Murray Hamilton
Murray Hamilton was an American stage, screen, and television actor who appeared in such memorable films as The Hustler
The Hustler (film)
The Hustler is a 1961 American drama film directed by Robert Rossen from the 1959 novel of the same name he and Sidney Carroll adapted for the screen...

, The Graduate
The Graduate
The Graduate is a 1967 American comedy-drama motion picture directed by Mike Nichols. It is based on the 1963 novel The Graduate by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams College. The screenplay was by Buck Henry, who makes a cameo appearance as a hotel clerk, and Calder...

and Jaws
Jaws (film)
Jaws is a 1975 American horror-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. In the story, the police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant man-eating great white shark by closing the beach,...


Early life

Born in Washington
Washington, North Carolina
Washington is a city in Beaufort County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 9,744 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Beaufort County. The closest major city is Greenville, approximately 20 miles to the west....

 in Beaufort County
Beaufort County, North Carolina
- Law and government :Beaufort County is a member of the Mid-East Commission regional council of governments.Beaufort County is one of the proposed sites for a Navy outlying landing field. This practice airfield would allow pilots to simulate landings on an aircraft carrier...

 in eastern North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, Hamilton displayed an early interest in performing during his days at Washington High School just before the outbreak of World War II. Bad hearing kept him from enlisting, so he moved to New York City as a 19-year-old to find a career on stage.

Notable roles

In an early role, he performed on stage with Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
Henry Jaynes Fonda was an American film and stage actor.Fonda made his mark early as a Broadway actor. He also appeared in 1938 in plays performed in White Plains, New York, with Joan Tompkins...

 in the classic wartime story Mister Roberts
Mister Roberts (play)
Mister Roberts is a 1948 play based on the 1946 Thomas Heggen novel of the same name.The novel began as a collection of short stories about Heggen's experiences aboard the USS Virgo in the South Pacific during World War II...

. In 1960, he was seen onstage again with Fonda in Critic's Choice
Critic's Choice (play)
Critic's Choice is a play written by Ira Levin.It opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on December 14, 1960 and ran for 189 performances, closing on May 27, 1961. Levin's inspiration was then-New York Herald Tribune drama critic Walter Kerr and his playwright wife Jean. Otto Preminger directed...

and was teamed once more with Fonda in 1968 for the gripping film drama The Boston Strangler
The Boston Strangler (film)
The Boston Strangler is a 1968 film based on the true story of the Boston Strangler and the book by Gerold Frank. It was directed by Richard Fleischer, and stars Tony Curtis as Albert DeSalvo, the strangler, and Henry Fonda as John S...


In 1955, Hamilton guest starred on the NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 legal drama
Legal drama
A legal drama is a work of dramatic fiction about crime and civil litigation. Subtypes of legal dramas include courtroom dramas and legal thrillers, and come in all forms, including novels, television shows, and films. Legal drama sometimes overlap with crime drama, most notably in the case of Law...

Justice (1954 TV series)
Justice is an NBC half-hour drama television series about attorneys of the Legal Aid Society of New York, which aired from April 8, 1954 to March 25, 1956. In the 1954-1955 season, Justice starred Dane Clark as Richard Adams and Gary Merrill as Jason Tyler. In the 1955-1956 season, William Prince...

based on case files of the Legal Aid Society of New York. In the 1959-1960 television season, Hamilton co-starred with William Demarest
William Demarest
Carl William Demarest was an American character actor. He frequently played crusty but good-hearted roles.-Early life and career:...

, Jeanne Bal
Jeanne Bal
Jeanne Bal was an American actress who worked primarily in 1960s television.-Career:...

, and Stubby Kaye
Stubby Kaye
Stubby Kaye was an American comic actor. He was born Bernard Kotzin in New York City on the last day of the First World War, at West 114th Street in the Morningside Heights section of Manhattan to first generation Jewish-Americans originally from Russia and Austria...

 in the NBC sitcom Love and Marriage
Love and Marriage (1959 TV series)
Love and Marriage is an American situation comedy which aired on NBC from September 21, 1959, to January 25, 1960, starring William Demarest.-Synopsis:...

