Life and Career
Murray, one of nine children, was born and raised in Wilmette, Illinois (suburban Chicago), the son of Lucille (née Collins), a mail room clerk, and Edward Joseph Murray II, a lumber salesman. Murray, along with his siblings, grew up in an Irish Catholic family. He is the brother of actors Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, and John Murray. A sister, Nancy, is an Adrian Dominican Sister in Michigan who travels around the country portraying St. Catherine of Siena. In high school, at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, Joel was a captain of the football team as well as lead in the musical. His career began in Chicago, where he performed at various improvisational theaters, including the Improv Olympic, the Improv Institute and The Second City.
Joel starred in the 1990 series Grand, the 1991 comedy series Pacific Station, the 1992 comedy series Love & War as Ray Litvak, and the ABC series Dharma & Greg as Peter James "Pete" Cavanaugh. Joel provided his voice for the short-lived 1994 series Beethoven and the TV series 3-South. He played the supporting character Fitz on CBS's sitcom Still Standing. He appeared as Eddie Jackson on Showtime's series Shameless in 2011.
Joel's first film role was in the 1986 comedy film One Crazy Summer, as George Calamari. His other roles include the 1988 comedy film Scrooged, with his brothers Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray and John Murray. He also starred in the 1992 movie Shakes the Clown with One Crazy Summer co-stars Bob Goldthwait and Tom Villard.
In the first, second, and forth seasons of the Emmy-winning AMC TV series Mad Men, Joel has appeared in 12 episodes as copywriter Freddy Rumsen. He has made guest appearances on television shows such as The Nanny, Joan of Arcadia, Two and a Half Men, Malcolm in the Middle, Desperate Housewives, Criminal Minds, and Blossom.