Miller, Jonathan

Jonathan Miller CBE was a theatre and opera director, as well as an author, actor, and doctor. He was born in 1934 in St John’s Wood, London into a Jewish family of Lithuanian origin. Miller studied Medicine at Cambridge and later at University College Hospital, London. Whilst at university, Miller was involved in drama and appeared in successful performances, which led to his involvement in radio and television productions. Miller not only took part in the writing and production, he also acted in the musical Behind the Fringe (1960), which was shown at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show received a Special Tony Award in 1963. In 1962 Miller directed Under Plain Cover and in 1964 The Old Glory, which was hugely successful, winning five Obie Awards. In 1966, Miller produced and directed the BBC television adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and was involved in the National Theatre Company production of The Merchant of Venice (1970) starring Laurence Olivier.

Miller also directed and produced operas, most famously The Marriage of Figaro (1978) for the English National Opera. He furthermore authored and presented the BBC 4 series Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief (2004), which drew upon his own thoughts and experiences and explored atheism through conversations and debates.

For his extensive and successful work Miller received a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1983 and a Knight Bachelor in 2002 for services to music and the arts.

On 27th November 2019, Jonathan Miller died at the age of 85.