As the most talented and influential comedic force to emerge from the 1980s, Eddie Murphy blazed a trail for an entire generation of young comics to follow. Just as he was inspired by legends like Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx, Murphy influenced a new wave of African-American comedians who came of age in the 1980's, including Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx and Dave Chappelle. But it was as a movie star that Murphy made his greatest impact. He rose to become Hollywood's first global superstar with such monster hits as "48 Hrs." (1982), "Trading Places" (1983) and "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984). After making the successful stand-up comedy concert, "Eddie Murphy Raw" (1987), he earned critical acclaim playing multiple characters in "Coming to America" (1988). Murphy hit a box office slump in the early 1990s, but reinvented himself as a family-friendly comedian with "The Nutty Professor" (1996) and "Dr. Dolittle" (1998), only to be caught on Sunset Boulevard with a transvestite prostitute in 1997. He again slumped at the box office, but rose anew as a voice actor in "Shrek" (2001) and its three sequels. Though he suffered embarrassments with "Norbit" (2007) and "Meet Dave" (2008), Murphy changed again, this time as a dramatic actor with the hit musical, "Dreamgirls" (2006). Though he may have dropped a peg or two later in his career, Murphy always seemed on the verge of a comeback that would again vault him back to prominence.