Ryan Patrick Murphy (born November 9, 1965) is an American television writer, director, and producer. He is best known for creating and producing a number of television series, such as Popular (1999–2001), Nip/Tuck (2003–2010), Glee (2009–2015), American Horror Story (2011–present), Scream Queens (2015–2016), American Crime Story (2016-present), Pose (2018–2021), 9-1-1 (2018–present), The Politician (2019–present), 9-1-1: Lone Star (2020–present), Ratched (2020–present), and American Horror Stories (2021–present).
|Born||Ryan Patrick Murphy|
November 9, 1965
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
|Alma mater||Indiana University Bloomington|
American Horror Story
Murphy also directed the 2006 film adaptation of Augusten Burroughs' memoir Running with Scissors, the 2010 film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir Eat, Pray, Love, the 2014 film adaptation of Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart, and the 2020 film adaptation of the musical The Prom.
Murphy has received six Primetime Emmy Awards from 36 nominations, a Tony Award from two nominations, and two Grammy Award nominations. He has often been cited as "the most powerful man" in modern television, including having signed the largest development deal in television history with Netflix. Murphy is noted for having created a shift in inclusive storytelling that "brought marginalised characters to the masses".
Murphy was born on November 9, 1965, in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was raised in a Catholic family. His ancestry includes Irish and Danish. He attended Catholic school from first through eighth grade, and graduated from Warren Central High School in Indianapolis. He has described his mother J. Andy Murphy as a "beauty queen who left it all to stay at home and take care of her two sons". She wrote five books and worked in communications for over 20 years before retiring. His father worked in the newspaper industry as a circulation director before he retired after 30 years.
After coming out as gay, Murphy saw his first therapist, who found nothing wrong with him other than being "too precocious for his own good". During a 2012 interview on Inside the Actors Studio, Murphy claimed that he secretly dated "a lot of football players" in high school. He performed with a choir as a child, which would later inform his work on Glee.
Murphy attended Indiana University Bloomington, where he majored in journalism and was a member of the Singing Hoosiers vocal ensemble. He interned at The Washington Post in 1986 alongside reporter Kara Swisher. He was placed in the style section.
1990–2008: Popular and Nip/TuckEdit
Murphy started as a journalist working for The Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Knoxville News Sentinel and Entertainment Weekly. He began scriptwriting in the late 1990s, when Steven Spielberg purchased his script Why Can't I Be Audrey Hepburn?.
Murphy started his career in television with the teen comedy series Popular, which he co-created with Gina Matthews. The series premiered on The WB on September 29, 1999 and ran for two seasons, ending in 2001. During the time, his production company Ryan Murphy Productions signed a deal with the Warners. He then created the FX drama series Nip/Tuck, which premiered on July 18, 2003. In 2004, Murphy earned his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Murphy took the show's signature line, "Tell me what you don't like about yourself," from a plastic surgeon he met when he was a journalist researching an undercover story on plastic surgery in Beverly Hills. The series ended after six seasons in 2010.
In 2006, Murphy wrote the screenplay for and directed the feature film Running with Scissors. Based on the memoir by Augusten Burroughs, the movie version starred Annette Bening, Alec Baldwin and Brian Cox and, as the young Burroughs, Joseph Cross.
2009–2017: Glee and American Horror StoryEdit
On May 19, 2009, Murphy's musical comedy-drama series, Glee, premiered on Fox. He co-created the series with Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. In its early seasons, the show was critically lauded. Murphy won his first Primetime Emmy Award for directing the pilot episode. The series concluded in 2015 following its sixth season. Murphy was one of four executive producers on the reality television series The Glee Project, which premiered on Oxygen on June 12, 2011. The show featured a group of contestants vying for the prize of a seven-episode arc on Glee, with someone being eliminated each week, until the winner is chosen in the final episode. The show was renewed for a second season, which ended up being its last. Murphy was openly critical of several prominent bands for not releasing music for use in Glee, for which he subsequently apologised.
