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Bill Murray's Pot-Peddling Past

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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METHOD MAN Murray News this week of actor and comedian Bill Murray's alleged physical abuse of wife Jennifer Butler Murray probably came as a shock to those who revere the ex-SNL star's sensitive turns in recent films such as Lost in Translation and Broken Flowers (perhaps Murray is actually whispering a threat of bodily injury to Scarlett Johansson at the conclusion of the former). However, another detail in Murray's soon-to-be-ex-wife's complaint is not so surprising —she contends that her husband has "an addiction to marijuana." Anyone who has seen Murray's iconic performance as the weed-impaired groundskeeper Carl Spackler in Caddyshack may have suspected that the role had a fair amount of "method" acting going for it.

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But what many people may not be aware of is that the Oscar-nominated actor was arrested and convicted of marijuana possession in the early 1970s when he was a struggling member of the Second City improvisational theater in Chicago. A Chicago Tribune news brief from September 22, 1970 unearthed by memorialized Murray's capture and may very well serve as the first published "review" of his comedic abilities:



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