Richest Black Billionaires and Their Net Worth

In recent times, many black people have been making the list of richest billionaires in the world as they have gathered a net worth...

Related Stories