×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jonathan Miller, British Writer, Director and ‘Beyond the Fringe’ Member, Dies at 85

Jonathan Miller, the writer, director and member of iconic British stage revue Beyond the Fringe, has died at 85.

The multi-talented Miller worked across stage and screen as well as in other fields of the arts. His family said Wednesday that he died peacefully at home after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

After first studying medicine and qualifying as a doctor, the London-born Miller broke into the arts with Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. Miller appeared alongside Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett in the revue, which played in the West End and on Broadway.

He was a well-known face on TV in the U.K. and worked in front of and behind the camera, with numerous programs to his credit. These include six of the BBC’s Shakespeare productions, and several documentaries that he wrote and presented for the pubcaster. His later-career TV work included “Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief” for the BBC. He also appeared on U.S. television, notably on PBS.

Miller started directing operas in the 1970s, a pursuit he carried on for decades. He variously served as an associate director of the National Theatre and The Old Vic. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 in recognition for his services to the arts.

Tributes poured in from the people and organizations that worked with Miller or were fans of his. “Baby Driver” director Edgar Wright described Beyond the Fringe as “triuly ground breaking.” The English National Opera said that Miller’s contribution to the arts “was immeasurable,” and the National Theatre called him “a legendary figure across theatre and opera.”

Miller married Rachel Collett in 1959. The couple had two sons and a daughter.

More TV

  • Succession

    How 'Succession' Costume Designer Dressed the HBO Drama's Leading Men

    Few shows in recent history have received as much attention simply for the clothes as “Succession.” The costuming on the show is indulgent, and impeccable; it arguably plays as big a role as the actors. Entire articles have been written about Shiv’s backless turtleneck — her clothes and her hair. The men on the show [...]

  • Game of Thrones Avengers Endgame

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers: Endgame' Among Most Popular Tweets of 2019

    Twitter released its top-trending topics and tweets of 2019 with “Game of Thrones,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and actor Tom Holland commanding the most tweets in the TV, movies, and actors categories. BTS holds both the No. 1 spot in the most-tweeted-about musicians category and the second-most-retweeted tweet worldwide. Since its release in June, a video of [...]

  • Andrew Scott'1917' film premiere, Arrivals, London,

    'Fleabag' Star Andrew Scott Teases Future Projects With Phoebe Waller-Bridge

    To the delight of “Fleabag” fans everywhere, the “Hot Priest” Andrew Scott received his first-ever Golden Globe nomination Monday morning. His role instantly became an internet phenomenon, thanks in large part to his chemistry with “Fleabag” creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge. He’s up against Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”), Kieran Culkin (“Succession”), Stellan Skarsgård (“Chernobyl”) [...]

  • Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's

    Canal Plus, beIN Sports In Exclusive Talks For Distribution Deal

    Vivendi-owned pay-TV banner Canal Plus Group and the global network beIN Sports have started exclusive talks to sign a five-year exclusive distribution and sub-licensing deal in France. The two companies previously tried to forge a partnership in 2016 but it was denied by France’s anti-trust board. Under the proposed deal, Canal Plus would distribute all [...]

  • The 'Watchmen' Season Finale and More

    What to Watch on TV This Week: 'Watchmen' Season Finale on HBO

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Watchmen” airs its season 1 finale on HBO, and “The Expanse” returns for [...]

  • CBS HEADQUARTERS

    ViacomCBS Will Explore Sale of Black Rock CBS Headquarters

    ViacomCBS will explore the sale of the famous Black Rock building, which has served as the headquarters of CBS since the mid 1960s. Bob Bakish, CEO of the company, which was created last week from the merger of CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc., said the newly combined entertainment conglomerate would explore the sale of sundry [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content