Warren Miller (director)

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Warren Miller
Born(1924-10-15)October 15, 1924
Los Angeles, California, US
DiedJanuary 24, 2018(2018-01-24) (aged 93)
Orcas Island, Washington, US
  • Skier
  • film producer
  • director
Years active1950–2004
Known forSkiing films, Warren Miller Entertainment

Warren A. Miller (October 15, 1924 – January 24, 2018) was an American ski and snowboarding filmmaker.[1] He was the founder of Warren Miller Entertainment and produced, directed and narrated films until 1988. His published works include over 750 sports films, several books and hundreds of non-fiction articles.[2] Miller was inducted into the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame (1978), the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame (1995), and was awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards from the International Skiing History Association (2004) and the California Ski Industry Association (2008).[3]

Early years[edit]

Warren Anthony Miller was born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, to Helena Humphrey Miller and Albert Lincoln Miller. He had two older sisters, Mary Helen Miller and Betty Jane "BJ" Miller.[4]

As a young man he took up the hobbies of skiing, surfing, and photography. At the age of 18, with the U.S. ten months into World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the South Pacific.[5] On Christmas vacation in 1944, he first filmed skiing with a borrowed camera in Yosemite.[6]

Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1946, Miller bought his first 8mm movie camera, a Bell & Howell for $77 (equivalent to $1,203 in 2023).[7] He and a friend, Ward Baker, moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, where they lived in a teardrop trailer in the parking lot of the Sun Valley ski resort, and worked as ski instructors.[5] In their free time, they filmed each other skiing to critique and improve their ski techniques. During the summers they shifted to the California coast where they filmed each other surfing.[8]


After Miller showed his skiing and surfing films to friends, with accompanying commentary, he began to receive invitations to show and narrate them at parties. In 1949, he founded Warren Miller Entertainment (WME) and began producing one feature-length ski film per year. He lent money to rent halls and theaters, and charged admission to his shows. He booked show halls near ski resorts so that he could film the next year's footage during the day, and show the current film in the evening. Before long he was showing his films in 130 cities a year.[9]

Miller continued to head Warren Miller Entertainment until the late 1980s when he sold the company to his son, Kurt Miller. Kurt later sold the company to Time, Inc., which sold it in 2007 to Bonnier Corporation, and in 2013 Warren Miller was acquired by Active Interest Media.[10] The company has continued to produce a new film every year carrying on the brand legacy after Warren's passing in 2018 at the age of 93.[11] In January 2023, Outside announced a two-year film project leading into the 75th anniversary of the films. Despite reports and internet hearsay including rumors from longtime Warren Miller collaborator, Chris Patterson, that in 2023 there would not be new Warren Miller film.[12] Warren Miller films corrected rumors and released the 74th film "All Time" in October 2023 [13] and included both historical footage and newly filmed segments shot in Palisades Tahoe, California and Park City, Utah.[14]

While transitioning out of his executive role, Miller still maintained his creative role as director and narrator for the films into the 1990s. The makers of later films, including Warren Miller's Higher Ground (2005) and Warren Miller's Off the Grid (2006), used Miller's narration from previous films rather than recording new narration.[15][16]

In 1998, Miller became Director of Skiing at The Yellowstone Club, a private resort in Big Sky Montana.

In late 2010, Miller presented 'An Evening with Warren Miller' to two sold-out audiences at Seattle's Benaroya Hall.[17]

In September 2016, Miller self-published his autobiography, Freedom Found: My Life Story.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Miller's first wife, Jean, died of cancer in 1953, when their son was one year old.[2][19][20] Miller married Dorothy Marion Roberts in 1957. They had two children. They were married for twenty years and lived in Hermosa Beach, California,[19] where Warren Miller Entertainment was located. Miller then married two other people before marrying Laurie Penketh Kaufmann in 1988.[2] With Laurie, Miller lived on Orcas Island, Washington, from 1992 until his death on January 24, 2018.[2][20]


Movies released since 2004, while bearing Warren Miller's name, were not directed by Warren Miller, nor was he involved in their production in any way.[citation needed]

