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Murphy Dunne

Personal information
Birth date, 1942(age 75)
Place of birthChicago, Illinois, U.S.

     Home | American actors | Murphy Dunne

Murphy Dunne (born 1942) is an American actor and musician. He is known for his role as the keyboardist/pianist for the Blues Brothers in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. He reprised his role in the sequel, Blues Brothers 2000. Dunne was given the role after the original choice, Paul Shaffer, could not accept the part due to contractual obligations with "Saturday Night Live", as well as his choice to take part in Gilda Live instead, which turned out to be a flop. Dunne performed live with the band on their 1980 album, Made in America.

Dunne played himself in both of the two Blues Brothers films, with a fictional storyline: "Murph" Dunne was an original member of the Blues Brothers until "Joliet" Jake went to prison in the 1970s. He then started his own band called "Murph and the MagicTones" along with four other ex-Blues Brothers Band members. While performing a regular set at the Armada Room in a Chicago area Holiday Inn, Jake and Elwood Blues again approached the band to reform the Blues Brothers band. After a brief tour, Murph was sent to prison with the rest of the Blues Brothers Band. In real life, Dunne was the son of Cook County Board President George Dunne, whose connections helped get some of the Chicago clearances for movie shoot sites.

Active in public service at an early age Dunne was Precinct Captain of the 42nd ward, know more widely as Rush Street, home to many music venues. It was in these clubs that he became aware that music was to be his life's pursuit. To hone his piano playing skills he could frequently be found practicing in a back room of Lake Shore Park. It was there he became involved with The Chicago Air and Water Show.

Dunne was one of the founders of a neighborhood bank on Rush Street which served many of the local clubs.

Paragon Studios was a state-of-the-art facility in the 42nd ward where Dunne spent many hours recording his first album with the Conception Corporation.

In addition to his work with the Blues Brothers, he has acted in many television shows like Night Court and has done voice acting. He can be heard in Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex and in the game, Star Trek: Klingon Academy. Dunne was also a member of the early 70s comedy ensemble The Conception Corporation.

Dunne was also the co-producer of Chicago's first Free Blues Festival, with such notables as Willie Dixon, Steve Cropper, Albert King and many others. The concerts were presented in the Grant Park Band Shell in 1969.

Owing to his strong connections to the City of Chicago, Dunne returned to the city from his Malibu home to marry. He and his wife took their vows aboard the yacht Anita Dee anchored a mile off Oak Street beach where Dunne had been a Mate with the Chicago Park District.

When in Chicago Dunne can frequently be seen at Al's Beef Stand on Taylor Street and Ina's Restaurant on West Randolph Street.

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