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(Credit: Alamy)

Film

Bill Murray once drove a taxi while the cabbie played sax in the back

As well as being known for his deadpan delivery in several acclaimed acting roles including GhostbustersGroundhog Day and The Man Who Knew Too Little, Bill Murray is known for his random public interactions with strangers.

These include crashing a couple’s wedding photos, reading poetry to construction workers, doing the washing up at a party in St Andrew, Scotland and tending the bar at SXSW.

Murray first rose to prominence as a player on The National Lampoon Radio Hour, a comedy radio show in the 1970s. He soon joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, which led to acting roles in Where the Buffalo Roam – a 1979 film portraying the life of Hunter S. Thompson and Caddyshack in 1980.

At the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, during a Q&A session, Murray revealed that Dan Ackroyd had initially written Ghostbusters for John Belushi. He said, “Dan wrote the original treatment for him and Belushi. But John passed away. Dan had to look for someone, and I was in the neighbourhood. The only thing is, we miss John.”

Murray claimed that when he saw an early cut of Ghostbusters, he knew it would be a smash hit. He said, “I knew I was going to be rich and famous and be able to wear red pants and not give a damn.” Murray had been wearing a pair of red trousers that night, even though the Bell Lightbox Theatre, at which he was giving the Q&A, was incredibly warm.

Murray also told an anecdote that occurred the night before the Toronto Film Festival. He got into a taxi in Oakland, California and the taxi driver mentioned that he was a saxophone player. Upon hearing this, Murray swapped places with the taxi driver and drove him around. “When I’m conscious, it is a conscious decision,” he said.

Murray revealed, “I said, ‘When do you practice?’ He said, ‘I drive 14 hours a day.’ ‘Well, where’s your sax?’ ‘In the trunk.’ Murray then told the cabbie, “Pull over and get in the back; I know how to drive a car.”

He added, “Not only did he play all the way to Sausalito, which is a long way, but we also stopped and got a barbecue. He played in what some would call a sketchy, weird place in Oakland at 2:15 in the morning. I was like, ‘Relax, man; you’ve got the horn! We’re cool!’ And it was great, and it made for a beautiful night!”