Arthur Miller biography
At Writers Theatre: Incident at Vichy, The Price
Arthur Miller was born in 1915 in New York City. He spent his early years playing sports and ignoring books, but during his senior year of high school he read Dostoyevsky's The Idiot and it moved him to become a writer. Coming from a low-income working class family, Miller struggled to pay for college, taking numerous jobs, including working as a clerk in an auto parts warehouse, where for the first time he experienced the effects of American anti-Semitism.
Miller later attended the University of Michigan as a journalism major. It was there that he wrote his first play. It won a cash prize and the admiration of Mary Slattery (later his first wife), convincing him to write more plays and give up journalism for he theatre. YEars of struggle followed. Finally, in 1944, The Man Who Had All The Luck premiered on Broadwar only to close after six performances. Although the play was considered a flop, it still receieved the Theater Guild National Award.
Two years later, All My Sons (1947) premiered to rave reviews and awards. Death of a Salesman (1949) followed, winning the Pulitzer Prize, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Antoinette Perry Award, the Donaldson Award, and the Theater Club Award, among others. He would go on to write The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge (1955), Incident at the Vichy (1964), After the Fall (1964), and many more plays, novels, screenplays, and articles.
The Price premiered in 1968. It accompanied a change in Miller's writing. As always, he continues to write about the struggle of the common man, but the themes were deeper and more connected with a sense of personal guilt.
Arthur Miller continues to be a vital part of American theatre. His plays have attracted some of the world's greatest talents, including Lawrence Olivier, Dustin Hoffman, Jane Alexander, and Vanessa Redgrave. The Crucible and The man Who Had All the Luck had Broadway revivals.
[Bio as of March 2002]