Arthur Asher Miller.
Asher is the Hebrew name of one of the twelve Israel tribes.
Date of birth : October 17, 1915, New York City.
Date of death : February 10, 2005, Roxbury, Connecticut.
Places of living :
45 West 110th Street, New York City.
1350 East Third Street, Brooklyn.
122 North Thayer Street, Ann Arbor.
34 East 74th Street, Manhattan.
18, Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn.
62 Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights, with his wife and 2 children.
Studio at the Chelsea Hotel, 222 West 23rd Street, New York City:
Roxbury (Connecticut) in 1956.
Amagansett in 1957.
Winter 1957, purchase of a house, still in Roxbury.
His father, clothes manufacturer, was ruined by the Crisis of October 24, 1929.
He started by writing a play while he was a student at the Michigan University; he would obtained a prize in
On August 5, 1940, he married a student Mary Grace Slattery, met at the Michigan University
Mary would later work as sub-editor at Harper's, a publishing company in New York City.
He asserted himself as one of the best drama writers of his era, writing realistic plays ("The Man Who Had All The Luck", "Focus" a play about anti-Semitism) and became famous with "All My Sons" (1947), crowned best play of the year by the New York Drama Critic's Circle, then with "Death Of a Salesman" (1948) which obtained the Pulitzer prize in 1949.
With Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill, he was considered as one of the most talented American playright.
Although committed in the defense of some social thesis, he practised sports, liked to live outdoors, did some gardening and work on wood, instead of spending hours to talk artistic theory.
He was discharged at the moment of the Second World War, because of an injury.
In 1947, the FBI, watching Miller since 1944, found eminently suspect his involvement in a weekly seminar organized by the venerable Simon Shuster publishing company, where the writers got together to try to counter attack the die-hard propaganda spread by the media. Actually, Miller attended only 2 or 3 Communist authors meetings.
As for his theatrical work, it was no more made to reassure the FBI. His first Broadway success, "All My Sons"
(1947) described the story of an engine manufacturer who deliberately sold defective bits to the Us Air Force, a play denounced as enrolled in the Party propaganda line by the FBI.
In 1948, a satirical tract entitled "Counter-attack", described Miller as Communist and simultaneously, the FBI condemned his support to the new state of Israel.The main probable evidence of Miller's membership at the Communist Party, was the Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace, which he attended on March 25, 1949, New York City at the Waldorf Astoria:
Among the patrons, Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt. Among the participants, there were scientists, teachers, composers and writers.
In 1949, he wrote another play,"The Hook", which first proof was completed in May 1949.
Elia Kazan's participation to a play guaranteed its production; Kazan had a non-exclusive contract of 6 movies with the studios of Twentieth Century Fox : so, he could direct the play or the movie he wanted. The Tennessee Williams's play "The Rose Tattoo" had been proposed to him but he had prefered "The Hook" and decided to direct it with a big studio.Miller and Elia Kazan arrived in Los Angeles in January 1951, and on January 16, they had a meeting with Charles Feldman, who produced Kazan's last movie, "A Streetcar Named Desire".
There are several version sof Arthur's meeting with Marilyn. But the only witness of their meeting was Elia Kazan.Abe Lastfogel from the William Morris Agency and Kazan's agent, accompanied Kazan and Miller to a meeting with Darryl Zanuck, the head of the studios. This one had already read "The Hook" and had refused it. Then Lastfogel tried his luck with the Warner, the studio which distributed "A Streetcar Named Desire".
As long as they were at the Fox, Kazan took the opportunity to see Harmon Jones, the director of his previous movie, who directed then "As Young As You Feel" (1951).
It was on this occasion that they met Marilyn who had a small part in the movie.
Charles Feldman decided to organize a party in Arthur's honor, on January 26, 1951.
Marilyn was invited to this party as Kazan's girlfriend.
At that time, Arthur had just started a psychoanalysis with Rudolf Loewenstein (cf. Marianne Kris).
The next day, Miller, Kazan and Marilyn met Harry Cohn, head of the Columbia, to propose him a play written by Miller and that Kazan wanted to direct under the title "A Man Has to Die". The screenplay told the story of the Brooklyn's dockers fighting against a crook gang who exploit them; this screenplay was given up after the protests expressed by the trade unions, accusing the plot to develop anti American feelings.During their first meeting, she was a starlet whose career hadn't yet started; he was aged 35 and was 10 years older than her.
Miller went back to New York; Marilyn made his picture framed in her apartment. She wrote to him, mentionning the absence in her life of a man to admire, as a father figure. Miller advised her to admire Abraham Lincoln for example, and to buy his biography written by Carl Sandburg. She bought the book right away, and also a framed portrait of Lincoln she would always keep carefully.
