Family & Companions
After making a name for himself with his droll observational stand-up routines, actor-comedian Larry Miller utilized those same sensibilities to build a lengthy career in film and on television. First gaining nationwide attention on such cable comedy specials as "One Night Stand" (HBO, 1988), he soon made an impression in Hollywood as the snide shop clerk in the box office smash "Pretty Woman" (1990). From there, it was more film work in projects like Steve Martin's "L.A. Story" (1991), interspersed with periodic comedy specials such as "Larry Miller: Just Words" (HBO, 1992), and the occasional foray into regular sitcom work with efforts like "Pursuit of Happiness" (NBC, 1995-96). Miller also became part of Christopher Guest's informal improvisational troupe with "Waiting for Guffman" (1997), as well as starred in and wrote his own made-for-cable comedy "Pros & Cons" (Cinemax, 2000), and made a brief, but lasting impression in "The Princess Diaries" (2001) and its sequel. Supremely sarcastic, yet surprisingly likable, Miller continuously proved himself to be reliably hilarious as a comic and an actor, in roles ranging from a wrongly convicted felon to a flamboyant makeover artist.
Born Lawrence J. Miller on Oct. 15, 1953 in Valley Stream, NY, he was the son of an attorney and a teacher. Following high school, Miller graduated with honors from Massachusetts's Amherst College with a degree in music and began his post-college career playing piano and drums in various New York City bars. Possessing a keen wit, he eventually switched to comedy, performing at such try-out clubs as Catch A Rising Star and The Comic Strip. Within two years, Miller was headlining at clubs across the country. He won a televised comedic talent competition on The Big Laff Off" (Showtime, 1978), and that same year made his first small screen appearance in the high school sports comedy "Take Down" (1978). While Hollywood held its usual appeal, Miller would, for the most part, stick to stand-up comedy before embarking on a prolific career in both film and on television in the late 1980s, performing his act on TV comedy specials like "Showtime Funnymen: Triple Clowns of Comedy" (Showtime, 1988) and "One Night Stand" (HBO, 1988).
Bit roles began to come Miller's way, with a turn as a plumber in the dark satire "Out Cold" (1989) and as a police officer in "Three Fugitives" (1989), a caper comedy starring Nick Nolte and Martin Short. The following year, he snagged a larger role and a significant bump in recognition when he played the obsequious Beverly Hills boutique manager Mr. Hollister in Garry Marshall's romantic comedy smash "Pretty Woman" (1990). While the film made a megastar of its female lead, Julia Roberts, it also opened doors for Miller with film and TV execs impressed by his deliciously snide performance. He made his television acting debut as an arrogant university professor in "Frankenstein: The College Years" (Fox, 1991). Meatier parts in films like Steve Martin's "L.A. Story" (1991), the football comedy "Necessary Roughness" (1991), and the Shelley Long sperm bank comedy "Frozen Assets" (1992) also came his way in quick succession. Clearly on a roll, Miller was nominated for a CableACE Award for his first solo comedy special, "Larry Miller: Just Words" (HBO, 1992).
Miller continued to work with high-caliber talent, as evidenced by his turns in the Dennis Quaid/Kathleen Turner action romance "Undercover Blues" (1993), as Ray Liotta's composing partner in "Corrina, Corrina" (1994), and in the ensemble cast of the George Lucas-produced "Radioland Murders" (1994). He picked up a recurring role as Lou, Paul Reiser's friend and co-worker during the 1993-94 season of "Mad About You" (NBC, 1992-99), and then landed his first regular role as the bothersome brother-in-law Larry on the family sitcom "Pursuit of Happiness" (NBC, 1995-96). In 1996, Miller reprised the role of nightclub owner Michael Dobson, a man accused of murdering his wife in a 1994 episode of "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010). Capitalizing on his acerbic wit, Miller's against-type performance as a cold-blooded killer made for two of the venerated series most popular episodes. In theaters, he aided and abetted Eddie Murphy in the needless remake of Jerry Lewis' slapstick comedy classic "The Nutty Professor" (1996), appearing as the college dean.
