George Murphy

George Murphy

Infobox Senator | name=George Lloyd Murphy

jr/sr=United States Senator
term=January 1, 1965January 3, 1971
preceded=Pierre Salinger
succeeded=John V. Tunney
birthdate = birth date|1902|7|4|mf=y
birthplace= New Haven, Connecticut
deathdate = death date and age|1992|5|3|1902|7|4
deathplace= Palm Beach, Florida
spouse=Julie Johnson
profession=actor, dancer
religion=Roman Catholic

George Lloyd Murphy (July 4, 1902May 3, 1992) was an American dancer, actor, and politician.

He was born in New Haven, Connecticut of Irish Catholic extraction, and attended Yale University. He worked as a tool maker for the Ford Motor Company, as a miner, a real estate agent, and a night club dancer.

In 1927 he appeared on Broadway, partnering with his wife Julie Johnson as a dance act. When Johnson decided to retire from show business in 1935, Murphy moved the family to Hollywood, appearing in several musicals and comedies until 1952, notably among these were the Broadway Melody movies of 1938 and 1940. During World War II he appeared in several patriotic films designed to increase morale in the U.S., including the 1943 movie "This Is the Army" in which he plays a thinly fictionalized version of Irving Berlin.

He was the president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1944 to 1946. He was a vice president of Desilu Studios and of the Technicolor Corporation. He was director of entertainment for presidential inaugurations in 1952, 1956 and 1960.

In the 1950s, Murphy entered politics as chairman of the California Republican State Central Committee. In 1964 he was elected to the United States Senate; he defeated Pierre Salinger, who had been appointed several months earlier to serve the remainder of the late Clair Engle's unexpired term. Murphy served from January 1, 1965 to January 3, 1971. In 1968, he served as the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Murphy assumed his seat two days early, when Salinger resigned from the seat in order to allow Murphy to gain an edge in seniority. Murphy was then appointed by Gov. Pat Brown to serve the remaining two days of Salinger's term. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1970, and subsequently moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where he died at the age of 89 from leukemia.

During his Senate term, Murphy suffered from throat cancer, forcing him to have his larynx removed. He was unable to speak above a whisper for the rest of his life.

Tom Lehrer Satire

George Murphy was the subject of a song by satirist Tom Lehrer celebrating his appointment in which Lehrer declared in mock vaudeville style: "Oh, gee it's great, at last we've got a senator who can really sing and dance." Lehrer also alluded sarcastically to an infamous remark Murphy once made during a debate about the bracero program that granted temporary work visas to Mexican migrant farmhands:

"Should Americans pick crops?
George says no;
'Cuz no one but a Mexican would stoop so low.
And after all, even in Egypt, the Pharaohs
Had to import—Hebrew" braceros.

Murphy had stated that Mexicans were genetically suited to farm labor; because they were "built lower to the ground", it was supposedly "easier for them to stoop". Oddly, some years earlier, in 1949, Murphy himself had starred next to Mexican actor Ricardo Montalban in the film "Border Incident", which cast the exploitation of the braceros in a negative light.

Murphy's move from the screen to politics paved the way for the successful transitions of actors such as Ronald Reagan and later Arnold Schwarzenegger. Indeed, Reagan's nascent rise was also pondered by an incredulous Lehrer, in the opening lines of the same 1965 song:

"Hollywood's often tried to mix
Show business with politics.
From Helen Gahagan
To. . . " Ronald Reagan ?

This connection is also referred to by folk singer Phil Ochs on the track "Ringing of Revolution", when Ochs describes a fictional film based on that song, and Murphy is played by Reagan.

Not surprisingly, Ronald Reagan once famously referred to George Murphy as " John the Baptist" (in a political sense).


* "Walk East on Beacon" (1952)
* "Talk About a Stranger" (1952)
* "Border Incident" (1949)
* "Battleground" (1949)
* "Tenth Avenue Angel" (1948)
* "The Arnelo Affair" (1947)
* "Cynthia" (1947)
* "Up Goes Maisie" (1946)
* "Having a Wonderful Crime" (1945)
* "Show Business" (1944)
* "Step Lively" (1944)
* "Broadway Rhythm" (1944)
* "Bataan" (1943)
* "This Is the Army" (1943)
* "For Me and My Gal" (1942)
* "The Navy Comes Through" (1942)
* "The Mayor of 44th Street" (1942)
* "A Girl, A Guy and A Gob" (1941)
* "Tom, Dick and Harry" (1941)
* "Ringside Maisie" (1941)
* "A Girl, a Guy and a Gob" (1940)
* "Broadway Melody of 1940" (1940)
* "Little Nellie Kelly" (1940)
* "Public Deb No. 1" (1940)
* "Two Girls on Broadway" (1940)
* "Letter of Introduction" (1938)
* "Little Miss Broadway" (1938)
* "Everybody Sing/Little Nellie Kelly" (1938)
* "Hold That Co-ed" (1938)
* "Broadway Melody of 1938" (1937)
* "Top of the Town" (1937)
* "The Women Men Marry" (1937)
* " [ London by Night] " (1937)
* "You're a Sweetheart" (1937)
* " After The Dance" (1935)
* "Kid Millions" (1934)
* "The Eddie Cantor Giftset Collection" (1930)

External links


U.S. Senator box
before=Pierre E. G. Salinger
after=John V. Tunney
alongside=Thomas H. Kuchel, Alan Cranston
succession box
title = Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee
years = 1967 – 1969
before = Thruston B. Morton
after = John G. Tower


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • George Murphy — Nombre real George Lloyd Murphy Nacimiento 4 de julio de 1902 New Haven (Connecticut), Estados Unidos Fallecimiento 3 de mayo de 1992 …   Wikipedia Español

  • George Murphy — George Lloyd Murphy (* 4. Juli 1902 in New Haven, Connecticut; † 3. Mai 1992 in Palm Beach, Florida) war ein US amerikanischer Film und Theaterschauspieler sowie Politiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • George Murphy — Données clés Nom de naissance George Lloyd Murphy Naissance 4 juillet 1902 …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Murphy, George Lloyd — ▪ American actor and politician born July 4, 1902, New Haven, Conn., U.S. died May 3, 1992, Palm Beach, Fla.  American actor and politician who was remembered as an amiable song and dance man in a succession of Hollywood musicals in the 1930s and …   Universalium

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