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Feb 03 2024
Don Murray, Marilyn Monroe's Last Surviving Leading Man, Dies @ 94 Comments (0)

6a00d8341c2ca253ef0191044746ed970c-800wi(Image via 2oth Century Fox)

Rose tattoo boyculture Don Murray by Avery WillardRIP Don Murray, who died Friday at 94.

Among his other distinctions, he was Marilyn Monroe's last living leading man, her Oscar-nominated co-star in Bus Stop (1956).

A fascinating guy, he tended to take roles early on that were social justice-related. Some of his other most noteworthy projects were The Rose Tattoo (1951 — at right) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1954) on Broadway; the films A Hatful of Rain (1957), Advise & Consent (1962) and Peggy Sue Got Married (1986); and TV work on The Outcasts (1968-1969), Knot's Landing (1979-1981) and Twin Peaks (2017).

He played a closeted gay senator in Advise & Consent for Otto Preminger, and said in 2014:

I went in to meet with Preminger, and he asked me if I would be reluctant, as some stars had turned it down. He said, “Do you think that playing a homosexual will hurt your career?”

His response was to point out that Preminger had played a Nazi.

I said, “Do you think playing a Nazi hurt your career?” And he said, “Being a Nazi didn’t hurt my career.” He was talking about his reputation for being such a dictatorial director on the set.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Murray at several autograph shows. He was well into his 80s and was as handsome and charming as ever, and a great story teller. Imagine — he worked with Marilyn Monroe, Charles Laughton, Sidney Poitier, Otto Preminger, Kathleen Turner and Brooke Shields.

To name a few.

Bus stop obituary DON MURRAY WITH MATT DSC05072Ten years since then — they flew by. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)