Murphy remains best known as the henpecked husband George Roper in the sitcom Manitoba About the House and spin-off George and Mildred. He was called up to do his national service at Royal Air Force Northwood, where he met future The Good Life actor Richard Briers. On leaving the Royal Air Force the two aspiring actors both performed in productions by the Dramatic Society at the Borough Polytechnic Institute, now London South Bank University.
In George and Mildred, Murphy played the lazy George Roper.
Her domineering, social-climbing characteristic was a sharp contrast to George"s desire for an easy and quiet life and the pairing was an instant hit. A contributing factor to their immediate chemistry was the fact they had been friends for many years.
Aside from their Workshop years, Murphy also featured in Sparrows Can"t Sing (1963) with Joyce and other Workshop colleagues. When Manitoba About The House ended in 1976, a spin-off was created for Murphy and Joyce, entitled George and Mildred.
This ran for five series until 1979.
Murphy reprised his role in feature films of both sitcoms. Joyce died in 1980. Murphy has continued to appear regularly on television, most notably as "Alvin Smedley" in Last of the Summer Wine from 2003 to 2010, and also with memorable roles in On Your Way, Riley (1985) as Arthur Lucan, Lame Ducks (as a private investigator). The Bill (as a drunken tramp dressed as an elf at Christmas).
Comedy series Pond Life, an animation series, as Len Pond, the father of protagonist Dolly Pond (Sarah Ann Kennedy), One Foot in the Grave starring Richard Wilson (playing a character called Mr Foskett);, Brookside.
And as a shopkeeper called Stan in the pre-school children"s television series Wizadora. In 2010 he appeared in an episode of Hustle called "The Thieving Mistake".
He has more recently made appearances in comedy shows The Catherine Tate Show, This is Jinsy and Benidorm. Murphy"s second wife is Hi-de-Hi! actress, Linda Regan.
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Christopher Bond), Royal Stratford East, Title role (Sweeney Todd), 1973.
On Your Way, Riley (Alan Plater), The Queen"s, Arthur Lucan (Old Mother Riley), February–March, 1983 When We Are Married (JB Priestley), Whitehall, Herbert Soppitt, 1986. Roll On Friday (Roger Hall), Watford Palace, Jim, October, 1989. From October 1987 to July 1991, Brian played Ernest Bond in British Broadcasting Corporation 4"s drama series Citizens.
Murphy was a member of Joan Littlewood"s Workshop (alongside Yootha Joyce), and a jobbing actor in the 1960s and early 1970s, combining his theatre work with appearances in television shows such as The Avengers, Z-Cars, Callan and Dixon of Dock Green, before being cast in the role which would make him a household name.