In 2010, Murphy directed Julia Roberts in an adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir Eat, Pray, Love. The film was a box office success but a critical failure, receiving harsh reviews criticizing its pacing and lack of credibility. To date, the film has grossed $204,482,125 worldwide.
Murphy and Falchuk created the anthology series American Horror Story, which premiered on FX on October 5, 2011. Most of the same cast have played different characters in different settings each subsequent season.
Murphy and Glee co-executive producer Ali Adler created the half-hour comedy The New Normal, which premiered on NBC on September 10, 2012. The series was based on Murphy's own experiences of having a child via surrogate, with the main characters, Bryan and David, named for Ryan and his husband. The series was ultimately cancelled after one season.
Murphy next directed the 2014 television film adaptation of Larry Kramer's Broadway play The Normal Heart, starring Mark Ruffalo, Roberts, Baldwin, Jonathan Groff, Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons. Murphy then collaborated with The Normal Heart executive producer Jason Blum to produce a metasequel to the cult-classic horror film The Town That Dreaded Sundown. The film was the directorial debut of Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and was also released in 2014. In October 2014, FX greenlit a companion anthology series, American Crime Story, which Murphy and Falchuk executive produce. The series premiered on February 2, 2016.
Murphy's next project, the drama anthology series Feud, premiered on FX in 2017. The first season focused on the rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford on the set of their 1962 film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?.
2018–present: 9-1-1, Pose and Netflix productionsEdit
In 2018, Murphy co-created the police procedural drama 9-1-1 and also served as its director, writer and executive producer.
With newcomer Steven Canals, a research assistant for Dustin Lance Black before his Master of Fine Arts at UCLA, Murphy and Falchuk launched a new series, Pose, set in the Ball community in mid-1980s New York City. Murphy had wanted to adapt Paris is Burning as a series and Canals had been writing a script while at graduate school centered on a young African American teen made homeless for being gay, who moved to New York with dreams of going to dance school and who became adopted by a House mother. Joining Canals, Murphy and Falchuk in the writing room were Our Lady J and Janet Mock, who Murphy also encouraged to direct an episode, making her the first trans woman of colour to do so, as well as the first trans woman of colour in a TV series writing room.
The series premiered on FX on June 3, 2018, attracting critical acclaim. The first season boasted the largest cast of transgender actors ever for a scripted network series with over 50 transgender characters, all played by trans actors. On July 12, 2018, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season, which is set to premiere sometime in 2019.
In May 2018, ahead of the premiere, Murphy announced that he would be donating all his profits from Pose to charitable organizations working with LGBTQ+ people, tweeting a different non-profit including Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center telling Variety that: "The thing that struck me in talking to so many of them, was how much they've struggled, how under attack they feel, how many of them find it difficult getting healthcare, and finding jobs. I just decided I need to do more than just making a show for this community. I want to reach out and help this community."
In September 2019, The Politician was released on Netflix to generally positive reviews. The series was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and renewed for a second season due to be released in late 2020. Murphy then co-created the 9-1-1 spin-off series 9-1-1: Lone Star, which premiered on Fox in January 2020.
In May 2020, the period miniseries Hollywood was released to mixed reviews. Murphy served as co-creator, writer and director for the series. In June 2020, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ Pride parade, Queerty named him among the fifty heroes "leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people".
In the mediaEdit
In 2017, Murphy launched the Half Initiative, which aims to make Hollywood more inclusive by creating equal opportunities for women and minorities behind the camera. Less than one year after launching Half, Ryan Murphy Television's director slate hired 60% women directors and 90% met its women & minority requirement. In conjunction with the hiring goals, the Initiative launched the Half-Director Mentorship Program in which every director on every Ryan Murphy Television production mentors emerging women and minority directors through pre-production and post-production along with offering a significant stipend for their commitment. Filmmaker Kristin Fairweather, the first recipient of a HALF award, described her experience in an interview with Screen Comment's Rudy Cecera.
