Eddie Murphy was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up there and in Roosevelt, New York.
Murphy was raised a Baptist. He doesn’t talk about it much, if at all. But apparently it was still a force in his life as of 1993, when his first marriage took place at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.
Murphy’s mother, who is either in denial and blinded by a mother’s love or has the inside scoop, says that Eddie is a deeply religious person, saying:
Eddie is a firm believer in God and prayer. That’s probably why he’s so hot today.
She went on to say that Murphy prays every night and insists that his often vulgar and sexually explicit comedy routines are merely an act and that Eddie is really a nice boy at heart.
Murphy did once star in a film, called Holy Man, in which his character’s religiosity and charisma allow him to become a star on a home shopping television network. Perhaps this was Murphy’s comment on religion–it is merely a show to advance consumerism and commercialization. Some critics came to that conclusion as well.
Murphy’s work has often had an element of race politics, from playing a satirical “Buckwheat” on Saturday Night Live to a homeless black man sticking it to white corporate magnates in his film Trading Places to playing a black politician/con-man in The Distinguished Gentleman. Plus, in real life, he’s a supporter of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
But he never really came out to endorse a candidate until–you guessed it–Obama came along. In a successful career spanning over 30 years, Murphy never contributed money to any candidate’s campaign until 2008, when he gave Obama over $30,000. I wonder why.
But other than expressing excitement that Obama won the 2008 election, he wasn’t vocal about it–or anything else for that matter.