Edit
Arthur Miller Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (45) | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 17 October 1915Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 10 February 2005Roxbury, Connecticut, USA  (congestive heart failure)
Birth NameArthur Asher Miller
Height 6' 2½" (1.89 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Arthur Asher Miller was born on October 17, 1915, in New York City, to Augusta (Barnett) and Isidore Miller. His family was of Austrian Jewish descent. His father manufactured women's coats, but his business was devastated by the Depression, seeding his son's disillusionment with the American Dream and those blue-sky-seeking Americans who pursued it with both eyes focused on the Grail of Materialism. Due to his father's strained financial circumstances, Miller had to work for tuition money to attend the University of Michigan. It was at Michigan that he wrote his first plays. They were successes, earning him numerous student awards, including the Avery Hopwood Award in Drama for "No Villain" in 1937. The award was named after one of the most successful playwrights of the 1920s, who simultaneously had five hits on Broadway, the 'Neil Simon (I)' of his day. Now almost forgotten except for his contribution to "Gold Diggers of 1933," Hopwood achieved a material success that the older Miller could not match, but he failed to capture the immortality that would be Miller's. Hopwood's suicide, on the beach of the Cote d'Azur, inspired Norman Maine's march into the SoCal surf in A Star Is Born (1937). It seemed to encapsulate the American dilemma: the achievement of success was no panacea for an America soul-sick from its pursuit.

Like Fitzgerald, Miller tasted success at a tender age. In 1938, upon graduating from Michigan, he received a Theatre Guild National Award and returned to New York, joining the Federal Theatre Project. He married his college girlfriend, Mary Grace Slattery, in 1940; they would have two children, Joan and Robert. In 1944, he made his Broadway debut with "The Man Who Had All the Luck," a flop that lasted only four performances. He went on to publish two books, "Situation Normal" in '44, and "Focus" in 1945, but it was in 1947 that his star became ascendant. His play "All My Sons," directed by Elia Kazan, became a hit on Broadway, running for 328 performances. Both Miller and Kazan received Tony Awards, and Miller won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. It was a taste of what was to come.

Staged by Kazan, "Death of a Salesman" opened at the Morosco Theatre on February 10, 1949, and closed 742 performances later on Nov 18, 1950. The play was the sensation of the season, winning six Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Author for Miller. Miller also was awarded the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play made lead actor Lee J. Cobb, as Willy Loman, an icon of the stage comparable to the Hamlet of John Barrymore: a synthesis of actor and role that created a legend that survives through the bends of time. A contemporary classic was recognized, though some critics complained that the play wasn't truly a tragedy, as Willy Loman was such a pathetic soul. The fall of such a small person as Loman could not qualify as tragedy, as there was so little height from which to fall. Miller, a dedicated progressive and a man of integrity, never accepted the criticism. As Willy's wife Linda said at his funeral, "Attention must be paid," even to the little people who were crucified alongside the capitalist gods in the pursuit of the American Dream.

In 1983 Miller himself directed a staging of "Salesman" in Chinese at the Beijing Peoples' Art Theatre. He said that while the Chinese, then largely ignorant of capitalism, might not have understood Loman's career choice, they did have empathy for his desire to drink from the Grail of the American Dream. They understood this dream, which Miller characterizes as the desire "to excel, to win out over anonymity and meaninglessness, to love and be loved, and above all, perhaps, to count." It is this desire to sup at the table of the great American Capitalists, even if one is just scrounging for crumbs, in a country of which President Calvin Coolidge said, "The business of America is business," this desire to be recognized, to be somebody, that so moves "Salesman" audiences, whether in New York, London or Beijing.

