Best Known For
Arthur Miller was an American playwright whose bitting criticism of societal problems defined his genius. His best known play is Death of a Salesman.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born in Harlem, New York in 1915, Arthur Miller attended the University of Michigan before moving back east to produce plays for the stage. His first critical and popular success was Death of a Salesman, which opened on Broadway in 1949. His very colorful public life was painted in part by his rocky marriage to Marilyn Monroe,
"The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost."
and his unwavering refusal to cooperate with the House of Un-American Activities Committee. He was married three times and died in 2005, at the age of 89.
Born in Harlem, New York on October 17, 1915, Arthur Miller was raised in a moderately affluent household until his family lost almost everything in the Wall Street Crash of 1929. They subsequently fired the chauffeur and moved from the Upper East Side in Manhattan to Gravesend, Brooklyn. After graduating high school, Miller worked a few odd jobs to save enough money to attend the University of Michigan. While in college, he wrote for the student paper and complete his first play, No Villain. He also took courses with the much-loved playwright professor Kenneth Rowe, a man who taught his students how to construct a play in order to achieve an intended effect. Inspired by Rowe's approach, Miller moved back east to begin his career.
Things started out a bit rocky: His 1940 play, The Man Who Had All the Luck, garnered precisely the antithesis of its title, closing after just four performances and a stack of woeful reviews. Six years later, however, All My Sons achieved success on Broadway, and earned him his first Tony Award (best author). Working in the small studio that he built in Roxbury, Connecticut, Miller wrote the first act of Death of Salesman in less than a day. It opened on February 10, 1949 at the Morosco Theatre, and was adored by nearly everyone. Salesman won him the triple crown of theatrical artistry: the Pulitzer Prize, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and a Tony.
In 1956, Miller left his first wife, Mary Slattery. Shortly thereafter, he married famed actress Marilyn Monroe. Later that year, the House of Un-American Activities Committee refused to renew Miller's passport, and called him in to appear before the committee—his play, The Crucible, a dramatization of the Salem witch trials of 1692 and an allegory of McCarthyism, was the foremost reason for their strong-armed summons. However, Miller refused to comply with the committee's demands to "out" people who had been active in certain political activities.
In 1961, Monroe starred in The Misfits, a film for which Miller supplied the screenplay. Around the same time, Monroe and Miller divorced.
Within several months, Miller married Austrian-born photographer Inge Morath. The couple had two children, Rebecca and Daniel. Miller insisted that their son, Daniel, who was born with down syndrome, be completely excluded from the family's personal life. Miller's son-in-law, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, visited his wife's brother frequently, and eventually persuaded Miller to reunite with his adult son.
profile name: Arthur Miller profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
After the Civil War, many of the country's best and brightest black advocates, artists, entrepreneurs and intellectuals moved to the New York City neighborhood of Harlem. Thanks largely to the efforts of these residents, Harlem became both the cradle of a cultural revolution and the heart of the civil rights movement. Meet some of the many people who gave—and continue to give—this neighborhood a voice, simply by calling it home.
Famous Harlem Residents 62 people in this group
In the 1940s and 1950s, the United States was in the grips of a "red scare." Many prominent individuals suspected of sympathizing with liberal or humanitarian causes were branded a communist threat, and even accused of espionage. Hollywood was a major focus of the accusations, and after 10 actors refused to testify in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the blacklist was created. Hundreds of actors, actresses, directors, screenwriters and other entertainment professionals were barred from working. Here are some of the famous people who were on the Hollywood blacklist.
Blacklisted 25 people in this group
On June 25, 1956, playwright Arthur Miller married Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe. The unlikely couple faced a series of hardships, including Miller's investigation for communist sympathies, and Monroe's depression, miscarriages and drug use. They divorced in 1961.
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller 2 people in this group
presented by Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller