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Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller was a Pulitzer Prize, multi-Tony and multi-Emmy award-winning American writer/playwright of Death of a Salesman and The Crucible fame. He was also the husband of iconic sex symbol Marilyn Monroe.


Biographical fast facts

Full or original name at birth: Arthur Asher Miller

Date, time and place of birth: October 17, 1915, at 5:12 a.m., at 45 West 110th Street, Apartment 6B, Harlem, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Date, time, place and cause of death: February 10, 2005, at 9:17 p.m., at 232 Tophet Road, Roxbury, Connecticut, U.S.A. (Heart failure)

Marriage #1
Spouse: Mary Grace Slattery (m. August 5, 1940 - June 11, 1956) (divorced)
Wedding took place in Ohio, U.S.A.

Marriage #2
Spouse: Marilyn Monroe (m. June 29, 1956 - January 24, 1961*) (divorced)
Wedding took place at 7:21 p.m., at the Westchester County Courthouse, White Plains, New York, U.S.A. **

Marriage #3
Spouse: Ingeborg Morath (m. February 17, 1962 - January 30, 2002) (her death)
Wedding took place in Connecticut, U.S.A.

Children
Sons: Robert Arthur Miller (b. May 31, 1947)
Daniel Miller (b. 1962)

Daughters: Jane Ellen Miller (b. September 7, 1944)
Rebecca Augusta Miller (b. August 7, 1963)

Robert and Jane are from his first marriage. Daniel and Rebecca are from his third marriage.
Note: Arthur's son Daniel was born with Down's Syndrome. Miller never mentioned him in his autobiography or publicly acknowledged him. He had Daniel put in an institution and it is reported he never visited him.

Parents
Father: Isadore "Izzie" Miller (a clothing manufacturer) (d. 1966, Long Island, New York)
Mother: Augusta "Gussie" Barnett (b. on Broome Street, New York City, New York - d. March 7, 1961)

Burial site: Roxbury Central Cemetery, Roxbury, Connecticut, U.S.A.


Error corrections or clarifications

* Most sources report "January 20" as the date of his divorce from Marilyn Monroe. The 20th was actually the date she filed for divorce in Mexico. The divorce was granted four days later, January 24th, 1961. See divorce dates for more information on the divorce dates offered at Internet Accuracy Project.

** Marilyn and Arthur had another, Jewish wedding ceremony July 1st, 1956, at the New York home of Miller's literary agent, Kay Brown. Rabbi Robert Goldberg performed this second ceremony. Note that a couple of sources erroneously report "June 30" as the date of their first wedding. As noted above, the ceremony took place June 29th, 1956, at 7:21 p.m., at the Westchester County Courthouse, White Plains, New York.


Career - Selected writing credits

One of the true giants of American literature, Arthur Miller was a playwright who produced works with a sense of morality and social responsibility. His revered works spoke for the common man, the average working class Joe, ground down by an unforgiving, uncaring system of business and politics. He sometimes seemed preoccupied with failure and personal tragedy, but his were universal stories focusing on the struggle of the individual and the growing fragmentation of American society.

His first play, Honors at Dawn, was produced in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1936. Arthur Miller's first Broadway production, The Man Who Had All the Luck opened (and closed) in 1944. He never stopped writing. His last major new work, Finishing the Picture had its premier at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 2004.

Miller's flirtation with Marxism during the Great Depression, his links to the Communist party and his continuing far left political views made him a prime target of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s. Art was found guilty of contempt of Congress for refusing to reveal to the Committee the names of members of a literary circle suspected of having Communist affiliations. The next year, his conviction was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

One of his undeniable classics, The Crucible, was a thinly-veiled metaphor for the McCarthy hearings. The HUAC hearings set out to expose and root out Communists from positions of power and particularly those in the entertainment industry.

Several of Miller's plays were made into motion pictures. All My Sons was adapted for the 1948 film of the same name starring Burt Lancaster and Edward G. Robinson. Fredric March, Mildred Dunnock, Kevin McCarthy, and Cameron Mitchell starred in the 1951 movie version of Death of a Salesman. The 1996 movie adaptation of The Crucible starred Daniel Day-Lewis, Joan Allen, and Winona Ryder. Incidentally, in 1996, Daniel Day-Lewis married Miller's daughter Rebecca. Arthur Miller also penned the screenplay for the 1961 Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift film, The Misfits.

Arthur Miller's career spanned seven decades and brought him four Tony awards, a Pulitzer Prize and two Emmy awards. He was awarded his first Tony for All My Sons in 1947, the second for Death of a Salesman in 1949, the third for The Crucible in 1953, and one for lifetime achievement in 1999. Death of a Salesman also won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as an Emmy award, presented June 4th, 1967, for a television production of Death of a Salesman, and a second Emmy, presented September 13th, 1981, for Playing for Time.

At the time of his death, he was living with Agnes Barley, a young woman 55 years his junior. Several months after the death of his third wife, Miller met Agnes, then, a 32-year-old abstract minimalist painter. He soon fell in love again and she moved in with him. "I like the company of women," Miller said. "Life is very boring without them. Women are livelier than men and more interested in people. Men get abstract with their ideas."

Selected writing credits:
His plays include Honors at Dawn (1936), No Villain: They Too Arise (1937), The Man Who Had All the Luck (1944), All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1964), Incident at Vichy (1965), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972), Up From Paradise (1974, a musical adaptation of his Creation of the World), The Archbishop's Ceiling (1976), The American Clock (1980), Elegy for a Lady and Some Kind of Story were two one-act plays that were staged together in 1982 under the title Two-Way Mirror, Danger, Memory! was comprised of the short pieces I Can't Remember Anything and Clara (1987), The Golden Years (1990), The Last Yankee (1991), The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), and Broken Glass (1994).

Arthur Miller's autobiography, Timebends: A Life, was published in 1987.


Sources

The most in-depth of more than three dozen sources consulted in preparing this profile:
Timebends: A Life, by Arthur Miller (1987)
Marilyn Monroe: The Biography, by Donald Spoto
Marilyn Monroe, by Barbara Leaming
Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, by Anthony Summers (1985)
Legend: The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe, by Fred Lawrence Guiles


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