Miller never again attained the critical heights nor smash Broadway success of "Salesman," though he continued to write fine plays that were appreciated by critics and audiences alike for another two decades. Disenchanted with Kazan over his friendly testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, the two parted company when Kazan refused to direct "The Crucible," Miller's parable of the witch hunts of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Defending her husband, Kazan's wife Molly told Miller that the play was disingenuous, as there were no real witches in Puritan Salem. It was a point Miller disagreed with, as it was a matter of perspective--the witches in Salem were real to those who believed in them. Directed by another Broadway legend, Jed Harris, the play ran for 197 performances and won Miller the 1953 Tony Award for Best Play. Miller had another success with "A View from the Bridge," a play about an incest-minded longshoreman written with overtones of classical Greek tragedy, which ran for 149 performances in the 1955-56 season.

It was in 1956 that Miller made his most fateful personal decision, when he divorced his wife Mary and married movie siren-cum-legend Marilyn Monroe. With this marriage Miller achieved a different type of fame, a pop culture status he abhorred. It was a marriage doomed to fail, as Monroe was, in Miller's words, "highly self-destructive." In his beautifully written 1989 autobiography "Timebends," Miller wrote that a marriage was a conspiracy to keep out the light. When one or more of the partners could no longer prevent the light from coming in and illuminating the other's faults, the marriage was doomed.

In his own autobiography, "A Life," Kazan said that he could not understand the marriage. Monroe, who had slept with Kazan on a casual basis, as she did with many other Hollywood players, was the type of woman someone took as a mistress, not as a wife. Miller, however, was a man of principle. He was in love. "[A]ll my energy and attention were devoted to trying to help her solve her problems," Miller confessed to a French newspaper in 1992. "Unfortunately, I didn't have much success."

The conspiracy collapsed during the filming of The Misfits (1961) (1961), with John Huston shooting the original script Miller had written expressly for his wife. The genesis of the story had come to him while waiting out a divorce from his first wife Mary in Nevada. Monroe hated her character Roslyn, claiming that Miller had made her out to be the dumb blond stereotype she so loathed and had been trying to escape. Withering in her criticism of Miller, and ultimately unfaithful to him, she and Miller separated.

Norman Mailer, in his dubious 1973 biography "Marilyn," ridiculed Miller for not doing enough to help Monroe, for not being man enough to keep her. Movie critic Pauline Kael, in turn, lambasted Mailer, saying it was simply a matter of petty machismo and jealousy, that the nearly eight-year-younger Mailer resented Miller (who, unlike Mailer, was never shy about his Judaism), his respectable reputation and his conquest of Marilyn. Ironically, Mailer had lived in the same Brooklyn boarding house as Miller did, after World War II. What Mailer seemed to resent most of all was never being invited over to meet the Missus when they lived close by one another in Connecticut in the late 1950s.

Miller would later reunite with Kazan to launch the new Lincoln Center Repertory Theater, with the play "After the Fall," a fictionalization of his relationship with Monroe. "Fall" ran for 208 performances in repertory in 1964 and 1965 and won 1964 Tony Awards for Jason Robards and Kazan's future wife Barbara Loden, playing the Miller and Monroe stand-ins Quentin and Maggie. Miller's own "Incident at Vichy" played in repertory with "Fall" in the 1965 season, but lasted only 32 performances

On June 1, 1957, Miller was found in contempt of Congress for refusing to name names of a literacy circle suspected of Communist Party affiliations. The State Department deprived him of his passport, and he became a left-wing cause celebre. In 1967 Miller became President of P.E.N., an international literacy organization that campaigned for the rights of suppressed writers. He published a collection of short stories entitled "I Don't Need You Any More" the same year. Returning to the Morosco Theatre, the site of his greatest triumph, "The Price" was Miller's last unqualified hit in America, running for 429 performances between Feb 7, 1968 and Feb 15, 1969. Though Miller won a 1968 Tony Award for Best Play, the bulk of his success as an original playwright was over. A 1971 teleplay (_Price, The (1971) (TV)_) of the production was nominated for six Emmy awards, including Outstanding Single Program-Drama or Comedy, and won three, including Best Actor for George C. Scott, who would later win a 1976 Tony playing Willy Loman in a 1975 Broadway revival.