Murphy has also created and produced various unsuccessful television pilots. The WB sitcom pilot St. Sass, starring Delta Burke and Heather Matarazzo, was not picked up. In 2008, Murphy wrote and directed the FX pilot Pretty/Handsome, which also was not picked up. By April 2013, HBO had given a pilot order for Murphy's sexuality drama Open, which began filming in late 2013. By September 2014, HBO had opted not to proceed to series.
Murphy also had several films in development: Dirty Tricks, a political comedy, One Hit Wonders, a musical comedy, and a sequel to The Normal Heart. In 2014, Murphy was developing a feature film of the life of reclusive heiress Huguette Clark, based on the best-selling book Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. There has been no development on these films since their announcement.
Ryan Murphy was born on November 9, 1965, Murphy was raised in an Irish Catholic family.
He attended Catholic school until eighth grade, and later graduated from Warren Central High School in Indianapolis. Murphy grew up in a Catholic household, but is “done with the Church", having left it; however he still occasionally goes to church. He serves on the National Advisory Board of Young Storytellers. He once owned a house designed by renowned mid-century modern architect Carl Maston.
In an interview about his show Pose, which is set in 1987, during the height of the initial AIDS crisis, Murphy described his concern about contracting HIV while at college, getting tested frequently even when celibate.
|1999||The Furies||No||Yes||No||Short film|
|2006||Running with Scissors||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2010||Eat Pray Love||Yes||Yes||No|
|2011||Glee: The 3D Concert Movie||No||No||Yes||Documentary concert film|
|2014||The Town That Dreaded Sundown||No||No||Yes|
|2019||Circus of Books||No||No||Yes||Documentary film|
|2020||A Secret Love||No||No||Yes|
|The Boys in the Band||No||No||Yes||Netflix film|
|2021||Pray Away||No||No||Yes||Documentary film|
Numbers in directing and writing credits refer to number of episodes.
|1999–2001||Popular||Yes||Yes (2)||Yes (17)||Yes||The WB|
|2003–2010||Nip/Tuck||Yes||Yes (8)||Yes (24)||Yes||FX|
|2009–2015||Glee||Yes||Yes (8)||Yes (31)||Yes||Fox|
|2011–present||American Horror Story||Yes||Yes (3)||Yes (19)||Yes||FX||Anthology|
|2012–2013||The New Normal||Yes||Yes (4)||Yes (5)||Yes||NBC|
|2014||The Normal Heart||No||Yes||No||Yes||HBO||TV movie|
|2015–2016||Scream Queens||Yes||Yes (1)||Yes (8)||Yes||Fox|
|2016–present||American Crime Story||No||Yes (5)||No||Yes||FX||Anthology|
|2017||Feud||Yes||Yes (3)||Yes (2)||Yes||Miniseries|
|2018–2021||Pose||Yes||Yes (3)||Yes (7)||Yes||FX|
|2019–present||The Politician||Yes||Yes (1)||Yes (7)||Yes||Netflix|
|2020–present||9-1-1: Lone Star||Yes||No||Yes (1)||Yes||Fox|
|2020||Hollywood||Yes||Yes (1)||Yes (6)||Yes||Netflix||Miniseries|
|2021–present||American Horror Stories||Yes||No||Yes (1)||Yes||FX on Hulu||Anthology|
|TBA||Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story||Yes||TBA||Yes||Yes||Netflix||Miniseries|
|TBA||A Chorus Line||TBA||TBA||Yes||Yes||Miniseries|
|TBA||American Love Story||Yes||TBA||TBA||Yes||FX||TBA|
|TBA||American Sports Story||Yes||TBA||TBA||Yes||TBA|
Unsold television pilotsEdit
Non-fiction television seriesEdit
|2011–12||The Glee Project||No||Executive||Reality series|
|2014||American Horror Story Freak Show: Extra-Ordinary-Artists||Yes||No|
|2016||Inside Look: The People v. O.J. Simpson – American Crime Story||No||Yes|
|2017||Inside Look: Feud – Bette and Joan||No||Executive|
|2017–18||Inside Look: The Assassination of Gianni Versace – American Crime Story||No||Executive|
Awards and nominationsEdit
Golden Globe AwardsEdit
The Golden Globe Awards are awarded annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film, both American and international, and American television. Murphy has won one award as a producer.
