The Three Stages of Bill Murray's Brilliantly Bittersweet Career

Bill Murray became a movie star 35 years ago this week, upon the release of "Meatballs" on June 29, 1979. His lead role as the head counselor at a sub-par summer camp marked a number of firsts: his first of four movies with director Ivan Reitman (the others were "Stripes" and the two "Ghostbusters"), his first of six movies with writer Harold Ramis (the four Reitman films, plus "Caddyshack" and "Groundhog Day"), and his first taste of mega-stardom beyond his TV fame on "Saturday Night Live."

Since then, his career has taken on a trajectory unique in the history of film, one in which he's gone from comic goofball to dramatic thespian, from universally beloved to acquired taste, and from manic cynic to soft-spoken spiritual seeker. Through it all, however, there have been a few constants; no matter whether he's a grubby groundskeeper or a morose mogul: Murray's character is always the coolest
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