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Arthur Asher Miller

Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright and essayist whose biting criticism of social problems defined his genius. He was a prominent figure in American theatre, writing dramas that include plays such as All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953) and A View from the Bridge. Received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was married to Marilyn Monroe.

Background

  • Arthur Asher Miller was born on October 17, 1915, in Harlem, New York City, the second of three children of Isidore and Augusta Miller, Polish Jewish immigrants. His father owned a women's clothing manufacturing business employing some 400 people. He became a wealthy and respected man in the community. The family, including his younger sister Joan, lived on East 110th Street in Manhattan and owned a summer house in Far Rockaway, Queens. They employed a chauffeur. In the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the family lost almost everything and moved to Gravesend, Brooklyn.

  • Education

    • At the University of Michigan, Miller first majored in journalism and worked as a reporter and night editor for the student paper, the Michigan Daily. It was during this time that he wrote his first play, No Villain. Miller switched his major to English, and subsequently won the Avery Hopwood Award for No Villain. The award brought him his first recognition and led him to begin to consider that he could have a career as a playwright. Miller enrolled in a playwriting seminar taught by the influential Professor Kenneth Rowe, who instructed him in his early forays into playwriting and taught him how to construct a play in order to achieve an intended effect.

    Career

    • Miller's career as a writer spanned over seven decades, and at the time of his death, Miller was considered to be one of the greatest dramatists of the twentieth century. After his death, many respected actors, directors, and producers paid tribute to Miller, some calling him the last great practitioner of the American stage, and Broadway theatres darkened their lights in a show of respect. Miller's alma mater, the University of Michigan opened the Arthur Miller Theatre in March 2007. As per his express wish, it is the only theatre in the world that bears Miller's name.

      Christopher Bigsby wrote Arthur Miller: The Definitive Biography based on boxes of papers Miller made available to him before his death in 2005. The book was published in November 2008, and is reported to reveal unpublished works in which Miller "bitterly attack[ed] the injustices of American racism long before it was taken up by the civil rights movement".

      Miller's papers are housed at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

    Major achievements

    • Miller's writing has earned him a lifetime of honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, seven Tony Awards, two Drama Critics Circle Awards, an Obie, an Olivier, the John F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish prize. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University. 36 stage plays, 15 radio plays, 7 screenplays, 6 fiction and 6 non-fiction works.

    Works

    • I Don’t Need You Anymore (1967)
    • Presence: Stories
    • All My Sons (1948)
    • The Hook (1947)

    Views

    Quotations: "The playwright is nothing without his audience. He is one of the audience who happens to know how to speak."

    Membership

    • Federal Theater Project , USA
      1938 - 1939

    • Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists (international association) International , headquarters in London
      1965 - 1969

    Personality

    Interests

    Philosophers & Thinkers : Miller said he looked to the Greeks for inspiration, particularly Sophocles. "I think the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing-his sense of personal dignity," Miller wrote.