|2014||Best Miniseries or Television Film||American Horror Story: Coven||Nominated|
|2015||The Normal Heart||Nominated|
|2016||American Horror Story: Hotel||Nominated|
|2017||The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story||Won|
|2018||Feud: Bette and Joan||Nominated|
|2011||Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Visual Media||Glee: The Music, Volume 1||Nominated|
|2012||Glee: The Music, Volume 4||Nominated|
Murphy has won one Tony Award out of two nominations as a producer.
|2016||Best Revival of a Play||Long Day's Journey Into Night||Nominated|
|2019||The Boys in the Band||Won|
Throughout Murphy's various film and television projects, he had worked with various actors and actresses repeatedly. This includes, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Billy Porter, Darren Criss, and Andrew Rannells among many others.
|American Horror Story
|The New Normal
|American Crime Story
|9-1-1: Lone Star
|American Horror Stories
|Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
|Max Adler||Does not appear||Dave Karofsky||Does not appear||Sam||Does not appear||2|
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|Michelle Krusiec||Exquisite Woo||Does not appear||Anna May Wong||Does not appear||2|
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|Patti LuPone||Does not appear||Herself||Joan Ramsey[c]||Does not appear||Frederica Norman||Does not appear||Avis Amberg||Does not appear||4|
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|Kate Mara||Does not appear||Vanessa Bartholomew||Does not appear||Hayden McClaine[g]||Does not appear||Patty Bowes||Does not appear||3|
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|Dylan McDermott||Does not appear||Does not appear||Theo Klein||Does not appear||Ernie||Does not appear||Dr. Ben Harmon||Does not appear||4|
|Kevin McHale||Does not appear||Artie Abrams||Does not appear||Barry||Does not appear||2|
|Charles Melton||Does not appear||Model||Mr. Wu[f]||Does not appear||Wyatt||Does not appear||3|
|Lea Michele||Does not appear||Rachel Berry||Does not appear||Hester Ulrich||Does not appear||2|
|James Morosini||Does not appear||Does not appear||Bart||Does not appear||3|
|Matthew Morrison||Does not appear||Will Schuester||Trevor Kirchner[m]||Does not appear||2|
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|Sarah Paulson||Does not appear||Agatha Ripp||Does not appear||Does not appear||Geraldine Page||Does not appear||Nurse Ratched||Does not appear||5|
|Evan Peters||Does not appear||Does not appear||Stan Bowes||Does not appear||Jeffrey Dahmer||3|
|Mary Kay Place||Does not appear||Colleen||Does not appear||Theresa Blake||Does not appear||2|
|Jeremy Pope||Does not appear||Christopher||Does not appear||Archie Coleman||Does not appear||2|
|Adina Porter||Does not appear||History teacher||Does not appear||2|
|Billy Porter||Does not appear||Behold Chablis[d]||Does not appear||Pray Tell||Does not appear||2|
|Lily Rabe||Does not appear||Lanie Ainge||Does not appear||Does not appear||2|
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|Riley Schmidt||Does not appear||Rubber Man[g]||Does not appear||Red Devil, Zak, Green Meanie||Does not appear||2|
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Footnotes for collaboration tableEdit
- Appeared on American Horror Story: Cult.
- Appeared on American Horror Story: Roanoke.
- Appeared on American Horror Story: Coven.
- Appeared on American Horror Story: Apocalypse.
- Appeared on American Horror Story: Freak Show.
- Appeared on American Horror Story: Hotel.
- Appeared on American Horror Story: Murder House.
- Appeared on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
- Appeared on The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
- Appeared on American Horror Story: Asylum.
- Appeared on American Horror Story: Double Feature.
- Appeared on Impeachment: American Crime Story.
- Appeared on American Horror Story: 1984.