In 1952, Miller went to Salem, Massachusetts, to make some researches about the hysteria against the Communists. He studied "The Devil in Massachusetts" of Marion Starkey and saw a parallel between the Salem witches trial in 1692 and the Communists hunting as it took place in the USA.Miller prepared his new play,"The Crucible", in Broadway. It was his first original play since "Death Of a
Condemnation of the House Un-American Activities Commitee and Senator McCarthy, "The Crucible" was a play courageous and topical on the political point of view. But in Broadway, the play was a flop, critical as long as commercial.
Marilyn went to live in New York City in 1955 but only few things are known about their relationship between 1951 and 1955.
In 1954, Miller suspected for the first time what he would face several years later : his passport request for going to Belgium was refused; he wanted to attend there the premiere of "The Crucible".
Beginning of 1955 : after Marilyn's arrival in New York, they met again.
Arthur and Norman Rosten had studied together at the Michigan University, and their respective wives, Hedda and Mary, had shared a room there.
At the time when he met Marilyn again, he was writing "A View From The Bridge".
In August 1955, the rehearsals of this play began in New York.
At the end of August, he was on roadshow with "A View From The Bridge", and the other one-act play which accompanied it, "A Memory of Two Mondays".
On August 22,, the first performance took place at the Summer Theater of Falmouth, Massachusetts.
(the day of Arthur's 40th birthday). He temporary settled at the
Chelsea Hotel (23rd West Street). Although his love affair with Marilyn
was officially secret, Marilyn and Arthur showed themselves more and
more with friends, mostly with the Rosten.
OnSeptember 29, 1955, Marilyn attended the premiere of the play , "A View From The Bridge", at the Coronet Theater, New York City. It was this evening that she met Arthur's parents for the first time :
In January 1956, he announced his divorce with Mary Grace Slattery.
Arthur and Marilyn spent the 2 first months of this year in New York, strolling in the streets of Brooklyn Heights; their friend, the photographer Sam Shaw took them in picture.
Miller made her visiting the places attended by the artists and the famous writers, telling her some anecdotes about his childhood.
Miller entered in a hard time of
his drama author career, while Marilyn was about to make a
stunning comeback on the screen. A difficult situation which had common
points with what she had lived with Joe
Furthermore, on some reporters's instigation and with the government's blessing, some die-hard lobbies were about to deal Miller a severe blow, who had several enemies among the right-wing writers.
When Marilyn came back to the West Coast at the beginning of 1956 for the shooting of "Bus Stop", Miller called her every day.
When she talked about him, she said "Mr A."; during their affair, she called him "Daddy", "Papa" or "Pa", or "Art", "Poppy" and "Arturo"; Miller called her "Penny Dreadful", "Sugar Finney" and "Gramercy 5".
In April 1956, Miller went to Reno, Nevada to live there during the 2 legal months, in order to obtain the divorce with Mary Grace Slattery.
Marilyn entered the St Vincent Hospital in Los Angeles, for a viral illness, contracted during the shooting of "Bus Stop".
Despite its house arrest, Miller took a chance on
going regularly to Los Angeles to see her. They called each other
all the time.
He had to appear on June 2, 1956 at the House Un-American Activities Commitee.
On June 11, 1956, the day following his divorce Arthur was back in New York City :
Leaving to Connecticut
,, (more pics here).
The first announcement of the wedding was made by Miller at the House of Un-American Activities Commitee, on June 21, 1956
: when he was asked why he had requested a passport, he answered that
he planned to accompany, in England, the woman who would then be his
Many commentators have maintained that Marilyn's support towards Miller saved him from more detailed investigations from the Commitee, in his political activities, including reality of his membership to the Communist Party. He was under surveillance since when he was a student, the FBI having gathered an important file about him and followed all his activities.
Because of her affair with Miller, whose work had been condemned by the FBI for "denigration fo the American way of life", Marilyn had also a file.During the trial, she flew to Washington DC, in order to keep company to Miller; they lived at the Rauh's house,
Marilyn publicly claimed her love for him and her faith in his innocence, despite the coming of Spyros Skouras in New York, one of the heads of the Fox, who tried to put pressure on her, to persuade Miller to give the names of the suspects to the Commitee.
(more pics here).
Visit to Miller's parents
On June 24, 1956 : leaving to Roxbury
On June 25, 1956, with the press (), before the dinner at Arthur's cousin's home, Morton
On June 29, 1956, there was a press conference when they announced their imminent wedding :
, (more pics here).
