Monday, July 23, 2012

Denny Miller, Actor, Author and Activist to Visit the Silver Screen Oasis

"Life is what happens to you while you're on your way to do something else," says veteran actor and fitness activist Denny Miller, and he certainly did do something else. George Cukor directed his screen test for a MGM contract. He is reportedly an extra in Sunset Boulevard and Some Came Running marked his introduction to movies in a small part. He was among the last groups of contractees to be trained in the studio era at MGM and Universal-International. He was one of the youngest actors to ever play Tarzan in the movies. On television, he appeared in 110 episodes of the television program, Wagon Train

Denny Miller is an actor whose long career has included time sharing the screen with everyone from Robert Ryan to Natalie Schaefer to Bette Davis to Bob Hope. Actor, author, and physical fitness advocate Denny Miller, a genial, walking encyclopedia of Hollywood history, is the visiting Guest Author at the Silver Screen Oasis for the weekend of July 27th-29th!

A veteran performer appearing in 237 television programs and 20 films, Miller has been an advocate of healthy living for most of his life. Earning a degree in physical education from UCLA has helped the former Duke Shannon of Wagon Train fame advocate for active lifestyles, and inspired his book, Toxic Waist...Get to Know Sweat! Miller also penned a compilation of his memories in the 2005 text entitled Didn't You Used To Be What's His Name?, and is preparing to release his next venture entitled Me Tarzan, You Train! to help aging Baby Boomers learn how to exercise, have fun, and avoid injury.

In August, as the oldest living actor to appear as Tarzan on the big screen, Miller will attend the U.S. Postal Service ceremony in Tarzana when it formally issues an Edgar Rice Burroughs /Tarzan U.S. Stamp to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the first publication of Tarzan.

In Didn't You Used to Be What's His Name, Miller reveals that his father, Dr. Ben Miller, Professor Emeritus at U.C.L.A. for 28 years, was one of his heroes, and was on the President's Council For Physical Fitness under President Eisenhower and President Kennedy. When Miller earned a scholarship to U.C.L.A. as a basketball player coached by the famous John Wooden, he pursued his dreams of being a professional ball player, but that wasn't in the cards for Miller. He was discovered delivering furniture to a talent agency while working his part-time job, and during the course of unloading furniture at the agency, he was given several cards from agents who encouraged him to call. One agent, Robert Raison, was unusually persistent, and became Miller's representative for fourteen years.

He has worked with an acting Valhalla:  Cornel Wilde, Lee Majors, Jack Lord, Tom Selleck, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Joan Rivers, Bette Davis, Dennis Weaver, Rock Hudson, Stephanie Powers, Robert Wagner, Brian Keith, Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Robert Fuller, Bill Smith, and many others. As a regular cast member of Wagon Train from 1961 to 1964, he was able to work and learn from some of Hollywood's greatest actors. Some of his directors include Sydney Pollack, George Cukor, Vincente Minelli, and Sidney Poitier.

As a veteran of more than 200 commercials, Miller most recently has been popular as the Gorton's Fisherman, and has written and directed his own relaxation video. Mr. Miller also maintains his own website where you can read more about his adventures in Hollywood as well  as see his upcoming schedule of appearances:

If you have ever wondered what it was like to work in film or television, please join us for an opportunity to ask questions of this actor and author this coming weekend. We'd love to have your company as well as Denny's anytime.  Below is a link to the Q & A with our guest:


Caftan Woman said...

Cool. Just thinking about Denny Miller makes me happy.

Moira Finnie said...

He does have that effect, doesn't he, Patricia? I still have vague but happy memories of seeing him with the lovely actress-dancer Juliet Prowse in a brief sitcom, "Mona McCluskey" in the mid-60s. I hope you'll stop by the SSO to enjoy the Q & A. We'd love to have you!

Anonymous said...

I remember as a kid watching Denny Miller in the "Gilligan's Island" episode, "Big Man On Little Stick". I also remember him in the short-lived TV series "Mona McCluskey". Also in many other shows. So some of us have not forgotten Mr. Miller.

Good to see he's still kickin' and still active. So many of that era are now gone and I was surprised to find that he was still around.

Thanks for the memories!

Jeff Huxton

Moira Finnie said...

Hi Jeff-
Denny was a wonderful guest and his is a warm and welcome presence in so many of the films and television programs of our youth. If you are interested, Denny has a blog where he posts his positive and insightful messages regularly, here:



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