I was watching Murphey in the t.v. series alias smith and jones and his other series gemni man .i was swondering why he is not more famous??
A lot of “charactor actors” don’t become “famous” and it could be an impediment to getting varied roles. His IMDb profile has him working steadily in tv, so he seems to have done well.
His resemblance/comparison to Paul Newman in Alias Smith and Jones may also have acted against fame. Paul Newman had that, he was a “Paul Newman” type.
Ben Murphey was very generic, one of many actors who looked like him at the time. When his co-star, Peter Duel, killed himself it took most of Ben Murphey’s career too.
Wasn’t he in that show about lottery winners? I liked him in that.
You have to realize how long the odds are against anyone trying to break into acting. For every thousand actors who are out there trying, only one will have the amount of success that Murphy has had.
I don’t think South Africa ever got AS&J, but Gemini Man was dubbed into Afrikaans and we also got Lottery!, so he was reasonably well-known here in the 80s - enough that I knew who you meant in the title even with that spelling.
Television is a fickle beast. There will be shows that are a worldwide phenomenon, every actor in it becomes a household name, then three years after the show is cancelled, nobody is talking about it anymore, the actors never get a role of note again, and then ten years later they are almost completely forgotten. That’s not a rare thing, it’s how it goes the vast majority of the time. Any actor who gets a second hugely popular role in their lifetime is notable in its exception, you could probably count them on two hands.
I also watched Ben Murphy on all the shows mentioned, and kind of expected him to continue on to be a big deal, but if he was clever he would’ve shored away a bit of money, took care of it wisely, and had a comfortable life doing occasional guest roles, which is not a bad way to live as an actor, really.
I enjoyed Alias Smith and Jones. While I agree that Duel’s death hurt Murphy’s career, it’s also true that westerns as a genre were dying out. I remember that when *ASAJ *was cancelled, *Gunsmoke *was pretty much the only TV western left.
I feel like I should point out that this other thread shows that more of us are interested in Peter Duel’s death than Ben Murphy’s career.
South Africa did get Alias Smith and Jones - more than one series, too. Was shown on a Friday night, SABC (or was it Saturday) at the 7pm slot.
As others have said, why watch “a new Paul Newman” when you still have the real thing? At the same time, there were a lot of singers promoted as “the new Bob Dylan”. Besides the fact that “Alias Smith and Jones” was part of a dying genre, can you survive the death of a lead by recasting? “Chico and the Man” didn’t. I suppose “Valerie’s Family The Hogans” survived Valerie Harper getting fired but that may be NBC Brandon Tartikoff wanting to teach actors a lesson: there is a limit to renegotiating contracts by walkouts. And it was a Glen Larson show: sure sign of mediocrity