The civil ceremony took discreetly place at the White Plains Courthouse (Westchester County, State of New
The ceremony was celebrated by Judge Seymour Rabinowitz; it began at 7.20 Pm and lasted 4 minutes.The guests who attended were Milton Greene, Lee and Paula Strasberg, John Moore, and on Arthur Miller's side, his cousin Morton Miller with his wife Florence :
Marilyn was deeply affected by the death of the reporter Mara Scherbatoff in a car accident, while she was following Arthur and Marilyn on the country roads, driving towards their house in Connecticut. Marilyn considered this event as a ill omen.On Sunday, July 1, Marilyn converted to Judaism (22nd Tamouz 5716 of the Jewish calendar).
Then the religious ceremony was celebrated by rabbi Goldberg in Miller's agent house, Kay Brown, near Katonah
Lee Strasberg led Marilyn to the nuptial dais.
Her bridesmaid were Amy Greene, Hedda Rosten and Judy Kantor.
,, (more pics here).
In July, Arthur Miller obtained a passport to go with Marilyn in England, where she had to shot her next movie "The Prince and The Showgirl".
July 13, 1956, leaving New York
downstairs of their apartment,-,
at Idlewild Airport
Press conférence at the airport : (more pics here).
Miller had to attend the premiere of his play "A View From The Bridge", and Marilyn had to begin the shooting of "The Prince and The Showgirl" with Laurence Olivier. They settled in the property of Englefield Green, in Egham, not far from London.
The day of their arrival
with Laurence Olivier
On July 15, 1956
Press conference on July 15, 1956, at the London Savoy Hotel
On July 16, 1956, luncheon at the Claridge's Hotel
On July 18, 1956, they attended the premiere of "South Sea Bubble", a play performed by Vivien Leigh at the
Lyric Theater of London : ,,,.
On July 24, 1956, the writer Terence Rattigan gave a party for the launch of "The Prince and The Showgirl", which Marilyn and Arthur Miller attended in Edwardian clothes :
The first difficulties appeared in the couple when Marilyn found out Miller's diary. Thus she learned that Miller had doubts about their marriage that he felt as a load and from which he feared that he would damage his own creativity.
In England, he was taken in Marilyn's circle; her problems (nasty relationships with Laurence Olivier of who she thought that he despised her as a person as long as an actress, then her difficulties with her partner Milton Greene) prevented him from devoting to his work.Pictures during the shooting :
On August 30, 1956, Arthur left to the USA, to visit his children; Marilyn went with him at the airport :
On September 7, 1956, They also attended the performance of "Caucasian Chalk Circle"of Bertold Brecht :
On September 9, 1956, whatever were Marilyn's doubts about her wedding, she publicly defended Arthur when Lord Chamberlain wanted to ban "A View From The Bridge", for its allusion to homosexuality. Scandalized by the censorship, Marilyn was one of the first people to join the New Watergate Theater Club, an association which protested against any form of interference in arts :
On October 12, 1956, at he premiere of "A View From The Bridge" at the Comedy Theatre, Marilyn stole the
show to the writers and the actors : ,, (more pics here).
Then, with other personalities, she was introduced to Queen Elizabeth :
November 19, 1956, Arthur and Marilyn attended a discussion about the English Theater at the Royal Court Theater :
November 20, 1956, leaving London
stop-over in Shannon, Ireland,
arriving in New York
On December 18, 1956, they attended the premiere of "Baby Doll"
at the Broadway Victoria Theater :
From January 3 to 17, 1957 they went in honeymoon in Jamaica. They lived in a villa owned by Lady Pamela Bird, in Moon Point. They were along with Arthur's cousin, Morton Miller and his wife Florence.
Leaving New York
Arriving in Jamaica
At the Half Moon Hotel, in Montego Bay
Arriving in New York, January 17, 1957
When they were back, they moved in an apartment located 444 East 57th Street, not far from Marilyn's address before her leaving to London.
They spent the next 3 years between their New York apartment and their house of Roxbury, in Connecticut.
,,, (more pics here).
During the renovation work done in Roxbury, they moved in a house rented in Amagansett, Long Island
Hampton Beach (Long Island)
n April 11, 1957, party given for the 200th Lafayette birthday at the Waldorf-Astoria: ,
On May 13, 1957, leaving to Washington DC where Miller was summoned at the House of Un-American Activities Commitee :
Departure at the Washington DC station:
June 12, 1957, stroll in Manhattan : ,, (more pics here).
Letter from Inez Melson dated June 24, 1957 :.
