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Variety Writer Murphy Resigns After Career of Almost 30 Years

August 04, 1993|JANE GALBRAITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Variety's Art Murphy, who is credited with introducing the movie box office reporting that has become a staple of daily newspapers, is leaving the Hollywood trade publication after nearly 30 years.

Murphy notified Variety Editor Peter Bart in writing of his decision to resign as a contributor, effective immediately. Murphy was on vacation and could not be reached for comment, but sources said he had become disillusioned with changes at the trade paper.

Murphy's box office figures were considered to be among the most accurate of any analyst covering the theatrical motion picture beat, and he was widely quoted in national publications.

Daily Variety Executive Editor Stephen West praised Murphy as "a Variety institution" and credited him with having "raised box office analysis to a more serious and important plane than ever before. We will miss him."

Murphy was not a full-time staffer and rarely went into Variety's Wilshire Boulevard offices, preferring to fax his stories from either his home or his office at the USC School of Cinema-Television, where he is an adjunct professor. His tenure at Variety began in the early 1960s as its leading film critic.

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