Marvin Miller (actor)

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Marvin Miller
Marvin Miller 1958.jpg
Miller in 1958
Born
Marvin Mueller

(1913-07-18)July 18, 1913
DiedFebruary 8, 1985(1985-02-08) (aged 71)
OccupationActor, announcer
Years active1945–1985
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Florence Dawson (1937–1965; divorced; 2 children)

Marvin Elliott Miller (July 18, 1913 – February 8, 1985) was an American radio, film, and voice-over actor. Possessing a deep, baritone voice, he began his career in radio in St. Louis, Missouri, before becoming a Hollywood actor. He is best remembered for voicing Robby the Robot in the science fiction film Forbidden Planet (1956), a role he reprised in the lesser-known The Invisible Boy (1957).

Miller's next most notable role is that of Michael Anthony, the loyal assistant of Paul Frees' generous millionaire J. B. Tipton, Jr., on the TV series The Millionaire (1955–1960).

Career[edit]

Radio and recordings[edit]

Born Marvin Mueller in St. Louis, Miller graduated from Washington University before commencing his career in radio. When a singer named Marvin Miller debuted on another St. Louis radio station, he began using his middle initial to distinguish himself from the newcomer. For the Mutual Broadcasting System, he narrated a daily 15-minute radio show entitled The Story Behind the Story, which offered historical vignettes. He also served as announcer on several Old Time Radio shows of the 1940s and 1950s, including The Jo Stafford Show[1] and the long-running mystery series The Whistler.[2]

Mueller played Dr. Lee Markham on The Woman in White on NBC radio and Howard Andrews on Midstream on the Blue Network[3] and appeared as "The voice of the Past" on the May 21, 1942 broadcast of The Right to Happiness. In 1945–47, he was the announcer for Songs by Sinatra.[4] He played two characters and was the announcer on The Billie Burke Show (1943-1946).[5]

In 1952, Miller had a one-man program, Armchair Adventures, on CBS. He did "all voices and narration" in the 15-minute dramatic anthology.[5] He also recorded 260 episodes of a program described in a 1950 trade publication as "Marvin Miller: Famous radio voice in series of five minute vignettes about famous people." The program was syndicated via electrical transcription by The Cardinal Company.[6]

He also won Grammy Awards in 1965 and 1966 for his recordings of Dr. Seuss stories: in 1967 for Dr Seuss Presents – If I Ran the Zoo and Sleep Book and 1966 for Dr Seuss Presents Fox in Socks and Green Eggs and Ham. He also read Horton Hatches the Egg, The Sneetches and Other Stories and Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories.

In the mid-1970s, Miller even lent his voice to sports films, narrating the official Indianapolis 500 films in 1975 and 1976.

Films[edit]

In films, the heavyset Miller was often cast as a villain, many times playing Asian roles. He portrayed a sadistic henchman in the 1947 Humphrey Bogart film Dead Reckoning and was Yamada in the 1945 James Cagney effort Blood on the Sun. In 1946's film noir Deadline at Dawn he plays Sleepy Parsons, a blind pianist. Miller played George "Gusty" Gustafson in the George Raft film noir classic Johnny Angel.

Miller also did a great deal of voice work in animation from the 1950s to 1970s, from the narration on the 1950 Academy Award-winning United Productions of America cartoon Gerald McBoing Boing to the 1970 The Ant and the Aardvark cartoon Scratch a Tiger.

Television[edit]

From 1949 to 1950 he starred as Dr. Yat Fu on the short-lived ABC series Mysteries of Chinatown, with Gloria Saunders cast as his niece.[7] In 1961, Miller guest-starred as Johnny Kelso, with Erin O'Brien, in "The Marble Slab" episode of the Frederick Ziv-, United Artists-, and MGM-produced Bat Masterson, starring Gene Barry. Original air date was May 11, 1961.

Miller voiced "Mr. Sun" in the AT&T educational film Our Mr. Sun, and "Hemo" in the AT&T educational film Hemo the Magnificent, parts of a series featuring Dr. Frank C. Baxter and directed by Frank Capra, which was shown on American network television in 1956 and 1957. Miller crossed paths with other prolific voice-over artists many times in his career including June Foray, playing "Deer" in Hemo the Magnificent and in the TV series Rocky and Bullwinkle along with Paul Frees, who voiced "Boris Badenov" in that program. Miller and Frees also performed in separate segments on the audio recording Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America Volume One The Early Years.

Miller made a guest appearance in 1963 on Perry Mason as unscrupulous attorney F.J. Weatherby in "The Case of the Lover's Leap."

Miller voiced Aquaman for the Filmation studio for their 1967 series The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. He was also the voice of pilot/scientist Busby Birdwell in the company's animated series Fantastic Voyage.

He was the voice of the arrogant alien "Zarn" in three episodes of the second season of Land of the Lost. Miller also lent his distinct voice to The Pink Panther Show, often talking with the feline offscreen and asking questions, while also voicing The Inspector, his second Deux Deux and their boss The Commissioner.

On The Millionaire, Miller played Michael Anthony in over 200 episodes, conveying the wishes of the "fabulously wealthy" John Beresford Tipton, voiced by Paul Frees.