During Summer 1957, in Amagansett, Marilyn had an ectopic pregnancy and was transfered to the New York Doctors Hospital.
Leaving the hospital, August 1, 1957 :
In the ambulance :
In 1958, the problems of the couple became obvious for everyone : sometimes Marilyn had terrible angers in public, which caused Miller's escape. Norman Rosten told that Miller, in a pitiful condition, took refuge in his office. Lena Pepitone claimed that they practically lived separated from each other; they met the less they could, and Miller spent most of his time working. She took some courses with Lee Strasberg and daily met her psychoanalyst.
April 29, 1958, in their New York apartment, with producer Kermit Bloomgarden :
On May 21, 1958, Arthur Miller received the gold medal from the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters during the annual ceremony, at the Academy Auditorium:
Arthur went with her at the airport on July 7, 1958; she left alone to Los Angeles, for the shooting of "Some Like it Hot" :
He joined her on the set of "Some Like it Hot" (1958) :Production : ,,, (more pics here).
During the shooting, Marilyn was pregnant, once again, but had a miscarriage after 3 months. She was deeply affected.
During Spring 1958, Marilyn made a picture session with Richard Avedon for Life magazine issue from December
22, 1958; Arthur wrote an article to go with the pictures :
November 1958, back to New York :
Picture New York, 1958
On February 5, 1959, they had lunch whith Karen Blixen at the writer Carson McCullers's home :
then, they attended the New York preview of "Some Like it Hot" :On February 10, 1959, performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera : ,
(more pics here).
OnMay 13, 1959, he went with Marilyn at the Italian Cultural Institute, New York City (686 Park Avenue) where she received the David di Donatello Award (Italy) for "The Best Foreign Actress in 1958" in"The Prince and The Showgirl"; it was given to her buy Filippo Donini, the director of the Institute.
On March 29, 1959, they attended the premiere of "Some Like it Hot", at the Lowe’s Capitol Theater of New
York City : ,, (more pics here).
FromJune 22 to 26, 1959, Marilyn was hospitalized at the Lenox Hill Hospital, for an endometrium surgery.
For his part, Arthur had creativity problems and
after 10 years of success, went through a hard time. He worked on the
script of "The Misfits",
a movie suggested to him by photographer Sam Shaw and written for Marilyn.
It took him 2 years to finish the screenplay.
July 1959, leaving the Actors Studio
On August 15, 1959 the Millers attended a performance of "Macbeth" at the Boston Arts Center Theater,
In September, he accompanied Marilyn at the New York airport: she flew to Los Angeles to attend the dinner in
On September 27, 1959, they attended the AFHU ceremony (American Friends of the Hebrew University) at the
On November 2, 1959, the Millers arrived in Los Angeles where Marilyn had to shot "Let's Make
On January 16, 1960,
press conference for the start of the shooting of "Let's Make Love" : ,
, (more pics here).
In March 1960 he was called back in Los Angeles to get involved in the screenplay of "Let's Make Love".Production : ,,, (more pics here).
At the same time, the writers union began a strike.
In his book Donald Spoto placed the moment when she became aware of her wedding failure, during the shooting of this movie.
Miller gave another interpretation. In
his autobiography, he claimed that, in fact, he had gave up his
own work to prove her that they were able to live together, that he was
there to help her and that his presence on the set was exclusively
dedicated to her.
She was upset because Miller having given up his political ideals, he disappointed her. For his part, he had many topics of dissatisfactions, which included the affair between Marilyn and Montand. The tension which reigned on the set was a test to both of them :
The shooting of "The Misfits" signed the death of the couple. They took separate rooms. He had considerably suffered and began to doubt about his writer talents. Every nights, he wrote the dialogues for the following day. He couldn't made up his mind neither about the end of the movie, nor on the choice of the cow-boy who had to win Marilyn's love.
Arriving in Reno, on July 20, 1960
at the airport
in the car
Production : ,,,,,,
(more pics here).
On September 5, 1960, Marilyn was back in Reno after her hospitalization
Arriving in San Francisco
At the end of the shooting, they left the studios in separate cars.
At the end of October 1960 she announced she had asked Miller to leave their bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
On November 11, 1960, the divorce announcement was made public. She lived in the apartment, 444 East 57th Street, he lived at the Chelsea Hotel.
After the divorce, he would keep the house in Roxbury :.
On January 20, 1961, in Juarez, Mexico, she obtained the divorce due to irreconcilable differences, from Judge Miguel Gomez Guerra.
She had chosen this day, because it was the day of President Kennedy's investiture and it occupied the whole press.
