Bill Murray and his family are in mourning after the death of his brother, Ed Murray, who was the inspiration behind the lead character in Murray's hit comedy Caddyshack. The actor's golf apparel company, William Murray Golf, announced the sad news in an Instagram post on Monday alongside a few photos of the Murray brothers. It is believed, but not confirmed, that Ed was 76 at the time of his death.
"It's with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of the legend Ed Murray," the announcement began. "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.)" The statement continued, writing that Ed was a recipient of the esteemed Evans Scholarship in 1963 at 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."
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The statement continued, noting that Ed, Bill and their four other brothers are all members of the Caddie Hall of Fame, "something all the boys take pride in, as this game helped shape their lives. 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," the statement concluded. "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."
Directed by Harold Ramis, Caddyshack starred Bill Murray, Michael O'Keefe, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight. Ed received a special acknowledgment credit in the 1980 movie, and also appeared in the 2009 TV documentary about it, Caddyshack: The Inside Story.
Ed spoke about his love for golf in 2015. "I love it, more than anything," he told his local paper the Santa Maria Sun. "I've been playing since I was 8 years old. You learn about a person on a golf course; you learn about their competitiveness, their integrity, their disposition."
"I think golf is such a great sport because it's a game of honesty. It's a game of honor. It's a game where just when you're ready to quit, you're gonna have a great hole or a great shot and it brings you back. You make a putt on the 18th hole [and say,] 'Well, I'll be back tomorrow,'" he said at the time.
Ed was very proud of sharing golf with his brothers and equally proud of the fact that they were all inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame in 2015. "It was not about me, it wasn't about Billy either, usually he's the headline, it was the fact that all six of us caddied," he said.