TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (1)
|Also Known As:||Arthur Asher Miller||Died:||February 10, 2005|
|Born:||October 17, 1915||Cause of Death:||heart failure|
|Birth Place:||New York City, New York, USA||Profession:||playwright, screenwriter, director, novelist, essayist, professor|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
fter filming ended. Nineteen months later, Monroe was dead from a drug overdose that some believed may have been murder despite the official report stating "probable suicide." Though Miller did not attend her funeral, he later reflected on the reasons for the breakup, saying that he found himself devoting nearly all of his time to helping the troubled actress cope with a wealth of emotional and personal problems with very little success, but that he had, indeed, genuinely loved her.Miller went on to marry his third and final wife, Austrian photographer, Ingeborg Morath, with whom he had a daughter, Rebecca Miller. While director Sidney Lumet adapted "A View from the Bridge" (1962) for the big screen, Miller worked on his next play, "After the Fall" (1964), a thinly-veiled portrait of his struggles with Monroe that angered quite a number of people, in light of her perceived suicide two years prior. Critics also harshly assessed the play, which remained one of Millerâ¿¿s least popular works. He met with mixed audience and critical acceptance with "Incident at Vichy" (1964), which focused on a group of Jewish detainees waiting for inspection by the Nazis, all in the name of trying to answer the...
fter filming ended. Nineteen months later, Monroe was dead from a drug overdose that some believed may have been murder despite the official report stating "probable suicide." Though Miller did not attend her funeral, he later reflected on the reasons for the breakup, saying that he found himself devoting nearly all of his time to helping the troubled actress cope with a wealth of emotional and personal problems with very little success, but that he had, indeed, genuinely loved her.
Miller went on to marry his third and final wife, Austrian photographer, Ingeborg Morath, with whom he had a daughter, Rebecca Miller. While director Sidney Lumet adapted "A View from the Bridge" (1962) for the big screen, Miller worked on his next play, "After the Fall" (1964), a thinly-veiled portrait of his struggles with Monroe that angered quite a number of people, in light of her perceived suicide two years prior. Critics also harshly assessed the play, which remained one of Millerâ¿¿s least popular works. He met with mixed audience and critical acceptance with "Incident at Vichy" (1964), which focused on a group of Jewish detainees waiting for inspection by the Nazis, all in the name of trying to answer the uncomfortable question of why there was so little Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. Privately, Miller and Morath had a second child, Daniel, in 1966. But their son was diagnosed with Downâ¿¿s syndrome, which prompted Miller to have him institutionalized and cut off from their family for the remainder of his life. Morath and their daughter, Rebecca, visited Daniel often. But Miller saw very little of the child over the ensuing decades and never publicly acknowledged him. So secret was his birth and subsequent institutionalization that news of his existence broke only after Millerâ¿¿s 2005 death when reporters sought out his heirs.
Despite the harsh criticism and even hostility toward much of his work at this time, Millerâ¿¿s reputation was enhanced with "The Price" (1968), a three-character drama that co-starred his sister, actress Joan Copeland. Though not one of his better remembered works, "The Price" was nominated for Best Play at the Tony Awards. Meanwhile, his reworking of the Book of Genesis, "The Creation of the World and Other Business" (1972), was a failure and marked one of the last new Miller plays to appear on Broadway for over two decades. Though he wrote little-known works like "The Archbishopâ¿¿s Ceiling" (1977) and "The American Clock" (1980), Miller spent the rest of his life taking every opportunity to chide Broadway for failing to initiate more serious dramatic works. Miller returned to writing for the screen when he adapted Henrik Ibsenâ¿¿s "An Enemy of the People" (1978), with Steve McQueen â¿¿ who considered it a pet project â¿¿ in the lead. The retelling received largely unfavorable reviews and was essentially ignored by audiences. Meanwhile, his adaptation of "Playing for Time" (CBS, 1980), based on the memoirs of Fania Fenelon, a French Jew who became a member of a womanâ¿¿s orchestra inside the Auschwitz concentration camp, earned Miller an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or Special.