    Connections

    • Married 1st Mary Grace Slattery in 1940 (divorced in 1956), one son one daughter.
    • father: Isadore - Polish Jewish - business owner
      Owned a women's clothing manufacturing business employing some 400 people. He was a wealthy and respected man in the community until the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the family lost almost everything and moved to Gravesend, Brooklyn.
    • mother: Augusta (Barnett) Miller - Polish Jewish
    • 1-st wife: Mary Grace Slattery
      The couple had two children, Jane and Robert (born May 31, 1947). Divorced in June 1956.
    • 2-nd wife: Marilyn MONROE
      Married on June 25, 1956. Miller and Monroe had met in April 23, 1951, when they had a brief affair, and had remained in contact since then. When Miller attended the House Un-American Activities Committee hearing, to which Monroe accompanied him, risking her own career. Later, Miller began work on The Misfits, starring his wife. Miller later said that the filming was one of the lowest points in his life; shortly before the film's premiere in 1961, the pair divorced. 19 months later, Monroe died of a possible drug overdose.
    • 3-rd wife: Inge Morath - Ausrian - photographer
      Married on February 17, 1962. The first of their two children, Rebecca, was born September 15, 1962. Their son Daniel was born with Down syndrome in November 1966; he was institutionalized and excluded from the Millers' personal life at Arthur's insistence. The couple remained together until Inge's death in 2002. Arthur Miller's son-in-law, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, is said to have visited Daniel frequently, and to have persuaded Arthur Miller to reunite with his adult son, Daniel.
    • younger sister: Joan Copeland - American - actress
      Born on June 1, 1922. She began her career during the mid-1940s, appearing in theatre in New York City, where, shortly thereafter, she would become one of the very first members admitted to the newly formed Actors Studio. She moved into television and film during the 1950s. while still maintaining an active stage career. She is best known for her performances in the 1977 Broadway revival of Pal Joey and her award winning performance in the 1981 play The American Clock. She has also played a number of prominent roles on various soap operas throughout her career, including Andrea Whiting on Search for Tomorrow and Gwendolyn Lord Abbott on One Life to Live.
    • girlfriend: Agnes Barley - minimalist painter
      In December 2004, the 89-year-old Miller announced that he had been in love with 34-year-old minimalist painter Agnes Barley and had been living with her at his Connecticut farm since 2002, and that they intended to marry. Within hours of her father's death, Rebecca Miller ordered Barley to vacate the premises, having consistently opposed the relationship. Miller's final play, Finishing the Picture, opened at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago, in the fall of 2004, with one character said to be based on Barley. Miller said that the work was based on the experience of filming The Misfits.
    • friend: Elia Kazan
      Miller's play Death of a Salesman premiered on Broadway on February 10, 1949 at the Morosco Theatre, directed by Elia Kazan. In 1952, Kazan appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); unwilling to risk his promising career in Hollywood for the Communist cause that he had come to despise, Kazan named eight members of the Group Theatre, including Clifford Odets, Paula Strasberg, Lillian Hellman, Joe Bromberg, and John Garfield, who in recent years had been fellow members of the Communist Party. After speaking with Kazan about his testimony Miller traveled to Salem, Massachusetts to research the witch trials of 1692. The Crucible, in which Miller likened the situation with the House Un-American Activities Committee to the witch hunt in Salem in 1692, opened at the Beck Theatre on Broadway on January 22, 1953. Though widely considered only somewhat successful at the time of its initial release, today The Crucible is Miller's most frequently produced work throughout the world and was adapted into an opera by Robert Ward, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1962. Miller and Kazan were close friends throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, but after Kazan's testimony to the HUAC, the pair's friendship ended, and they did not speak to each other for the next ten years.
    Arthur Miller
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    • 1932
      Abraham Lincoln High School
    • 1938
      University of Michigan
    • 1936 - 2004
      playwright
      USA
    • 1939
      Brooklyn Navy Yard