Miller never again achieved success on Broadway with an original play. In the 1980s, when he was hailed as the greatest living American playwright after the death of Tennessee Williams, he even had trouble getting full-scale revivals of his work staged. One of his more significant later works, "The American Clock", based on Studs Terkel's oral history of the Great Depression "Hard Times," ran for only 11 previews and 12 performances in late 1980 at the Biltmore Theatre. Also in 1980, Miller courted controversy by backing the casting of anti-Zionist Vanessa Redgrave as a concentration-camp Jewess in his teleplay Playing for Time (1980), an adaptation of the memoir "The Musicians of Auschwitz." Another politically active Jew in show business, soon-to-be-president of the Screen Actors Guild Edward Asner, recommended that other Jews shun Miller. Commercial Broadway producers didn't need Asner's advice to shun Miller, however. Ironically for America's greatest living playwright, his original work was popular in Britain, whose intellectual and theatrical communities treated him as a major figure in world literature. The universality of his work was highlighted with his own successful staging of "Death of a Salesman" in Beijing in 1983.

Arthur Miller wrote plays, screenplays, novels, short stories, non-fiction, and an autobiography, but it will be for "Death of a Salesman" that he will be remembered. It is the "Great American Fiction" of the 20th century, if not the Great American Play, perfectly encapsulating what was wrong with America in that tumultuous century. The play has become a standard warhorse, now revived each decade on Broadway, and all over the world. In addition to George C. Scott and Lee J. Cobb (who received an Emmy nomination for the 1966 teleplay; Miller himself received a Special Citation from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the production), Dustin Hoffman and Brian Dennehy have garnered kudos for playing Willie Loman. The 1984 Broadway revival of "Salesman" won a Tony for best Reproduction and helped revive Miller's domestic reputation, while Volker Schlöndorff's 1985 film (Death of a Salesman (1985)) of the production won 10 Emmy nominations, including one for Miller as executive producer of the Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special. Hoffman won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing Willy Loman. The hit 1999 revival won four Tonys, including Dennehy for Best Actor, and ran for 274 performances at the Eugene O''Neill Theatre.

Miller based his works on American history, his own life, and his observations of the American scene. Though uniquely American, they simultaneously were universal stories about an individual's struggle with his society, his family, and especially, himself. Miller's characters suffer from anxiety, depression, and guilt, and it was the genius of Miller to portray their pain and sorrow realistically, creating works that were familiar, yet uncanny in their power to move an audience. Miller's stature is based on his refusal to avoid moral and social issues in his writing, even when the personal cost was terrible. Miller might not have been the greatest writer in America, but his bravery and his willingness to fight for what he believed in his chosen art form made him a great American whose name will live on in world letters.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (3)

Inge Morath (17 February 1962 - 30 January 2002) (her death) (2 children)
Marilyn Monroe (29 June 1956 - 20 January 1961) (divorced)
Mary Grace Slattery (5 August 1940 - 11 June 1956) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (45)

