Kieth Merrill

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Kieth W. Merrill
Born (1940-05-22) May 22, 1940 (age 76)
Farmington, Utah, United States
  • film director
  • film producer
  • novelist
  • screenwriter
Language English
Nationality American
Education Bachelor of Arts
Alma mater Brigham Young University
  • Christianity
  • documentaries
  • fantasy
  • general fiction
  • historical fiction
Notable works The Great American Cowboy (1973)
The Wild West (1993)
Amazon (1997)
Various films for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Notable awards Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film (1973)
Years active 1973 - present

Kieth W. Merrill[1] (born May 22, 1940)[2] is an American filmmaker who has worked as a writer, director, and producer in the film industry since 1967. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Directors Guild of America, and received an Academy Award for The Great American Cowboy (1973) and a nomination for Amazon (1997).

He published a novel, The Evolution of Thomas Hall, through Shadow Mountain in May 2011. His first fantasy novel. The Immortal Crown, was published by Shadow Mountain in May 2016.


The son of artist/landscape architect David Merrill, and playwright/actress Leola Green Merrill, Kieth was born and raised in Farmington, Utah, a small, pioneer-founded town 20 miles north of Salt Lake City.[3]

As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served as a missionary for the Church and was called to Denmark[4] where he served for two-and-a-half years.[5]

Merrill graduated with a BA from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1967. He is married to Dagny Johnson. They have eight children. They reside in Northern California.[3] Merrill was commissioned by the First Presidency of the LDS Church to produce the films Legacy and The Testaments for the state-of-the-art 70 mm Legacy Theater at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.[citation needed]

Merrill has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Virginia University and president of the BYU Alumni Association. He received the Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Award from BYU[6] when he delivered the commencement address to the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications in 2007.[7]

His first novel, The Evolution of Thomas Hall, was published in May 2011, by Shadow Mountain. His epic fantasy series, Saga of Kings, began with The Immortal Crown in May 2016.


Merrill has done work in various formats including IMAX and 70mm. He has created feature films, documentaries, television commercials, and miniseries.[8][9]

  • The Great American Cowboy (1973 Documentary Academy Award Winner)[10]
  • A Matter of Winning (1973)
  • Great American Indian (1976)
  • Three Warriors (1977)
  • Take Down (1978)
  • Kenny Rogers and the American Cowboy (1979)
  • Windwalker (1980)
  • Mr. Krueger's Christmas (1980)
  • Wheels of Fire (1981)
  • Harry's War (1981)
  • Rivals (1981)
  • The Cherokee Trail (1981)
  • Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets (1984) (IMAX)
  • Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic (1986) (IMAX)
  • Alamo: The Price of Freedom (1988)
  • Legacy (1990)
  • Polynesian Odyssey (1991) (IMAX)
  • On The Way Home (1992)
  • The Wild West (1993) (TV miniseries) (Emmy nomination)
  • Yellowstone (1994) (IMAX)
  • Passion for Life (1995) (IMAX)
  • Ozarks: Legacy and Legends (1995) (IMAX)
  • San Francisco: The Movie (1995) (IMAX)
  • Zion Canyon: Treasure of the Gods (1996) (IMAX)
  • Amazon (1997) (IMAX) (Nominated for Academy Award)
  • The Witness (1997) (IMAX)
  • Olympic Glory (1999) (IMAX)
  • The Testaments (2000)
  • The 12 Dogs of Christmas (2005)
  • The 12 Dogs of Christmas – Great Puppy Rescue (2012)



  1. ^ Middle initial from Condie, Todd R. (Spring 2003). "A Philosophy of Storytelling". BYU Magazine. Retrieved June 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Kieth Merrill". allmovie. All Media Guide. Retrieved June 11, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Kieth Merrill profile". Outstanding Alumni Profiles BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications. Retrieved June 11, 2009. 
  4. ^ "8-Day Norway Fjords "Lights of the Fjords" Cruise". Meridian Magazine. September 23, 2004. 
  5. ^ Kelly, Brian. "Kieth Merrill: Great American Filmmaker". New Era: 10. Retrieved June 11, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Kieth Merrill profile" (wiki). College of Fine Arts and Communications History. Brigham Young University. Retrieved June 11, 2009. 
  7. ^ Merrill, Keith (2007). "Telling 'Out Story' to All the World". Meridian Magazine. Retrieved December 25, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Kieth Merrill profile". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  9. ^ "Kieth Merrill - Filmmaker". 2002-04-02. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  10. ^ "Session Timeout - Academy Awards® Database". Retrieved 2015-12-27. 

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