Murray Alper

Murray Alper (January 11, 1904 – November 16, 1984)[1] was an American actor. He appeared in numerous television series, films, and Broadway productions.

Murray Alper
Alper in Angel on My Shoulder (1946)
Born(1904-01-11)January 11, 1904
DiedNovember 16, 1984(1984-11-16) (aged 80)
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
Years active1927–1969


Born in New York City in 1904, Alper worked on Broadway from 1927 to 1940 in a number of shows including The Wild Man of Borneo, This is New York, Broadway Boy, Sailor Beware!, and Every Man for Himself.[1]

Alper appeared in more than 200 films and TV series from the 1930s to the end of the 1960s. Quite often his work was uncredited and he never received a top billing in one of his movies. His first known screen credit was in The Royal Family of Broadway (1930) a part he had already played on Broadway in 1927/28.

In The Maltese Falcon (1941), he plays a friendly cabbie who drives the character Sam Spade, played by Humphrey Bogart, during a mid-film wild goose chase. His biggest role should have been the part of Gus Smith in the Alfred Hitchcock film Lifeboat in 1943. Due to his becoming ill right before the start of shooting in August, he was replaced by actor William Bendix. However, he worked for Hitchcock on three other movies: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941), Saboteur (1942), and Strangers on a Train (1951).

Frequently seen in comedies, Alper was featured in the Three Stooges films Tricky Dicks (1953) and The Outlaws Is Coming (1965). One of Alper's least characteristic roles was the judo instructor in Jerry Lewis' The Nutty Professor (1963).

Selected filmography


  1. "Murray Alper". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on September 17, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  2. Great Movie Musicals on DVD - A Classic Movie Fan's Guide by John Howard Reid - Google search with book preview
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