“I feel every day that everything I create—everything I do—I want it to be a risk.”
Ryan Murphy is a celebrated writer, director, and producer renowned for his work often featuring LGBTQ characters and narratives. His impressive portfolio includes co-creating the Emmy-winning TV series "Glee" and "American Horror Story," as well as directing notable films like "Eat, Pray, Love" and "The Normal Heart."
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Murphy's journey to self-discovery included coming out as gay at the age of 15. While his traditional Catholic parents were unsupportive, it was his grandmother who provided a nurturing environment for his confidence to flourish.
Murphy pursued higher education at Indiana University Bloomington, where he graduated with a degree in journalism. His involvement in choral ensembles during this time played a pivotal role in shaping his later creation, the high school musical comedy-drama, "Glee."
After a stint as a journalist with prestigious publications like the Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald, Murphy transitioned to screenwriting. His inaugural television venture, "Popular" (1999), ran for two seasons. He garnered professional acclaim with "Nip/Tuck" (2003), an Emmy-nominated series delving into America's complex relationship with plastic surgery. "Glee" followed in 2009, enjoying a successful six-season run and earning Murphy his first Emmy Award. The show received 40 nominations and secured six Emmy wins. It also inspired a concert tour, albums, games, merchandise, apps, and a film directed by Murphy.
In 2011, Murphy unveiled his next major TV project, the anthology series "American Horror Story." It emerged as one of FX network's most triumphant series, accumulating over 125 awards, including 16 Emmys. The 12th season of the show commenced in 2023.
Among Murphy's notable film credits is his direction of "The Normal Heart," an award-winning TV film adaptation of Larry Kramer's Tony-winning play, which chronicles the emergence of the AIDS crisis. Murphy attributes his personal drive to that period, a time when young gay men like himself, faced with the epidemic, lived with a heightened awareness of the fragility of time.
"Pose," a critically acclaimed FX series co-launched by Murphy in 2018, is also set in that era. It revolves around the vibrant New York drag ball culture and features over 50 transgender characters portrayed by trans actors. Murphy generously donated his proceeds from the show to LGBTQ+ charities. A year prior, he initiated a program aimed at promoting inclusivity in Hollywood filmmaking, leading to a mentorship program where each director on his TV projects mentors an up-and-coming female or minority director.
Murphy's achievements have been recognized with numerous award nominations and wins, including six Primetime Emmys, five Golden Globes, a Tony, and a GLAAD Media Award. AmfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, paid tribute to him for his contributions to TV, film, and the fight against AIDS.
Ryan Murphy shares his life with his husband, David Miller, and their three sons.