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George Murphy (July 4, 1902 – May 3, 1992) was an American dancer, actor and politician.
His real name was George Lloyd Murphy , and he was born in New Haven (Connecticut), in a Catholic family of Irish origin. He studied at Yale University, and did various jobs such as making tools at Ford Motor Company, miner, real estate agent and night club dancer.
At the cinema, Murphy was famous as a dancer and singer, performing in many big-budget musicals, such as Broadway Melody of 1938, Broadway Melody of 1940 and For Me and My Gal. His film debut came shortly after the beginning of sound movies, in 1930, and his career lasted until his retirement in 1952, at 50 years of age.
He was twice elected president of the Screen Actors Guild between 1944 and 1946. He was also vice president of Desilu Studios and Technicolor Corporation. He was also director of entertainment in the presidential shots of 1952, 1956 and 1960.
Murphy entered politics in 1953 as chairman of the California State Central Committee of the Republican Party of the United States.
In 1964 he was elected to the United States Senate, defeating Pierre Salinger, former press secretary of the White House with John F. Kennedy. Murphy’s term ranged from January 1, 1965 to January 3, 1971.
After presiding over the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 1968, the year Richard Nixon was elected President, Murphy ran for reelection without success in 1970, being defeated by Democratic Congressman John V. Tunney. During his time as a senator, Murphy suffered a throat cancer that involved the removal of part of his larynx. For the rest of his life he was unable to speak normally. This circumstance played an important role in his defeat in 1970.
Murphy later moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where he died in 1992, aged 89, because of leukemia. His remains were incinerated.
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