- "How Ryan Murphy Became King of the Streaming Boom". Time. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- "How Ryan Murphy Became the Most Powerful Man in TV". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- "'I Made Gay Sidekicks the Leads': How Ryan Murphy Changed TV Forever". The Guardian. 26 October 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
- "Ryan Murphy Biography: Screenwriter, Director, Television Producer (1965–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
- "From Nip/Tuck to High School Glee", Fresh Air, NPR, May 19, 2009, retrieved November 25, 2009
- "How Ryan Murphy Became the Most Powerful Man in TV". 7 May 2018.
- "The Most Powerful Man in TV Won't be Made an Outsider Again". 20 November 2018.
- Martin, Denise (April 26, 2009). "'Glee' team rewrites the school musical". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
- Roberts, Sheila, Ryan Murphy, Director of Running with Scissors Interview, Movies Online, archived from the original on July 15, 2012, retrieved November 25, 2009
- Ziegler, Cyd. "'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy claims he dated 'a lot of football players' in high school." Outsports.com. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
- Kara Swisher (May 1, 2020). "Ryan Murphy: What if Hollywood had welcomed diversity from the beginning?". Recode Decode (Podcast). Vox Media. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Bialis, Michael. "Ryan Murphy Makes His Lighthearted Plea With Glee". blogcritics.org. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
- Adalian, Josef (2000-06-21). "Murphy popular with WBTV". Variety. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
- Seidman, Robert (September 21, 2009). "FOX sings praises of Glee with full-season pickup". TVbytheNumbers.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2009. Retrieved November 26, 2009.
- "Glee". Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
- Brown, Laurel (April 19, 2013). "'Glee' renewed for two seasons: FOX orders Season 5 and Season 6 early". Zap2it. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- "Emmy® Award Winners Ryan Murphy and Dante Di Loreto Sign On To Executive Produce Oxygen's "The Glee Project"". Facebook. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- "Oxygen Picks Up Second Season of Critically Acclaimed "The Glee Project," Returning Summer 2012". Oxygen. January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2012 – via TheFutonCritic.com.
- "GLEE How the Show Tried to Bully Foo Fighters, Guns N' Roses & Kings of Leon". YouTube. February 8, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
- "Eat Pray Love". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
- Frankel, Daniel. "American Horror Story gets season 2 order from FX". Reuters. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- Mullins, Jenna (December 22, 2011). "American Horror Story Season Two Scoop: New House and (Mostly) New Faces". E! News. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
- Goldberg, Lesley (January 27, 2012). "Ryan Murphy's NBC Comedy Lands Pilot Order". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
- Goldberg, Lesley (May 7, 2012). "NBC Gives Series Orders to Ryan Murphy Comedy, J.J. Abrams Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- Kit, Borys (January 20, 2012). "Julia Roberts, Alec Baldwin, Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons to Star in Ryan Murphy's Next Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
- Kit, Borys; Goldberg, Lesley (January 17, 2013). "Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum Teaming Up for MGM's Remake of 'The Town That Dreaded Sundown'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (October 7, 2014). "American Horror Story Companion Series American Crime Story From Ryan Murphy Set At FX — O.J. First Topic". Deadline Hollywood.
- Andreeva, Nellie (October 20, 2014). "Ryan Murphy & His Glee Co-Creators Get Fox Series Order For Comedy-Horror Anthology Scream Queens". Deadline Hollywood.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth; Birnbaum, Debra (May 15, 2017). "Scream Queens Officially Canceled at Fox After Two Seasons". Variety. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
- Swift, Andy (May 15, 2017). "Scream Queens Cancelled at Fox". TVLine. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 5, 2016). "FX Orders Ryan Murphy Anthology Series Feud, Jessica Lange & Susan Sarandon To Star In First Installment: Crawford v Davis". Deadline Hollywood.
- Marine, Brooke (July 7, 2018). "Janet Mock's Pose Directorial Debut Proves She's a Natural Behind the Camera". Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Hankinson, Bobby (July 20, 2018). "Pose Series Creator Steven Canals Discusses How 2018's Best New Show Came To Be". Towleroad. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "Pose: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
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