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George Murphy
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George Murphy

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

He was born in New Haven, Connecticut, 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. 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. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1970, and subsequently moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where he died.

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.

Films

Preceded by:
Pierre E. G. Salinger
United States Senators from California Succeeded by:
John V. Tunney