Famous for his villainous character roles, he also excelled in playing characters of numerous nationalities. He appeared in episodes of the television series Danger Man, The Champions, and The Baron, as well as in the films Campbell's Kingdom, Hell Drivers, and The Fall of the Roman Empire.
He first appeared on the big screen in the 1956 film The Battle of the River Plate.
A prolific stage actor, he performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and went on to establish his own London company, St. George's Theatre.
Though he was born in Naples, Italy, he spent most of his life in England. After divorcing his first wife, Josephine Tweedy, he was married for over three decades to BAFTA-nominated actress Elvi Hale.
On the English stage, Murcell worked with the renowned theater director and drama theorist Peter Brook.