    Award

    Contributor  

    Dasha Trigubova last changed 29/04/2013 view changes

    Anastasiya Shalkevich

    last changed 14/06/2017 view changes
    • College/University
      • Harvard University
      • Oxford University
    • School
      • Abraham Lincoln High School
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    • College/University
      • University of Michigan
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      • Oxford University
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      • Harvard University
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    • Career
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      • Brooklyn Navy Yard
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    • Major Achievements
      • Miller's writing has earned him a lifetime of honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, seven Tony Awards, two Drama Critics Circle Awards, an Obie, an Olivier, the John F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish prize. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University. 36 stage plays, 15 radio plays, 7 screenplays, 6 fiction and 6 non-fiction works.
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    • Awards
      • Avery Hopwood Award
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      • Jerusalem Prize
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      • National Medal of Arts
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      • New York Drama Circle Critics' Award
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      • Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists (international association)/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award
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      • Principe de Asturias Prize for Literature
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      • Pulitzer Prize for Drama
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      • Pulitzer Prize for Music
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      • The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize
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      • The Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities
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      • Theatre Guild's National Award
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      • Tony Award for Best Author
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      • Tony Award for best revival of a play
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    • Address
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    • Membership
      • Federal Theater Project
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      • Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists (international association) International
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    • Works
      • stage play: No Villain (1936)
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      • stage play: They Too Arise (1937, based on No Villain)
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      • stage play: Honors at Dawn (1938, based on They Too Arise)
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      • stage play: The Grass Still Grows (1938, based on They Too Arise)
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      • stage play: The Great Disobedience (1938)
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      • stage play: Listen My Children (1939, with Norman Rosten)
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      • stage play: The Golden Years (1940)
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      • stage play: The Man Who Had All the Luck (1940)
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      • stage play: The Half-Bridge (1943)
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      • stage play: All My Sons (1947)
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      • stage play: Death of a Salesman (1949)
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      • stage play: An Enemy of the People (1950, based on Henrik Ibsen's play An Enemy of the People)
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      • stage play: The Crucible (1953)
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      • stage play: A View from the Bridge (1955)
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      • stage play: A Memory of Two Mondays (1955)
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      • stage play: After the Fall (1964)
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      • stage play: Incident at Vichy (1964)
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      • stage play: The Price (1968)
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      • stage play: The Reason Why (1970)
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      • stage play: Fame (one-act, 1970; revised for television 1978)
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      • stage play: The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972)
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      • stage play: The Archbishop's Ceiling (1977)
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      • stage play: The American Clock (1980)
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      • stage play: Playing for Time (television play, 1980)
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      • stage play: Elegy for a Lady (short play, 1982, first part of Two Way Mirror)
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      • stage play: Some Kind of Love Story (short play, 1982, second part of Two Way Mirror)
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      • stage play: I Think About You a Great Deal (1986)
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      • stage play: Playing for Time (stage version, 1985)
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      • stage play: I Can’t Remember Anything (1987, collected in Danger: Memory!)
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      • stage play: Clara (1987, collected in Danger: Memory!)
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      • stage play: The Last Yankee (1991)
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      • stage play: The Ride Down Mount Morgan (1991)
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      • stage play: Broken Glass (1994)
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      • stage play: Mr Peter’s Connections (1998)
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      • stage play: Resurrection Blues (2002)
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      • stage play: Finishing the Picture (2004)
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      • radio play: The Pussycat and the Expert Plumber Who Was a Man (1941)
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      • radio play: Joel Chandler Harris (1941)
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      • radio play: Captain Paul (1941)
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      • radio play: The Battle of the Ovens (1942)
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      • radio play: Thunder from the Mountains (1942)
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      • radio play: I Was Married in Bataan (1942)
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      • radio play: The Four Freedoms (1942)
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      • radio play: That They May Win (1943)
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      • radio play: Listen for the Sound of Wings (1943)
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      • radio play: Bernardine (1944)
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      • radio play: I Love You (1944)
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      • radio play: Grandpa and the Statue (1944)
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      • radio play: The Philippines Never Surrendered (1944)
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      • radio play: The Guardsman (1944, based on Ferenc Molnár’s play)
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      • radio play: The Story of Gus (1947)
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      • Screenplay: All My Sons (1948)
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      • Screenplay: The Hook (1947)
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      • Screenplay: Let's Make Love (1960)
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      • non-fiction: Situation Normal (1944)
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      • non-fiction: In Russia (1969)
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      • non-fiction: In the Country (1977)
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      • non-fiction: Chinese Encounters (1979)
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      • non-fiction: Salesman in Beijing (1984)
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      • non-fiction: Timebends: A Life, Methuen London (1987)
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      • novel: Focus (1945)
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      • novella: The Misfits (1957)
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      • short stories: I Don’t Need You Anymore (1967)
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      • short story: Homely Girl (1992, published in United Kingdom as "Plain Girl: A Life" 1995)
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      • short story: The Performance
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      • short stories: Presence: Stories
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    • Relatives
      • Augusta
      • Isadore
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      • Mary Grace Slattery
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      • Marilyn MONROE
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      • Inge Morath
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      • Joan Copeland
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      • Augusta (Barnett) Miller
    • Friends & colleagues
      • Agnes Barley
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      • Elia Kazan
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    • College/University Description
    • Personality
    • Quotes from others about the person
    • Physical Characteristics
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