Miller was affected by Marilyn's nervous breakdown after their separation. He would have thought about visiting her at the hospital, but some friends would have dissuade him, claiming that he couldn't do anything more for her.After Marilyn's death, he felt guilty to have hastened her suicide by leaving her. To calm his anxiety, he wrote
Despite the lack of enthusiasm the work aroused when it was published and the ethical problem it posed (publicly unveil his ex-wife personality), the play showed Miller's perspicacity concerning Marilyn.
Many commentaires have noticed that "The Misfits" and "After The Fall" perfectly describe 2 facets of Marilyn : her bright and full of life side, and her dark and desperate one.
She had stayed with him more longer than with anyone else; he was often criticized for having let her within her anxieties and drug addiction. But his devotion during the hard years can't be called into question.In 1960, on 5th Avenue, New York City, Miller met Inge Morath, the photographer he had met on the set of "The Misfits", while she belonged to the Magnum agency crew, which covered the shooting.
Arthur didn't recognize her but he called the Taylors to ask who she was, saying that he rememered her face but not her name.
In April 1960, Miller dealt with the movie production of his play "A View From The Bridge", for which Norman Rosten worked on the screenplay.
On February 17, 1962 he married Inge Morath. The ceremony took place in New Milford, Connecticut.
On September 15, 1962, birth of their daughter, Rebecca (;).
They lived together until Inge's death.
With Inge Morath
With Elia Kazan
With Pablo Neruda
In Fall 1963, Inge gave birth to Daniel, a boy affected by the Down Syndrome. Daniel would spend the rest of his life in an institution for mental retardation children. Inge would visit him almost every week, while Arthur would not much came; he wouldn't recognize and even mention his son publicly. Moreover, none of his official or professional biographies would mention Daniel's birth.
In 1965, with Luchino Visconti who produced Miller's play, "After The Fall" in Paris :
In 1966 Miller joined the Committee of Conscience against Apartheid action by removing his bank accounts from the Chase Manhattan and the First National City Bank, in protest to the banks support to the South Africa economy.
He also accepted the presidency of PEN International, a writers association which had 8 000 members through the world, even if none of them came from countries limiting the artistic freedom, like the Soviet bloc, the Latin America's dictators and the apartheid in Africa :
The problem of self-expression became the main cause to defend for Miller's administration, from 1965 to 1969, and he helped to guarantee the release of Arrabal, the Franco-Spanish writer, from Franco's prisons.
With Inge, they started travelling in the East, from Hong-Kong to Japan, Siam, Cambodia, and Soviet Union
In April 1967, he signed and contributed to the funding of a full-page advert which had to be published in London Times, to protest against the American position in Vietnam. His signature completed those of Mike Nichols, Marlon Brando, Joseph Heller, Allen Ginsburg, William L.Shirer and Benjamin Spock :
In August 1968 Miller got the election sewed up in Roxbury as delegate of the Democratic Party Convention :
In 1972, with the German writer Heinrich Böll in Cologne :
On October 30, 1995 the PEN
American Center paid tribute to him at the Town Hall, New York City.
The occasion was his 80th birthday, 2 weeks earlier. A selection of his plays was performed. Followed by a dinner at Sardi's, the New York theater mark.
When the studio agreed that Arthur wrote the screenplay, the project became a family matter. Rebecca Miller became the photographer of the shooting (she had also played small parts in "Regarding Henry" and "Mrs Parker and the Vicious CIrcle"). During the shooting in Essex, Massachusetts, Rebecca met her future husband, the actor Daniel Day Lewis, who played the leading role besides Winona Ryder.
This movie was as a kind of a family therapy. Arthur and Robert hadn't had any contact for many years. Arthur hadn't really had the experience of his son as an adult. They both needed something that could link them and the movie was the event which brought them together.
The crfitics of the movie were good and it was nominated to the Academy Awards for the Best Screenplay.
Inge died on January 30, 2002.
He died on February 10, 2005 at Roxbury, from a congestive heart failure.
Other pictures (thanks to give me any informations you may have about these pics):
"After the Fall". New York : Viking, 1964.
"Everybody Wins", New York, Grove.1990.
"My Wife Marilyn", by Arthur Miller, published in Life magazine, December 22th 1958.
"The Misfits", Arthur Miller, Le Livre de poche Edition, 1972.
"Au fil du temps" Arthur Miller, Paris, Grasset, 1988; LGF, collection livres de poche, 1989.
"Timebends". New York : Grove. 1987.
"Théâtre", Arthur Miller, Paris, Laffont, 1995.
" Arthur Miller : His Life and Work ". Martin Gottfried. Editions Da Capo. 2003.