After overseeing a Chinese production of "Death of a Salesman" at the Beijing Peoples' Art Theatre in 1983, Miller wrote his autobiography, Timebends: A Life (1987), which he structured in a memory-fueled stream-of-consciousness, not unlike "Death of a Salesman." Miller next made a return to screenwriting with the muddled neo-noir mystery, "Everybody Wins" (1990), which starred Nick Nolte as a reluctant private investigator who falls for a client (Debra Winger), only to learn that her disturbed psychological condition leads him down a precarious path. He followed with the London premiere of a new play, "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan" (1991), which received its New York debut seven years later and eventually made its way to Broadway in 2000, where it earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. But he made his return to the Great White Way long before with "Broken Glass" (1994), a drama that examined a troubled marriage and the wife's identification with Jewish oppression under the Nazis. After receiving the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, "Broken Glass" was graced with a nomination for Best Play at the Tony Awards.
While many of his plays were filmed through the years, only "The Crucible" (1996) had a screenplay credited to Miller. Starring son-in-law Daniel Day-Lewis, who married daughter Rebecca Miller that same year, and Winona Ryder, the film was one of the few critically well-received adaptations of his works he saw in his lifetime. In 1999, 50 years after it won a Tony for Best Play, "Death of a Salesman" won the Tony Award for Best Revival of the Broadway season, with a show featuring a sterling Brian Dennehy, who also won the top Broadway prize for his portrayal of Willie Loman. At the same ceremony, Miller received the form of a Lifetime Achievement Award. A prolific essayist, Miller wrote highly regarded cultural criticism throughout the years, appraising politics, literature and the theater in magazines such as Harper's and The Nation, many of which were compiled in Echoes Down the Corridor (2000). Meanwhile, refusing to rest on his considerable laurels, he continued to deliver new stage material well into his twilight years. "Resurrection Blues" had its world premiere at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN in the summer of 2002 when Miller was 86 years old. Set in an unnamed banana republic, the satire dealt with the possible televised execution of a capture revolutionary who may or may not be the second coming of Christ.
In 2004, Millerâ¿¿s new play, "Finishing the Picture," premiered at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, IL, which was a thinly-guised look at the trouble between Miller and Monroe during the making of "The Misfits." The play ultimately proved to be his last offering for the stage. Meanwhile, Miller never stopped trying to find new audiences and venues for his art. He was preparing to mount a revival of "Death of a Salesman" in London, where theatergoers were especially appreciative of his works as commentary on the American condition, when he died on Feb. 10, 2005 at his home in Roxbury, CT, from heart failure after battling cancer and congestive heart disease. He was 89. Also at the time, his play "The Ride Down to Mt. Morgan" was being developed into a feature film starring Michael Douglas. Long hailed as America's greatest living playwright, Millerâ¿¿s most famous works had enduring power well into the 21st century, with revivals and adaptations occurring the world over. Their appeal, with a strong emphasis on family, morality and personal responsibility, spoke to the increasing fragmentation of American society, a cruel irony given his abandonment of his Downâ¿¿s syndrome son, Daniel, to an institution, never again to speak of him in public or in private.oubled and prescription pill-addicted wife. To cheer her up, Miller hoped to create a vehicle that would demonstrate not just his devotion to her, but provide her with a serious dramatic showcase. This undertaking led to his first produced screenplay, "The Misfits" (1961). Directed by John Huston and starring Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Clark Gable, the film â¿¿ a contemporary Western about an aging traveling cowboy (Gable) who falls for a reformed stripper (Monroe) â¿¿ was mired with behind-the-scenes problems, most notably Monroeâ¿¿s erratic behavior brought about by increasing drug and alcohol abuse that threatened to shut down production. Making matters worse for all involved was the rapidly dissolving marriage between Miller and Monroe, which was turbulent enough even before making "The Misfits." Having to inhabit such a pathetic, messed-up onscreen character â¿¿ how she now believed Miller actually viewed her in real-life â¿¿ was the final nail in the domestic coffin for Monroe. The two were divorced in 1961 shortly a
Filmographyclose complete filmography
CAST: (feature film)
Milestones close milestones
He was awarded the National Arts Club's Medal of Honor for Literature in 1992.
"Everyone wrote in the shadow of Miller... It was an extremely awesome responsibility he placed on all those who followed him."---Donald Margulies quoted in EW, February 25, 2005.
Companions close complete companion listing
Bibliography close complete biography
Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.Click here to contribute