Bill Murray is mourning the death of his older brother Ed, who served as the inspiration behind the lead character in the 1980 cult classic ”Caddyshack.”
Bill Murray’s golf apparel company, William Murray Golf, announced Ed’s death Monday on Instagram alongside photos of the Murray brothers enjoying what they love most – golf.
“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of the legend Ed Murray,” the tribute reads. “His loss is a hole that will never be filled.”
“It was an honor for all of us to get to know Ed and to spend time with him over the past half decade as we’ve built this brand with the Murray family,” the statement continues. ”Rest in paradise, to a true family man and a gentle, sweet soul. May we honor your memory from this day forward.”
The brand credits Ed, the eldest of the six Murray brothers, with introducing the Murray family to the game of golf after caddying at the Indian Hills Country Club in Winnetka at age 10. Ed went on to receive the Evans Scholarship, an award for golf caddies, at Northwestern University in 1963.
Ed’s life experience served as inspiration for Danny Noonan (played by Michael O’Keefe) in ”Caddyshack,” which was written by Brian Doyle-Murray and also starred Bill Murray.
Directed by “National Lampoon” alum Harold Ramis, and starring Chevy Chase, Murray and Ted Knight, the film follows Noonan, who works at an exclusive golf course that’s been shaken up by obnoxious new member Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) and a destructive dancing gopher.
Ed was one of nine Murray children raised in Chicago’s North Shore by parents Ed and Lucille Murray. In addition to their love of golf, the six brothers — Joel, Brian Doyle, Ed, Johnny, Bill and Andy — are partners in the Murray Bros. Caddyshack Restaurant chain, which includes a Rosemont location.
ESPN has called “Caddyshack” one of the “funniest sports movie ever made.” In the film’s closing credits, there’s a “special acknowledgment” to Ed.
Reps for Bill Murray, 70, did not immediately return USA TODAY’s request for comment.
On Twitter Monday, brother Joel remembered Ed as “the nice Murray who remembered everyone’s name.”
In 2015, Ed told the Santa Maria Sun that he enjoyed the sport because you can “learn about a person on a golf course.”
“I love it, more than anything! I’ve been playing since I was 8 years old,” Murray said. “I think golf is such a great sport because it’s a game of honesty. It’s a game of honor.”
Golf also served as bonding time with his siblings: “It was not about me, it wasn’t about Billy either. Usually he’s the headline…It was the fact that all six of us caddied.”
Ed and Bill Murray’s early caddying hijinks were described in a 2005 Sun-Times obituary of North Shore golfer Mary Ewen, who used to laugh about their adventures. Her husband Gordon Ewen said the Murrays liked caddying for an elderly, legally blind club member who could do no wrong when the brothers caddied for him–and tipped well as a result. Unbeknownst to the golfer, Gordon Ewen said at the time, the Murrays convinced him he was hitting 200-yard drives and they popped his ball in the cups to give him multiple holes-in-one. “They’d say ‘great drive, Mr. So-and-So,’ “ he recalled.
All six of the Murray brothers – Ed, Brian, John, Bill, Andy and Joel – were inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame in 2015, “something all the boys take pride in, as this game helped shape their lives,” the statement reads.
Contributing: Patrick Ryan, USA Today; Miriam Di Nunzio and Maureen O’Donnell, Sun-Times
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