. He played attorney
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 Steve Baker, who resides in an apartment with his wife (played by Bal), two daughters and father-in-law (portrayed by Demarest). The wife and her father worked for a failing music publishing company.

His most famous film performance is perhaps as the obdurate Amity Island mayor Larry Vaughn in the Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

 shark thriller Jaws
Jaws (film)
Jaws is a 1975 American horror-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. In the story, the police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant man-eating great white shark by closing the beach,...

. Hamilton also appeared in its sequel Jaws 2
Jaws 2
Jaws 2 is a 1978 thriller film and the first sequel to Steven Spielberg's Jaws , which is based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name...

and was signed on to reprise the role of Mayor Vaughn in a cameo for Jaws: The Revenge
Jaws: The Revenge
Jaws: The Revenge, Also known as, 'Jaws 4: The Revenge', is a 1987 thriller film directed by Joseph Sargent. It is the third sequel to Steven Spielberg's Jaws and the final installment of the series....

, but died before filming began.

Other notable big-screen appearances include the critically acclaimed 1959
1959 in film
The year 1959 in film involved some significant events, with Ben-Hur winning a record 11 Academy Awards.-Events:* The Three Stooges make their 190th and last short film, Sappy Bull Fighters....

 film Anatomy of a Murder
Anatomy of a Murder
Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom crime drama film. It was directed by Otto Preminger and adapted by Wendell Mayes from the best-selling novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver...

with James Stewart
James Stewart (actor)
James Maitland Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive voice and his everyman persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime...

, in which he played the bartender Al Pacquette from Thunder Bay, Michigan who gives testimony in the murder of Barney Quill. He worked again with Stewart in The FBI Story
The FBI Story
The FBI Story is a 1959 American drama film produced and directed by Mervyn LeRoy. The screenplay by Richard L. Breen and John Twist is based on a book by Don Whitehead.-Plot:...

(1959) and The Spirit of St. Louis
The Spirit of St. Louis (film)
The Spirit of St. Louis is a 1957 biographical film directed by Billy Wilder and starring James Stewart as Charles Lindbergh. The screenplay was adapted by Charles Lederer, Wendell Mayes, and Billy Wilder from Lindbergh's 1953 autobiographical account of his historic flight, which won the Pulitzer...


The following year, Hamilton made a memorable appearance on Rod Serling
Rod Serling
Rodman Edward "Rod" Serling was an American screenwriter, novelist, television producer, and narrator best known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone. Serling was active in politics, both on and off the screen and helped form...

's television series The Twilight Zone
The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series)
The Twilight Zone is an American anthology television series created by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964. The series consisted of unrelated episodes depicting paranormal, futuristic, dystopian, or simply disturbing events; each show typically featured a surprising...

, starring in the episode "One for the Angels
One for the Angels
"One for the Angels" is the second episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.-Plot summary:A salesman, Lou Bookman, is told by Death that he is to die at midnight. Mr...

", playing Mr. Death. In 1961, he appeared in another science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 series Way Out, hosted by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, fighter pilot and screenwriter.Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, he served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence agent, rising to the rank of Wing Commander...

, with fellow guest stars Doris Roberts
Doris Roberts
Doris Roberts is an American character actress of film, stage and television. She has received five Emmy Awards. She began her career in 1952, and may be best-known as Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond from 1996–2005....

 and Martin Huston
Martin Huston
Martin W. Huston, also known as Marty Huston , was an American actor of primarily television and stage....


Hamilton appeared in a Perry Mason
Perry Mason (TV series)
Perry Mason is an American legal drama produced by Paisano Productions that ran from September 1957 to May 1966 on CBS. The title character, portrayed by Raymond Burr, is a fictional Los Angeles defense attorney who originally appeared in detective fiction by Erle Stanley Gardner...

TV series episode "The Case of the Deadly Double" (air date March 1, 1958) as the shadowy boyfriend of a woman with a split personality whose brother was Mason's client on trial. It was one of dozens of TV guest appearances for the actor, whose much-later ones included the role of Big Daddy Hollingsworth, Blanche Deveraux's father, in a first season episode of The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls is an American sitcom created by Susan Harris, which originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. Starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, the show centers on four older women sharing a home in Miami, Florida...


