In just the last couple of months, we’ve read about Bill Murray reading poetry to construction workers and tending bar in Texas. Here, in honor of his limitless and abiding cool, we run down our 10 favorite of the great man’s movie roles.
Best not to go into detail about Murray’s much-ballyhooed appearance in this 2009 tale of the undead. (Although, if you’ve seen the movie already or just really enjoy spoilers, you can read our interview with director Ruben Fleischer where he explains the cameo.) Suffice to say, it’s killer.
9. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Well, the movie ain’t perfect. But there’s no one we’d rather see as Zissou, the eccentric maritime expert.
8. Broken Flowers
We just wish more people saw Jim Jarmusch’s quiet character study of a tracksuit-clad Murray catching up with his past lovers. If you haven’t seen it yet, get ye hither.
7. What About Bob
As our man has evolved into Subdued Bill, playing characters of extreme nuance, it is easy to forget that he was once a broad comic actor. Here he is as Gonzo Bill.
This class-clown-of-the-armed-services role was, in a way, a template for Murray’s on-screen persona in years to come—he plays unconventional leaders, alternative-Alpha males who disarm the world with vision and humor, as opposed to conventional good looks and charm.