Just like the Loch Ness monster, Bill Murray is a rarely seen creature, who prefers to hide away from the public in Scotland. While Nessie hides at the bottom of Loch Ness, Bill Murray is working on his short game at the best golf courses in the Highlands. The difference, of course, is that Nessie doesn’t actually exist, and we know Bill Murray exists because he has given us an unparalleled cinematic body of work.
Bill Murray shines in practically every role he’s taken on, whether memorable cameos in films like Ed Wood and Tootsie, starring roles in mainstream comedies like Ghostbusters, Stripes and Groundhog Day and impressive indie films like Lost in Translation and Broken Flowers or his regular spot in the many masterpieces of Wes Anderson. Heck, Murray even gave a fine performance as the voice of Garfield the cat.
While he often stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries in the talent department, he does differ in one significant way: Bill Murray is not your typical Hollywood star. In fact, he doesn’t even have an agent. He reads scripts given directly to him, and to say he’s a bit of a recluse would be an understatement. Bill Murray has even had some choice words about being famous. “I always want to say to people who want to be rich and famous: ‘try being rich first’. See if that doesn’t cover most of it. There’s not much downside to being rich, other than paying taxes and having your relatives ask you for money. But when you become famous, you end up with a 24-hour job,” Murray warns us.
However, when Bill Murray does go out in public it’s often by himself, and thanks to his defiantly down-to-earth nature he has had plenty of strange, bizarre and wonderful encounters with everyday citizens who are not only shocked to see the superstar, but also sometimes even left dumbfounded and staring at the legend with an unbridled sense of awe. He seems to pop up in the least expected places, and his real-life cameos have become something of an internet sensation. Here, we’ve taken a look back at 16 of the strangest of these Bill Murray sightings.
16. Bill crashes couple’s engagement photo shoot
Earlier this year Bill Murray surprised a bride and groom to be by walking right into the middle of the shoot for their engagement photos. In epic photo bomb fashion, Murray was standing behind the couple with his shirt up as he slapped his belly. The couple couldn’t keep it together. Murray agreed to pose for a few less silly photos, and then he walked away leaving awe in his wake, as usual.
15. Bill Murray celebrates his birthday in South Carolina
In September, Bill Murray fan Marvin Larry Reynolds invited Murray to come over to his place and celebrate their birthdays together as Murray would be turning 64 just a week later on Sept 21. Murray, who owns a house in Charleston, South Carolina, didn’t just show up, but he ended up dancing to Lil Wayne’s “Turn Down for What.”
14. Bill Murray sings karaoke
Singing karaoke with Bill Murray would be a dream come true for most fans, and that’s exactly what happened in 2011. A Bill Murray fan spotted the Ghostbusters star at a karaoke bar in New York called Karaoke One 7. The fan invited Murray to join his group and about 15 minutes later Murray knocked on the door of the Karaoke room the fan and his friends were in.
Murray and his girlfriend joined the group to sing French songs, and the lucky Bill Murray fan got to sing a duet of the Elvis song “Marie’s the Name” with Murray. Murray even bought the crew a round of drinks – French liqueur Chartreuse to be exact.
13. Bill Murray acts as bartender at South by Southwest
In 2010, during the South by Southwest festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, Murray was partying at an Austin bar called Shangri-La, with members of the Wu-Tang Clan no less. He decided to get behind the bar and show off his drink making ability. When customers came up to order a drink he would give them a shot of tequila, no matter what kind of drink they ordered. Classic Bill Murray.
12. Bill Murray reads poetry to construction workers
In 2010, Bill Murray made an impromptu visit to the construction site of the Poet’s House in Manhattan. He read some of his favorite poems to the construction crew working there at the time. The construction workers were treated to Murray’s renditions of “Poet’s Work” by Lorine Niedecker and “I Dwell in Possibility” by Emily Dickinson, and of course they also got a taste of Murray’s trademark humor.
11. Murray crashes bachelor party, and he offers words of wisdom
Bill Murray may be twice divorced and a bachelor most of his life, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take his marriage advice. On Memorial Day earlier this year he crashed a bachelor party at a steakhouse in South Carolina and gave some words of wisdom. Murray said to travel around the world with the one you love, go to places that are not easy to get in and out off, and if you still love each other after all that then get married at the airport as soon as you arrive home.
10. Bill Murray steals a French fry
This one may be an urban legend, but we’d like to believe it’s true. The story goes that someone saw Bill Murray at a McDonald’s. Bill Murray stole one of his fries, gave him a look and said: “no one will believe you” and walked away into the night…
9. An autograph isn’t good enough
Instead of signing an autograph for a fan, Murray gave him a much more personal gift. He filmed a fake movie trailer with the fan complete with an epic slow motion walk. The fake trailer has a very distinct Wes Anderson feel to it.
8. Bill Murray washes dishes in Scotland
When Murray was golfing in Scotland he stopped by a small town called St. Andrews where he ended up meeting a young Norwegian university student. She was enamoured with his wit and charm, so she invited him to go out partying. He ended up helping her wash her dishes.
7. Murray drives a golf cart around Sweden
After attending a golf tourney in Stockholm, Murray was found driving a golf cart on the street. He was dropping of passengers he had picked up along the way. Police ended up pulling Murray over suspecting that he was driving the golf cart drunk.
6. Fan gets hit in the face with Murray’s coke bottle
At a golf tournament in Utah, a fan was in the way of a coke bottle that Murray was tossing aside. The bottle hit the man and gave him a bloody nose. However, the spectator took the accident in stride, and Murray quipped that there weren’t any more beauty pageants in the fan’s future.
5. He acts as a ticket collector at a minor league baseball game
This summer Bill Murray showed he’s not above menial work as he acted as a ticket collector at a St. Paul Saints baseball game. Murray is a part owner of the minor league team. The team’s midway stadium was going to be demolished, so he showed up to say goodbye to the stadium that he watched games at for years.
4. Bill Murray joins a game of kickball
Bill Murray made a stop at Roosevelt Island in New York City to join in a game of kickball with some shocked and excited fans. He showed off his athletic skills and gave high fives to the players.
3. He shows up to the Bill Murray ice cream social
When the owner of CVT Soft Serve in Los Angeles wanted to acknowledge the awesomeness of Bill Murray, he decided to throw an ice cream social to celebrate the actor. Little did he know that Murray would actually show up and enjoy some ice cream with fans.
2. Bill Murray rocks out
Here’s another epic example of Bill Murray being spotted at SXSW. Rock band the Growlers enjoyed an uptick in fame when the legendary Bill Murray was filmed rocking out to their groovy sound at the 2010 SXSW festival.
1. Murray entertains baseball fans at a rain delay
During a rain delay at a Charleston RiverDogs game, another minor league baseball team Murray is a part owner of, he decided to take to the field and have a little fun. He ran around on the tarp and slid across it in a bout of joyful exuberance.