Born at 5:12am-EST
Father (with Inge Morath) of Rebecca Miller.
Father of Jane Ellen Miller and Robert A. Miller by first wife, Mary Slattery.
Older brother of Joan Copeland.
First wife Mary Slattery was his college sweetheart.
Met his late wife, Inge Morath, when she and other photographers from the legendary Magnum agency, was assigned to document the making of Miller's and Marilyn Monroe's film, The Misfits (1961).
Daughter Rebecca Miller is married to Daniel Day-Lewis, who starred in The Crucible (1996), a film version of Miller's play.
(May 8, 2002) Miller received the "Principe de Asturias" prize, in honour of his writing career.
Awarded Spain's Principe de Asturias Prize for Literature as "the undisputed master of modern drama." Previous winners include Doris Lessing, Günter Grass and Carlos Fuentes. [May 2002]
Divorced his first wife, Mary Slattery, in Reno, NV, after a six-week residency period. It was while waiting for his divorce that Miller met a group of cowboys who inspired the short story "The Misfits", which he later adapted as a vehicle for his second wife, Marilyn Monroe.
His "Death of a Salesman" was the first play to take the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
Was exempted from military service during World War II because of a football injury.
Was found guilty of contempt of Congress for refusing to reveal to the House Un-American Activities Committee the names of members of a literary circle accused of Communist affiliations. His conviction was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on 8 August 1958. [May 1957]
Graduated from the University of Michigan in 1938, majoring in journalism. He was a reporter and night editor on the student paper, The Michigan Daily.
According to Martin Gottfried's biography, "Arthur Miller: His Life and Work," he and his late wife, Inge Morath, had a son, Daniel, born with Down Syndrome. Miller put Daniel in an institution in Roxbury, Conn., and never visited him.
Was one of three children. His father was an Austrian Jewish immigrant. His mother was born in New York, to Austrian Jewish parents.
He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1995 (1994 season) BBC Award for Best Play for Broken Glass.
(12/04) The 89-year-old Miller announced that he has been living with 34-year-old artist Agnes Barley at his Roxbury, Connecticut, farm since 2002.
Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". New Revision Series, Vol. 132, pp. 287-295. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005.
Miller died on the 56th anniversary of the opening night of his greatest success. "Death of a Salesman" opened at the Morosco Theatre on Feb 10, 1949 and closed on Nov 18, 1950, running for a total of 742 performances. The original production won two 1949 Tony Awards for Miller for Best Play and Best Author. It also won Tony Awards for Arthur Kennedy (Best Supporting or Featured Actor-Dramatic), Jo Mielziner (Best Scenic Design), Kermit Bloomgarden and Walter Fried (Producer-Dramatic), and Elia Kazan (Best Director). Cameron Mitchell won a 1949 Theatre World Award for Supporting Actor. Miller also was awarded the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play has been revived three times successfully on Broadway, in 1975, 1984 and 1999.
According to Miller in his autobiography "Timebends," he had written a screenplay dealing with corruption on the New York waterfront called "The Hook." Elia Kazan had agreed to direct it, and in 1951 they went to see Harry Cohn at Columbia Pictures about making the picture. Cohn agreed in principle to make "The Hook," but his minions were troubled by the portrayal of corrupt union officials. When Cohn asked that the antagonists of the script be changed to Communists, Miller refused. Cohn sent Miller a letter telling him it was interesting that he had resisted Columbia's desire to make the movie pro-American. Kazan later made a movie about corruption on the waterfront that did include corrupt union officials, based on articles by Malcolm Johnson. He asked Miller to write the script, but Miller declined due to his disenchantment with Kazan's friendly testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Budd Schulberg, a fellow HUAC informer, developed the story and wrote the script. The movie was produced by Sam Spiegel and distributed through Columbia. On the Waterfront (1954), which won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, is considered a classic and was one of the first films named to the National Film Preservation Board's National Film Registry in 1989.
He was forced to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1956, after he had sought a passport to accompany his wife, Marilyn Monroe, to England for the shooting of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957). In 1954 the US State Department had refused to renew his passport (first issued in 1947) on the grounds that he was a "fellow traveler". Subsequent to his 1956 request, HUAC subpoenaed Miller to testify about the unauthorized use of American passports. The justification of the subpoena was that the State Department was withholding approval of his latest request due to derogatory information about Miller's past. In his HUAC testimony, Miller admitted to involvement with many Communist-front organizations and having had sponsored many Communist-backed causes in the 1940s. When Miller was asked whether he had signed an application to join the Communist Party in 1939 or '40, he explained that he believed he had signed an application for a course on Marxism. The date was significant for it was