Family & Companions
Slight, dark and intense, Barry Miller has proved an actor of extraordinary depth and versatility, frequently portraying nebbishy, intellectual and often surprisingly forceful characters. After making his TV-movie debut in "Brock's Last Case" (NBC, 1973), he played Mark Vitale, the elder of two teenage sons of Italian-American widower Joe Vitale (Richard Castellano) in the CBS sitcom "Joe and Sons" (1975-76). While he made his film debut as the younger incarnation of the title character in "Lepke," the 1975 biopic of the gangster Louis 'Lepke' Buchalter, Miller really first caught the attention of filmgoers as Bobby C, the depressed teenager who drunkenly falls off the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in "Saturday Night Fever" (1977). While the role was showy, he was overshadowed by John Travolta, who garnered most notoriety. Instead of being propelled to a film career, Miller returned to series TV as one of the center kids on "Szysznyk" (CBS, 1977-78), a successful summer sitcom that was trounced in the ratings in the fall.
Regrouping, Miller offered fine support as Amy Irving's juvenile delinquent younger brother in the romance "Voices" (1979) before director Alan Parker tapped him to play the dynamic aspiring Puerto Rican comedian Raoul Garcia a.k.a. Ralph Garcy in "Fame" (1980). The actor took what might have been a thoroughly unlikable character and peeled away the layers to reveal his flaws and vulnerabilities. Miller then switched ethnic identities for his role in the film adaptation of Chaim Potok's "The Chosen" (1981). Exchanging the freneticism of his "Fame" turn for a more thoughtful effort, he starred as Reuven Malter, a secular Jew who forms a strong, unconventional friendship with an Hassid (Robby Benson) after the two meet as opponents on a baseball field.
While he had acted on the New York stage in "My Mother, My Father and Me" (1980), "Forty-Deuce" (1981) and in the 1982 NYSF summer presentation of "The Tempest" (as Caliban), Miller found his breakthrough as non-conformist army recruit Arnold Epstein in 1985's "Biloxi Blues," the second part of Neil Simon's autobiographical trilogy. As the soldier suspected of being gay, Miller won the "triple crown" of theater awards, the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards. Although he has periodically acted on stage since (i.e., "Crazy He Calls Me" 1992), he has performed mostly for the cameras. He was Kathleen Turner's nerdy devotee in "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986) and portrayed Jeraboam, the spiritually hungry monk who urges Jesus to fulfil his role as Messiah, in Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988). After returning to series TV as aggressive assistant district attorney Peter 'Briggs' Brigman in "Equal Justice" (ABC, 1990-91), Miller played a young studio chief in Paul Mazursky's "The Pickle" (1993) and supported Warren Beatty and Annette Bening in the ill-fated "Love Affair" (1994). In 1997 and 1998, he made guest appearances on both of producer-creator David E Kelley legal-themed series "The Practice" (ABC), as a lawyer, and "Ally McBeal" (Fox), as a foot fetishist defended by the title character. After a five-year absence, Miller returned to the big screen as the scheming manager of the El Palacio residential hotel in Joel Schumacher's "Flawless" (1999).
Cast (Feature Film)
TV-movie debut in "Brock's Last Case" (NBC)
Debut as a series regular on the CBS sitcom "Joe and Sons", playing one of Richard Castellano's sons
Film acting debut, played the younger incarnation of the title character in "Lepke", a biopic of the notorious gangster
Had small role in the NBC movie "The Death of Richie", starring Robby Benson
Breakthrough screen role, "Saturday Night Fever"; won the key role of Bobby C, a pathetic teenager whose desperate need to be acknowledged by his peers leads to self-destruction
Delivered an outstanding turn as the smart-mouthed wanna-be comedian Ralph Garcy in "Fame", directed by Alan Parker
Acted onstage in "My Mother, My Father and Me" at NYC's W.P.A. Theatre
Portrayed Caliban in a New York Shakespeare Festival production of "The Tempest"
Delivered an award-winning turn in the off-off-Broadway play "Forty-Deuce"
First starring role in a feature, "The Chosen", playing an assimilated Jew who befriends a Hassidic teen (Robby Benson)
Made Broadway debut as Arnold Epstein, a soldier suspected of being a homosexual, in "Biloxi Blues", the second part of Neil Simon's autobiographical trilogy; won the theatrical "triple crown"--the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award and the Tony Award
Acted the part of beat generation rebel Hub Palamountain in the PBS/"American Playhouse" presentation of "The Roommate", based on a story by John Updike
Played a man who achieves great material success but experiences romantic frustrations in "Peggy Sue Got Married", helmed by Francis Ford Coppola
Portrayed Jerry Rubin in "Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8" (HBO)
Essayed the role of Jeraboam, the spiritually hungry monk who urges Jesus to fulfil his role as Messiah, in Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ"
Appeared in Alan Rudolph's "Love at Large"
Returned to Broadway in the short-lived run of "Crazy He Calls Me"
Portrayed Ronnie Liebowitz, the young studio chief who persuades veteran director Harry Stone (Danny Aiello) to direct a science fiction film, in Paul Mazursky's "The Pickle"
Acted in "Love Affair", starring Warren Beatty and Annette Bening
Played Attorney Douglas Colson in two episodes of the ABC legal drama "The Practice", created by David E Kelley
Made guest appearence on Kelley's other legal-themed series "Ally McBeal" (Fox)
Appeared as Leonard Wilcox, the scheming manager of the El Palacio residential hotel where Walt (Robert De Niro) and Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman) reside, in Joel Schumacher's "Flawless"