Miller took another crack at ongoing TV work when he joined the cast of the short-lived sitcom "Life's Work" (ABC, 1996-97) prior to appearing in his first of several collaborations with actor-writer-director Christopher Guest in "Waiting for Guffman" (1997). As the uptight Mayor Glenn Welch, he and the incredible ensemble cast - including Guest, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey and Fred Willard - improvised their way through the painfully hilarious tale of a group of small town thespians hoping to impress the titular Broadway impresario with their mounting of a theatrical production. Miller also lent his voice to the animated workplace comedy "Dilbert" (UPN, 1998-2000), with a regular role as the paper-pushing protagonist's "Pointy-Haired Boss." He took on another rare dramatic role with the independent psychological thriller "The Minus Man" (1999), starring Owen Wilson as a low-key sociopathic serial killer. The same year, he played Julia Stiles' overly-protective father in "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999), a modern retelling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Miller took on a pair of reunion projects when he did time on Murphy's sadly inevitable sequel "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps" (2000), as well as the more rewarding reunion with Guest and his returning ensemble of eccentrics in the brilliant canine comedy "Best in Show" (2000).
Marking a new highpoint in his career, Miller starred in and wrote the screenplay for the comedy "Pros & Cons" (Cinemax, 2000), the story of a mild-mannered accountant who is sent to prison after being framed for embezzlement, only to be labeled a tough-guy due to a series of accidents and misunderstandings. He had a brief, but memorable cameo as Paolo the makeover artist in the Anne Hathaway coming-of-age comedy "The Princess Diaries" (2001). Miller reteamed with Christopher Guest and the gang for the folk music lampoon "A Mighty Wind" (2003) and reprised his role as Paolo in "Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" (2004). The following year he appeared in the underappreciated neo-noir comedy "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" (2005), co-starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer. Other projects included the big screen treatment of the classic spy comedy series "Get Smart" (2008), starring Steve Carell as Agent Maxwell Smart. Miller reprised his role as the overbearing dad in the television series spin-off "10 Things I Hate About You" (ABC Family, 2008-09), in addition to providing the voice of the golf-loving goose Marcel in the animated lupine adventure tale "Alpha and Omega" (2010).
Cast (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Writer (TV Mini-Series)
Producer (TV Mini-Series)
Made film debut, "Take Down"
Appeared on "One Night Stand" (HBO)
Landed supporting role in Garry Marshall's "Pretty Woman"
TV-movie debut, "Frankenstein: The College Years" (Fox)
Headlined own HBO special "Larry Miller: Just Words"
Had recurring role on NBC sitcom "Made About You"
Appeared on episode of "Law and Order" as a murdering restaurateur; reprised role in 1996
Co-starred on series "The Pursuit of Happiness" (NBC)
Co-starred with Eddie Murphy in "The Nutty Professor"
Cast as regular on the ABC sitcom "Life's Work"
Cast as the town Mayor in Christopher Guest's "Waiting for Guffman"
Voiced the 'Pointy-Haired Boss' on the UPN animated series "Dilbert"
Played the overprotective dad in "10 Things I Hate About You"
Second film with director Christopher Guest, "Best in Show"
Reprised role in "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps"
Replaced John Ritter in a leading role of the Broadway comedy "The Dinner Party"
Played the stylist Paolo opposite Anne Hathaway in "The Princess Diaries"
Reteamed with Guest for the ensemble comedy "A Mighty Wind"
Featured in the murder mystery "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" opposite Robert Downey Jr.; film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival
Appeared in fourth Guest film, "For Your Consideration"
Voiced the character Fred Nickle in "The Ant Bully," a computer-animated film directed by John Davis
Cast opposite Jeremy Piven in the indie comedy "Keeping Up with the Steins"
Appeared in the feature film adaptation of "Get Smart," starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway
Reprised role on the TV adaptation of "10 Things I Hate About You" (ABC Family)
Cast in Garry Marshall's ensemble romantic comedy "New Year's Eve"