the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, signed in Moscow on August 23, 1939 (thus enabling the launching of World War II by allying the USSR with Germany, partitioning Poland between the two countries, and allowing Adolf Hitler to concentrate his war machine on the West), that led many American Communist Party members, like friendly witness Elia Kazan, to repudiate the Party. To have stuck with the Party or to have joined after the Pact would tar one as a Stalinist. Claiming he could not remember, Miller refused to deny that he had signed statements attacking H.U.A.C. and the Smith Act, and signing a statement against outlawing the Communist party. The Alien Registration Act of 1940, a.k.a. the Smith Act, had been used to destroy the Communist Party. It banned knowingly or willfully advocating, abetting, advising, or teaching the necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing the government of the U.S. or any of its subdivisions by force or violence, or by assassination of its officials. It also outlawed the printing, publishing, editing and distribution of materials advocating violent revolution, and made it a crime to organize, help or make attempts to organize any group advocating the same. The U.S. Supreme Court had upheld the Smith Act in 1951. Upholding the conspiracy convictions of 11 Communist Party leaders, the Court, applying a clear and present danger test, held that free speech could be curbed in order to suppress a serious evil. Miller told H.U.A.C. that he opposed the Smith Act because it might limit "advocacy," which was essential to literature. The right to free expression for artists had to be preserved. Miller's culpability hanged upon his helping a group, i.e., the Communist Party, which advocated the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Miller testified that he had attended Communist party writers' meetings four or five times. When he was asked to confirm the identity of the chairman of a 1947 "meeting of Communist party writers" that he had attended, Miller refused to name names. He stated that though he "would not support now a cause dominated by Communists . . . my conscience will not permit me to use the name of another person and bring trouble to him." Section 6 of The Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 made it illegal for any member of a registered Communist or Communist-front organization, or an organization under order to be filed as Communist or Communist-front, to apply for or use a passport if they had knowledge of the actual or impending registration. The provision was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1964 as violating the Fifth Amendment's due process clause. The Court held that the law infringed on the right to travel, and limited "freedom of association." Faulting Section 6 for being too broad in its application, the Court held it to be unconstitutional as it penalized organization members regardless of their knowledge of its illegal aims, whether they were active or not, and whether they intended to further the organization's illegal aims or not. The law was too broad as it effected "Communist-action" and "Communist-front" organizations whether or not a member believed or knew that they were associated with such an organization, or whether they knew that the organization sought to further the aims of world Communism. (However, the next year, the Court upheld State Department area restrictions on passports, finding that its passport policies did not violate the First Amendment as they inhibited action rather than expression. This distinction was again upheld in 1981.) In 1956, however, Section 6 of The Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 was still the law of the land, and it was the law with which H.U.A.C. went after Miller. H.U.A.C. gave Miller an additional ten days to return and answer questions, with the implication that he would be cited for contempt if he did no do so. Miller's lawyers counseled that since the committee's line of questioning had nothing to do with passports, he was not in contempt of Congress for choosing not to answer a question about an unrelated subject. He refused to participate in any further questioning. The State Department issued Miller a six-month temporary passport to accompany Monroe to England, but upon his return, he was indicted by a federal grand jury after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 373 to 9 to cite him for contempt. He was convicted of contempt in federal court, fined $500 and given a thirty-day suspended prison sentence. In 1958, his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Citing a 1955 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that H.U.A.C had not sufficiently warned Miller of the penalty for refusing to answer a congressional committee's questions. Miller won the respect of the left and libertarians for doing what many others in his position did not: Stand up to the House Un-American Activities Committee, regardless of the personal cost. His moral courage, which was on display in his life as well as his literature, made him a true American hero.
Won six Tony Awards: in 1947, as Best Author for "All My Sons;" in 1949, as Best Author as well as author of Best Play winner "Death of a Salesman;" in 1953, as Best Author (Dramatic) as well as author of Best Play winner "The Crucible;" and in 1999, a Special Lifetime Achievement Tony Award. He was also Tony-nominated three other times as author of a Best Play nominee: "The Price in 1968, "Broken Glass" in 1994, and "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan" in 2000.