Year Title
1950 Deep And Light
1951 California Skis
1952 Wandering Skis
1953 Ski Fantasy
1954 Symphony On Skis
1955 Invitation To Skiing
1956 Have Skis, Will Travel
1957 Anyone For Skiing?
1958 Are Your Skis On Straight?
1959 Let's Go Skiing
1960 Swinging Skis
1961 Many Moods Of Skiing
1962 Around The World On Skis
1963 The Sound Of Skiing
1964 The Skiers
1965 The Big Ski Show
1966 Ski On The Wild Side
1967 The Ski Scene
1968 No Boundaries
1969 This Is Skiing
1970 Sound Of Winter
1971 Any Snow, Any Mountain
1972 Winter People
1973 Skiing's Great
1974 The Color Of Skiing
1975 There Comes A Time
1976 Skiing On My Mind
1977 In Search Of Skiing
1978 Ski A La Carte
1979 Winter Fever
1980 Ski People
1981 Ski In The Sun
1982 Snowonder
1983 Ski Time
1983 Hot Yachts, Cold Water
1984 Ski Country
1985 Steep And Deep
1986 Beyond The Edge
1987 White Winter Heat
1988 Escape To Ski
1989 White Magic
1990 Extreme Winter
1991 Born To Ski
1992 Steeper And Deeper
1993 Black Diamond Rush
1994 Vertical Reality
1995 Endless Winter
1996 Snowriders
1997 Snowriders 2
1998 Freeriders
1999 Fifty
2000 Ride
2001 Cold Fusion
2002 Storm
2003 Journey
2004 Impact


  • On Film in Print (1994) Vail, CO: Ritem and Printem ISBN 978-0963614414
  • Lurching from One Near Disaster to the Next (1998) Deer Harbor, WA: Pole Pass Pub. ISBN 978-0963614421
  • Wine, Women, Warren, & Skis, (2001) Warren Miller Productions; 14th edition; ISBN 978-0963614407
  • Warren's World, (2002) Mountain Sports Press, ISBN 978-0967674780
  • "The Good New Days" Ski (Jan 2004) Vol 68 #5:152
  • "A Taste of Freedom" The Ski Journal (2010) vol 4.2 ISSN 1935-3219
  • Bigford, Andy and Miller, Warren (2016) Freedom Found: My Life Story Warren Miller Company ISBN 9780963614469


  1. ^ "Warren Miller". U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum. U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame. n.d. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Judd, Ron (January 25, 2018). "Pioneering, Inspiring Snow-Sports Filmmaker Warren Miller, 93, Dies at Orcas Island Home". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Pioneering, inspiring snow-sports filmmaker Warren Miller, 93, dies at Orcas Island home". The Seattle Times. January 24, 2018. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  4. ^ Bigford and Miller (2016). Freedom Found: My Life Story. Warren Miller Company. ISBN 978-0963614469.
  5. ^ a b "Whistler remembers filmmaking legend ". Pique Magazine, By Joel Barde. February 01, 2018
  6. ^ Miller, Warren (2012) "Warren's World", The Ski Journal Vol 6 #3:22, theskijournal.com; accessed February 3, 2018.
  7. ^ "A Legacy Will Live On". Warren Miller Productions. January 25, 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2019. His first still camera was a Bakelite Univex, bought for 39 cents; in 1946 he bought a Bell & Howell 8-mm camera for $77.
  8. ^ Lund, Morten (March 2004) Warren Miller profile, Skiing Heritage Vol 16 #1:8-14
  9. ^ Fry, John (2010) The Story of Modern Skiing Hanover: University Press of New England ISBN 978-1584658962 pg 278-280
  10. ^ Blevins, Jason (2013) "The Balance Sheet", The Denver Post; retrieved June 3, 2014.
  11. ^ Chuba, Kirsten (January 25, 2018). "Warren Miller, pioneering ski filmmaker, dies at 93". Variety. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  12. ^ Snowbrains (January 24, 2023) There Will Be No New Warren Miller Ski Movie Next Year for the 1st Time in 74 Years Snowbrains.com
  13. ^ Blevins, Jason (February 6, 2023). "The annual Warren Miller ski movie isn't going anywhere, despite reports to the contrary". The Colorado Sun. Retrieved January 22, 2024.
  14. ^ "ALL TIME - 2023". Warren Miller Entertainment. June 20, 2023. Retrieved January 22, 2024.
  15. ^ "Warren Miller's Off the Grid: The world's largest winter sports movie announces 2006 U.S. tour", Skinet.net; retrieved August 19, 2007.
  16. ^ "Warren Miller's Higher Ground", PR Newswire, 2005-08-31, via highbeam.com; retrieved August 19, 2007. Archived May 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Thompson, Neal (2011) "Ski Movie Mogul Warren Miller Refuses to Go Downhill" Seattle Met; retrieved August 6, 2018
  18. ^ "Warren Miller's autobiography to be available in second printing this fall" (Press release). Ski Racing. July 22, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Dorworth, Dick (1974) “Warren Miller: Making It on Film” Skiing vol 26#7 pg 70
  20. ^ a b Chawkins, Steve (January 25, 2018). "Warren Miller, the ski bum whose films made him king of the slopes, dies at 93". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 9, 2024.

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