Death[edit]

Miller died in 1985 at the age of 71 from a heart attack.[8] He is entombed at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles.

For his contribution to the television industry, Marvin Miller has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6101 Hollywood Boulevard.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1945 Blood on the Sun Yamada
Johnny Angel George "Gusty" Gustafson
1946 Deadline at Dawn Sleepy Parsons
Just Before Dawn Casper
The Phantom Thief Dr. Nejino
Night in Paradise Scribe
Without Reservations Louella's radio announcer Uncredited
Alternative title: Thanks God, I'll Take It from Here
1947 Dead Reckoning Krause
The Brasher Doubloon Vince Blair Alternative title: High Window
The Corpse Came C.O.D. Rudy Frasso
Intrigue Ramon Perez
1951 Gerald McBoing-Boing Narrator Voice
Smuggler's Island Bok-Ying
Peking Express Kwon
The Prince Who Was a Thief Hakar
The Golden Horde Genghis Khan
1952 Hong Kong Tao Liang
Red Planet Mars Arjenian
Off Limits Vic Breck Alternative title: Military Policemen
1953 Ben and Me Dr. Palmer / Miscellaneous Men Voice
Forbidden Chalmer
1954 King Dinosaur Narrator Voice
Jivaro Jivaro Chief Kovanti
The Shanghai Story Colonel Zorek
Beauty and the Bull Narrator Short, Voice
1955 New York Confidential Narrator Voice, Uncredited
Godzilla Raids Again Narrator English version, Voice
King Dinosaur Narrator Voice
1956 Forbidden Planet Robby the Robot Voice, Uncredited
1957 The Deadly Mantis Narrator
The Invisible Boy Robby the Robot Voice
The Story of Mankind Armana
1958 Manhunt in the Jungle Narrator Voice
Senior Prom Narrator Voice
Panda and the Magic Serpent Narrator Voice
1959 Sleeping Beauty Narrator Voice, Uncredited
Sampo Narrator English version, Voice
1961 The Phantom Planet Introductory Narrator Voice
1962 When the Girls Take Over Henri Degiere
Panic in Year Zero! Radio Announcer Uncredited
1965 The Agony and the Ecstasy Prologue Narrator Uncredited
Saturday Night in Apple Valley
Invasion of Astro-Monster Fuji English version, Voice
Inside Daisy Clover Narrator - The Daisy Clover Story Voice, Uncredited
1966 Gamera the Invincible Voice over Uncredited
1967 Hell on Wheels The Announcer
1970 MASH PA Announcer Uncredited
Blood of the Iron Maiden Claude
1972 Where Does It Hurt? Catering Manager
The Sexpert Michael Anthony Uncredited
1973 Fantastic Planet Great Tree Chief / Master Kon English version, Voice, Uncredited
The Naked Ape Fat Man
Tidal Wave (US version)
1974 How to Seduce a Woman Racetrack Announcer
1975 I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now? Jordan's Boss
1976 The Call of the Wild Narrator TV movie
1977 Empire of the Ants Voice, Uncredited
John Hus Emperor Sigismund
American Raspberry Henry Wideman Alternative titles: Prime Time
Funny America
1981 Kiss Daddy Goodbye Bill Morris
1984 Swing Shift Rollo
1984 Gremlins Robby The Robot Voice, Uncredited
1986 Hell Squad The Sheik Alternative titles: Commando Girls
Commando Squad, (final film role)
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1949 Mysteries of Chinatown Dr. Yat Fu unknown episodes
1952 Space Patrol Mr. Proteus (continuing character) & other roles 1952–1954
13 episodes
1955 The Millionaire Michael Anthony 1955–1960
206 episodes
1959 The Danny Thomas Show Mr. Chow 1 episode
1961 The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet Man in Dream 1 episode
1963 Perry Mason F. J. Weatherby 1 episode
1966 Batman TV Announcer 1 episode (episode 12)
1966–1974 The F.B.I Narrator 117 episodes
1967 The Green Hornet On-the-scene Reporter 1 episode
1969 The Pink Panther Show Narrator Bumper segments only
1972 Mission: Impossible Smith 1 episode
1975 Land of the Lost Zarn Voice, 3 episodes
1976 Electra Woman and Dyna Girl Narrator 15 episodes
1978 Wonder Woman Mr. Beamer 1 episode
1982 Police Squad! Narrator 6 episodes

References[edit]

  1. ^ Buxton, Frank and Owen, Bill (1972). The Big Broadcast: 1920-1950. The Viking Press. SBN 670-16240-x. P. 125.
  2. ^ Breesee, Frank. "Golden Days of Radio". Interview with Marvin Miller, Part I. American Forces Radio and Television Service. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  3. ^ "Say Hello to ..." (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror. 13 (4): 46. February 1940. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  4. ^ Mackenzie, Harry (1999). The Directory of the Armed Forces Radio Service Series. ABC-CLIO, Incorporated. ISBN 9780313308123. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. P. 89. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "dunningota" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1950). Shows: 1950 Radio Daily Program Buyers Guide. Radio Daily Corp. P. 40.
  7. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 823. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  8. ^ "Marvin Miller, Actor on TV; Appeared in 'The Millionaire'". The New York Times. 1985-02-10. Retrieved 2009-03-02.

External links[edit]