While comic roles were sometimes hard to come by, the actor's early Hollywood career included a very funny one opposite Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
Andy Samuel Griffith is an American actor, director, producer, Grammy Award-winning Southern-gospel singer, and writer. He gained prominence in the starring role in director Elia Kazan's epic film A Face in the Crowd before he became better known for his television roles, playing the lead...

 in the 1958 military comedy No Time for Sergeants
No Time for Sergeants
No Time for Sergeants is a 1954 best-selling novel by Mac Hyman, which was later adapted into a teleplay on The United States Steel Hour, a popular Broadway play and 1958 motion picture, as well as a 1964 television series. The book chronicles the misadventures of a country bumpkin named Will...

. (Griffith) Will Stockdale is concerned about Irving Blanchard (Hamilton). Stockdale tells Ben Whitledge, (Nick Adams) "Irving, he had ROTC." Whitledge tells Stockdale. " ROTC is the Reserved Officers Training Corps of the US Army and not a disease."

Hamilton was more often cast in dramatic works, such as the stark science-fiction drama Seconds
Seconds (film)
Seconds is a 1966 American film starring Rock Hudson. Characterized sometimes as a science fiction thriller, but with elements of horror, neo-noir, psychedelia, and drama, it was directed by John Frankenheimer with a screenplay by Lewis John Carlino. The script was based on a novel by David Ely...

(1966), which starred Rock Hudson
Rock Hudson
Roy Harold Scherer, Jr., later Roy Harold Fitzgerald , known professionally as Rock Hudson, was an American film and television actor, recognized as a romantic leading man during the 1950s and 1960s, most notably in several romantic comedies with Doris Day.Hudson was voted "Star of the Year",...


In two of his most distinctive performances, Hamilton appeared with Paul Newman
Paul Newman
Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, professional racing driver and auto racing enthusiast...

 in The Hustler
The Hustler (film)
The Hustler is a 1961 American drama film directed by Robert Rossen from the 1959 novel of the same name he and Sidney Carroll adapted for the screen...

(1961), playing Findley, a wealthy billiards player who gambles for high stakes, (1965-1966) The Fugitive
The Fugitive (TV series)
The Fugitive is an American drama series produced by QM Productions and United Artists Television that aired on ABC from 1963 to 1967. David Janssen stars as Richard Kimble, a doctor from the fictional town of Stafford, Indiana, who is falsely convicted of his wife's murder and given the death...

and in The Graduate
The Graduate
The Graduate is a 1967 American comedy-drama motion picture directed by Mike Nichols. It is based on the 1963 novel The Graduate by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams College. The screenplay was by Buck Henry, who makes a cameo appearance as a hotel clerk, and Calder...

(1967) as Mr. Robinson, husband of Anne Bancroft
Anne Bancroft
Anne Bancroft was an American actress associated with the Method acting school, which she had studied under Lee Strasberg....

's Mrs. Robinson.

In 1975, Hamilton starred again with Newman in The Drowning Pool
The Drowning Pool (film)
The Drowning Pool is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, and based upon Ross Macdonald's novel The Drowning Pool. The film stars Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Anthony Franciosa, and is a sequel to Harper...

. He also worked with Robert Redford
Robert Redford
Charles Robert Redford, Jr. , better known as Robert Redford, is an American actor, film director, producer, businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, and founder of the Sundance Film Festival. He has received two Oscars: one in 1981 for directing Ordinary People, and one for Lifetime...

 in a pair of films, 1973's The Way We Were
The Way We Were
The Way We Were is a 1973 American romantic dramatic film co-starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, directed by Sydney Pollack. The screenplay by Arthur Laurents was based on his college days at Cornell University and his experiences with the House Un-American Activities Committee.A box...

and the 1980 prison drama Brubaker
Brubaker is an American 1980 film about a prison in distress and the Warden Henry Brubaker who attempts to reform the system....


For many years both before and during his film career, Hamilton was a prominent dramatic actor, earning a Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 nomination for his role in the 1965 production of Absence of a Cello.

He died of cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 and is interred at Oakdale Cemetery in Washington, North Carolina.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.