In his autobiography "Timebends," Miller speculates that his unconscious mind picked the name "Loman" for Willy Loman, the protagonist of his greatest play, "Death of a Salesman" (1947), from the movie Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933), which featured a character named "Inspector Lohmann." (Kriminalkomissar Karl Lohmann also appeared in "Mabuse" director Fritz Lang's M (1931)).
His play "Resurrection Blues" was chosen by Old Vic Artistic Director Kevin Spacey for an early 2006 production by the venerable London theatrical company. Director by Robert Altman in his London theatrical debut, the Miller play featured an eclectic cast, including Maximilian Schell, James Fox (who replaced John Wood before previews) and American movie actors Matthew Modine and Jane Adams. The critics mostly panned "Resurrection Blues", partly due to the clash in acting styles of the disparate cast. Adams walked out after a matinée on April 5, 2006, and was replaced by her understudy for subsequent performances. No explanation was given for her departure from the production. The play was scheduled to close a week early in mid-April due to poor ticket sales. Altman claimed after the poor debut of the play that he was not very familiar with the script, and didn't really understand the play. Critics said that his confusion obviously affected the cast, many of whom seemed not to understand the play, and some of whom seemed to have trouble remembering lines. While not an outright debacle, the play is another relative failure characterizing Spacey's troubled tenure as Old Vic chief.
In his autobiography "Timebends," Miller says that Lee J. Cobb was his favorite Willy Loman. He also says that Cobb was never really a leftist as he was apolitical, but that he had been attracted to left-wing and anti-Nazi causes during the Depression as had many people who were trying to do right. Thus, Miller never held the fact that he was a friendly witness before HUAAC against him. A decade after his testimony, Cobb's Willy Loman was captured for posterity, with the 1966 video version. By then, Miller had even worked again with Elia Kazan, the most famous and unrepentant of the people who knuckled under and "named names, " whom he fell out with when Kazan refused to direct the Broadway staging of "The Crucible," Miller's metaphorical denunciation of McCarthyism.
He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1993 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C.
Won the University of Michigan's prestigious "Hopwood Prize" for creative writing in 1938, while an undergraduate at the school. The prize is named for playwright Avery Hopwood (1882 - 1928), a vastly successful playwright in the teens and 1920s (most famous for the plays "The Bat (1926)" and "The Golddiggers", which became the basis of Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)) a Michigan alumnus who left a bequest in his will establishing the awards. The Hopwood Program at Michigan now administers the Arthur Miller Award of the U-M Club of New York Scholarship.
He and his then wife Marilyn Monroe commissioned famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home for their Roxbury property in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Although the house was never built by the couple, the plans were purchased many years later by a country club in Hawaii and built as a clubhouse. The scale model is on exhibit at Taliesan West, Wright's winter compound in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Lived with his girlfriend Agnes Barley at the time of his death. Agnes was approximately 50 years younger than Miller.
After his divorce from Marilyn Monroe, his father was Marilyn's date to JFK's birthday party at Madison Square Garden.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 373-376. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Won a 1999 Special Tony Award (New York City) lifetime achievement award.
His play, "Death of a Salesman," at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois was awarded the 1999 Joseph Jefferson Award for Play Production.
His play, "The Price," at the Writers Theatre in Chicago, Illinois was awarded the 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award for Play Production.
His play, "All My Sons" at the TimeLine Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois was nominated for a 2010 Joseph Jefferson Award for Production-Play Midsize.
His play, "Death of a Salesman" at the Raven Theatre in Chicago, Illinois was nominated for a 2010 Joseph Jefferson Award (Non-Equity Division) for Production of a Play.
Both his younger sister Joan Copeland and his second wife Marilyn Monroe were born on June 1: in 1922 and 1926 respectively.
Former son-in-law of Gladys Baker.
Two characters in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) get married as Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe in 1956. The groom, played by Matthew Glaser, wore a pair of glasses that belonged to director Jordan Mohr's father.
Attended Abraham Lincoln H.S. in Brooklyn, after his family moved there from Harlem.
Married Marilyn Monroe in a Jewish ceremony at the Westchester County Courthouse (White Plains, NY) 6/29/56 @ 7:30 PM.
His play, "A View from the Bridge" in a Long Wharf Theatre production on Broadway in New York City was nominated for a 1983 Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for Best Reproduction.
His play, "All My Sons" on Broadway in New York City was awarded the 1987 Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award and 1987 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Revival.

