In this classic 1999 film, “Life”, the friendship between two wrongfully convicted inmates is portrayed over the 20th century. Set in the prohibition era of 1932, Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence star alongside each other as two ne’er-do-wells who get slapped with a charge for a murder they didn’t commit. Many heavy and topical themes are explored in this film, including:
This comedy-drama was directed by Ted Demme and while it received mixed reviews upon release amongst critics, it’s since found its place as a beloved cult classic, cementing Murphy and Lawrence’s legacies, as well as introducing us to an incredible cast of characters.
The Movie “Life”, Eddie Murphy, & Cast: Where Are They Now?
In plot of “Life”, Eddie Murphy and cast portray the struggles of two wrongfully convicted men and the journey of their friendship over fifty years. The film stars various stellar actors who helped shape the film into the career-birthing Black movie it is known as today. Take a look and see who played who, what impact their role had, and where they are now!
Eddie Murphy: Rayford Gibson
Playing the role of a small-time thief and native New Yorker named Rayford Gibson is the famous Eddie Murphy. The film wouldn’t have existed without Murphy, who pitched the idea for the film to Brian Grazer, who he knew from The Nutty Professor. His iconic performance in this movie helped propel his films back into success again, after a period of decline. Since then he’s starred in several award-winning films like Mulan, Shrek, Daddy Day Care, and Dream Girls, as well as hosted SNL.
Martin Lawrence: Claude Banks
Martin Lawrence stars as Claude Banks, Reyford’s best friend and fellow bootlegger, who is also framed for murder by the corrupt town sheriff. A comedian, producer, writer, actor, and more, his talented performance truly brought Claude’s shenanigans to life. Besides this film, he’s worked on many other projects and franchises, including:
- Def Comedy Jam
- Big Momma’s House
- Open Season
- House Party
- Bad Boys franchise
- Wild Hogs
This film also helped forge a lifelong friendship between Lawrence and Murphy. In addition, Lawrence’s daughter and Murphy’s son are also reportedly very much in love!
Bernie Mac: Jangle Leg
Played by Chicago native Bernie Mac, Jangle Leg is a fellow inmate within Camp 8 with Claude and Reyford. He’s in a relationship with another prisoner named Biscuit (played by Miguel A. Núñez Jr.). After the film, Bernie Mac enjoyed mainstream success with pieces like The Original King of Comedy and Ocean’s Eleven. Sadly, he passed away in 2008 due to health complications.
Miguel A. Núñez Jr: Biscuit
Miguel A. Núñez Jr. plays the man Jangle Leg is in a relationship with, Biscuit. After working on this film, he stayed busy with a large number of projects, including If You Only Knew, Troy, and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (with Eddie Murphy!), as well as Scooby-Doo and #BlackSkin.