Don Murray is a man of convictions.
When he was 19 and working as an usher at CBS in New York City for $17 a week while attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Murray turned down an offer to sign a contract with Universal for a whopping $150 a week.
FOR THE RECORD:
Don Murray: An article in the March 7 Calendar section about a UCLA film event honoring actor Don Murray gave the actor's age as 83. He is 84.
"They could put you in whatever picture they wanted," explained the genial actor, 83, over the phone recently from his home in Santa Barbara. And he nearly walked away again several years later when 20th Century Fox wanted him to sign a long-term contract after he was cast in his film debut as Marilyn Monroe's love interest in the 1956 William Inge comedy "Bus Stop."
Though the studio initially told Murray "you can't do the role" if he didn't sign, the Fox executives ended up negotiating with the young actor, who had been a conscientious objector during the Korean War. He would make two films a year for the studio for six years and would be allowed time off if a Broadway play piqued his interest.