When it comes to box office gold, few comedians have had the star power and pull that Eddie Murphy has had ever since gracing the screen in the ‘80s. His movies have grossed more $3.8 billion worldwide and he easily became one of Hollywood’s sought after stars and a leading comedian in mainstream culture. In addition to acting, he has also written and produced some of his biggest hits, including the fan favorite Coming to America

In the early 1980s, Murphy first earned national attention as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and has even been credited with helping to revitalize the show. From then on, Murphy went to star in huge hit movies such as Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, and more. In honor of his latest anticipated film, Coming 2 America (set for release on Amazon Prime March 5), and his appearance on the cover of the March/April issue of ESSENCE, we’re taking a look back at 15 iconic Eddie Murphy characters.

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