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OBIT: Jimmy Murphy, Famed Beverly Hills Restaurateur to the Stars

It was reported Johnny Carson, Bob Newhart and Don Rickles who persuaded him to open his own place.

Jimmy Murphy passed away Friday from pancreatic cancer. He was 75. Patch file photo.
Jimmy Murphy passed away Friday from pancreatic cancer. He was 75. Patch file photo.

Jimmy Murphy, whose Beverly Hills restaurant attracted the biggest names in Hollywood until it closed in 2000, passed away Friday, according to Variety. He was 75.

It was celebrities such as Johnny Carson, Bob Newhart and Don Rickles who persuaded Murphy to open his own restaurant while working as a maître ‘d at the Bistro, Variety reports.

In 1978, Murphy took the celebrities up on the idea, opening Jimmy’s on Moreno Drive near the Beverly Hills/Century City border. Some of the regulars, according to Variety: Frank Sinatra, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

It was a jackets-required type of joint which specialized in French cuisine and some California classics.

His next big adventure was funding a musical on the life of Charlie Chaplin. It opened at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2010 and played on Broadway in 2012

The secret to his success, Murphy once told the Los Angeles Times, was catering to his customers. “It’s important to have a good retention of names and to remember people’s favorite little things,” he said in a 1982 interview, the paper reported.

Murphy reportedly had pancreatic cancer. He is survived his wife of 50 years, Anne, three children and two grandchildren, reports Variety.

Donations may be made on behalf of Jimmy Murphy to Sister Alice Marie Quinn, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels Foundation, 2200 West Third St., Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90057-1935.

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