Personal Quotes (15)

The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost.
A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.
Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.
By whatever means it is accomplished, the prime business of a play is to arouse the passions of its audience so that by the route of passion may be opened up new relationships between a man and men, and between men and Man. Drama is akin to the other inventions of man in that it ought to help us to know more, and not merely to spend our feelings.
Look, we're all the same; a man is a fourteen-room house - in the bedroom he's asleep with his intelligent wife, in the living-room he's rolling around with some bareass girl, in the library he's paying his taxes, in the yard he's raising tomatoes, and in the cellar he's making a bomb to blow it all up.
It can take a long time to accept that celebrity is a kind of loneliness.
[on being told by Elia Kazan that he would testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities] Listening to him I grew frightened. There was a certain gloomy logic in what he was saying: unless he came clean he could never hope, in the height of his creative powers, to make another film in America, and he would probably not be given a passport to work abroad, either. If the theatre remained open to him, it was not his primary interest anymore; he wanted to deepen his film life, that was where his heart lay, and he had been told in so many words by his old boss and friend Spyros Skouras, president of Twentieth Century-Fox, that the company would not employ him unless he satisfied the Committee. I could only say that I thought this would pass and that it had to pass because it would devour the glue that kept the country together if left to its own unobstructed course. I said that it was not the Reds who were dispensing our fears now, but the other side, and it could not go indefinitely, it would someday wear down the national nerve. And then there might be regrets about this time. But I was growing cooler with the thought that as unbelievable as it seemed, I could still be up for sacrifice if Kazan knew I attended meetings of the Communist Party writers years ago and had made a speech at one of them. - from his autobiography "Timebends" (1989)
[on why he was called to testify by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956] I knew perfectly well why they had subpoenaed me. It was because I was engaged to Marilyn Monroe. Had I not been, they'd never have thought of me. They'd been through the writers long before and they'd never touched me. Once I became famous as her possible husband, this was a great possibility for publicity. When I got to Washington, preparing to appear before that committee, my lawyer received a message from the chairman saying that if it could be arranged that he could have a picture, a photograph taken with Marilyn, he would cancel the whole hearing. I mean, the cynicism of this thing was so total, it was asphyxiating.
The task of the real intellectual consists of analyzing illusions in order to discover their causes.
Once when my father was about eighty he asked me, 'Do I look like you or do you look like me?' This was serious. 'I guess I look like you,' I said. He seemed to like that answer.
My father loved to stand in front of a theater where a play of mine was on and every now and then stroll in to chat with the box office men about business.
[on Marilyn Monroe] If she was simple, it would have been easy to help her. She could have made it with a little luck.
(On his play After the Fall) The best of our theater is standing on tiptoe, striving to see over the shoulders of father and mother. The worst is exploiting and wallowing in the self-pity of adolescence and obsessive keyhole sexuality. The way out, as the poet says, is always through.
[on approaches to acting] 'The Method' is in the air. The actor is defending himself from the Philistine, vulgar public. I had a girl in 'After the Fall' I couldn't hear. I kept on saying, 'I can't hear you'. She finally got furious and said to me, in effect, that she was acting the truth, and that she was not going to prostitute herself to the audience. That was the living end.
[on working in radio with Orson Welles]: I was amazed at Welles's genius with the microphone; he seemed to climb into it, his word-carving voice winding into one's brain. No actor had such intimacy and sheer presence in a loudspeaker.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page