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A few years ago, you couldn't move for Eddie Murphy movies. For many of us, these films bring back fond memories of our childhoods. Coming to America, The Nutty Professor, Daddy Day Care, Dr Dolittle and, of course, Shrek. He was everywhere.
Today is his 56th birthday but what happened to him?
It turns out that the reason behind his apparent disappearing act is quite complicated, so I'll summarise. He's just been enjoying his life. However, there's a lot more to it. Let's take a look.
He's sick of making shit movies
He appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show back in 2013 about the fact that he's getting much pickier when it comes to choosing scripts. They were discussing Beverly Hills Cop 4 and the fact that they're going to keep going back to the script until they get it right. He said: "We have a script that's kind of pretty much there; [we're trying to] get it perfect.
"If we can get the script just right, it's something that we'll do... But this'll be perfect, because I don't wanna do anything else that sucks ever again. I don't wanna suck no more."
That's understandable. Remember Norbert? No, neither do I. Because no-one watched it. The 2007 movie won three awards, sadly they were all Razzies. If you're not familiar with them, they're given to the shittest movies each year. Not something you'd put on your mantelpiece.
He also spoke to The Washington Post in 2015 when he said: "The [paycheck] movies are over for me."
He's got a huge family
You may not know this, but Eddie has nine children to five different mothers. Paulette McNeely is the mother to his first son, Eric, born in 1989. He then had another son in 1990 with ex-girlfriend Tamara Hood. He has a further five children with ex-wife Nicole Mitchell - Bria, Myles, Shayne, Zola, and Bella. Mitchell filed for divorce in 2005 citing 'irreconcilable differences'.
Murphy then began dating former Spice Girl, Mel B. She got pregnant, but when asked about the pregnancy, he told Dutch reporter Matthijs Kleyn: "I don't know whose child that is until it comes out and has a blood test. You shouldn't jump to conclusions, sir". Mel gave birth to Angel and a DNA test proved that Murphy was the father.
He's now dating Paige Butcher, and they had a daughter, Izzy, in 2016.
So all of these family commitments take up a lot of time.
He said that he'd stop making movies when he turned 50
Speaking to the Today show back in 2008, he claimed that he'd stop making films when he turned 50. He's now 56. Okay, this isn't strictly true as he still brought out Tower Heist, A Thousand Words and Mr. Church since 2011 when really he said he'd stop in 2010.
At the time, he said:"I'm planning to make movies until I am 50.
"That's two years and eight months [from now]. Then I'm going back to the stage."
Plans change, I get that.
He's not that arsed about Hollywood and is more interested in his music
In 2011, he told Rolling Stone: "I only want to do what I really want to do, otherwise I'm content to sit here and play my guitar all day.
"I always tell people now that I'm a semi-retired gentleman of leisure, and occasionally I'll go do some work to break the boredom up.
"My whole shit revolves around having this peace of mind. It's peaceful, quiet, that's my day-to-day. I play my guitar, hang out with my girl. My kids went to their mom's this week. I'm chilling, no stress.
"After all these years, I've done well and I'm cool. I feel comfortable in my skin, I've saved some paper, everybody's healthy, my kids are beautiful and smart, doing different things, it's all good. I'm trying to maintain my shit like this, and do a fun project every now and then."
Well, that makes perfect sense. He's worked hard, it makes sense that he wants to chill out for a bit.
In case you've never heard any of his music...
We do miss you though, Eddie. Come back soon.
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