And he's aware of it! "No girl," says this just-under-sixfooter, "has ever regretted meeting me!" Well, he speaks his mind--and certainly he's a smash hit with the females wherever he goes. "I try to make every relationship with a girlfriend meaningful," he says--and almost in the same breath, goes on to claim that he's something of a loner. "I refuse to become involved with any other human being who can cause my mind a moment's trouble or concern."
It's a formula which Murphy has evolved to help him cope with the strain and pressure of living in the Smith-and-Jones fantasy world. That the show puts a considerable strain on an actor is obvious. Murphy s first copartner, Pete Duel, let it get on top of him, and committed suicide in a fit of black depression.
Murphy remembers--"It was a terrible shock. But what really shook me was reporting to the studios just 72 hours later, to find another actor already into Duel's part as Hannibal Hayes. Don't get me wrong--Roger Davis is a real nice guy. And the commercial schedules made the rapid switch necessary. It just gave me a jolt, that's all."
When the series took a break from production, Ben Murphy got away from it all. Ski-ing, and taking a part in a Texas small-town stage production for relaxation. For he's a dedicated actor, and still spends time in drama class. He sings, too.
Photo Caption: Ben Murphy with Burl Ives--a regular guest star in the 'Alias Smith and Jones' series. And below, Kid Curry--alias Thaddeus Jones on location. And that isn't the name of the horse!
He's a health-food addict--won t touch anything fried, shuns sugar and white bread--a nonsmoker and an infrequent drinker.
During filming--a twelve hour gruelling day, five days a week--Ben Murphy gets up at 6.30 a.m. and goes for a run. "Gets oxygen into the brain and tones up the mind," he says. "It helps me to keep my cool."
And the girls? Where do they come in? "Whenever I have the time," he says. "Believe me--female company's good for a guy!"
Oddly, on his visit to Britain in 1972,
Murphy was just a trifle disappointed with us. "I failed
dismally," he told a reporter. "English girls are real
attractive, but they seem kind of cool and reserved!" He
should have taken a look at the mountains of fanmail piled up
at the BBC--perhaps it would've changed his mind!
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