Bill Murray's eldest brother Ed, the inspiration for 'Caddyshack', dies

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2-min read
Bill Murray and brother Ed (Credit: Instagram/William Murray Golf)
Bill Murray and brother Ed (Credit: Instagram/William Murray Golf)

Ed Murray, eldest brother of actor Bill Murray and the man who provided the inspiration for the comedy classic Caddyshack, has died.

A lifetime golfer, his death was announced by William Murray Golf, the apparel company founded by the six Murray brothers in 2016.

“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of the legend Ed Murray,” reads a statement on Instagram.

“Named after the family patriarch, it was Ed who introduced the Murray family to this wonderful game of golf—by way of caddying at Indian Hills Country Club—at the age of 10, no less. (They don’t make ‘em like that anymore).

Read more: The wild story behind the making of Caddyshack, 40 years on

“Ed was the recipient of the Evans Scholarship back in 1963, while attending Northwestern University - a scholarship awarded to golf caddies - a family storyline which served as inspiration for the Danny Noonan character in Caddyshack when Brian Doyle-Murray co-wrote that iconic screenplay.”

Noonan, played by Michael O'Keefe in the Harold Ramis-directed movie, released in 1980, is also encouraged to apply for the Bushwood Country Club caddie scholarship by Ted Knight's Judge Elihu Smails.

Ed, who was a broadcasting rep before becoming a stock broker, had a small role as an extra in the movie, and can be spotted in the background of one of the driving range scenes, and then again holding a beer when Judge Smails knocks out an elderly woman after hurling his golf club in anger.

Read more: Bill Murray gets legal notice from Doobie Brothers for using song to sell 'ugly' shirts

He earned $37 for the day.

The statement continues: “It was an honor for all of us to get to know Ed and to spend time with him over the past half decade as we’ve built this brand with the Murray family - and his loss is a hole that will never be filled.

“Thank you for always being so gracious, Ed. Our hearts are with his lovely family. Rest in paradise, to a true family man and a gentle, sweet soul. May we honor your memory from this day forward.”

Joel Murray, star of Mad Men and younger brother of Bill and Brian Murray, also tweeted:

Watch: Bill Murray in legal threat from the Doobie Brothers