Warren Miller (director)

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Warren Miller
Warren Miller (Filmmaker).jpg
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 costing $77 (equivalent to $1,070 today[7]).[8] 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.[9]

Later work[edit]

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.[10]

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, which was itself acquired by Active Interest Media in 2013.[11] The company still produces a new film every year, but Miller himself was not actively involved after 2004.[12]

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.[13][14]

In late 2010, Miller presented 'An Evening with Warren Miller' to two sold-out audiences at Seattle's Benaroya Hall.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Miller's first wife Jean, mother of his oldest son Scott, died of cancer when her son was just one and half years old. Miller then married Dorothy Marion Roberts in 1955. The marriage produced two children, a daughter Chris Ann (1957) and Kurt James (1959). The two were married for twenty years and lived in Hermosa Beach, California[16] where the Warren Miller Production film company was located for almost 40 years.

Miller and his wife of 30 years, Laurie, lived on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands north of Seattle.

In September 2016, Miller self-published his autobiography, Freedom Found: My Life Story.[17] Andy Bigford, former editor-in-chief and publisher of Ski Magazine, co-authored the book, and Miller's wife contributed as well. After a sold out first printing, a second printing was released in December 2017.[17]

Miller died January 24, 2018, at his home on Orcas Island.[2]


# Year Title
1 1950 Deep And Light
2 1951 California Skis
3 1952 Wandering Skis
4 1953 Ski Fantasy
5 1954 Symphony On Skis
6 1955 Invitation To Skiing
7 1956 Have Skis, Will Travel
8 1957 Anyone For Skiing?
9 1958 Are Your Skis On Straight?
10 1959 Let's Go Skiing
11 1960 Swinging Skis
12 1961 Many Moods Of Skiing
13 1962 Around The World On Skis
14 1963 The Sound Of Skiing
15 1964 The Skiers
16 1965 The Big Ski Show
17 1966 Ski On The Wild Side
18 1967 The Ski Scene
19 1968 No Boundaries
20 1969 This Is Skiing
21 1970 Sound Of Winter
22 1971 Any Snow, Any Mountain
23 1972 Winter People
24 1973 Skiing's Great
25 1974 The Color Of Skiing
26 1975 There Comes A Time
27 1976 Skiing On My Mind
28 1977 In Search Of Skiing
29 1978 Ski A La Carte
30 1979 Winter Fever
31 1980 Ski People
32 1981 Ski In The Sun
33 1982 Snowonder
34 1983 Ski Time
35 1983 Hot Yachts, Cold Water
36 1984 Ski Country
37 1985 Steep And Deep
38 1986 Beyond The Edge
39 1987 White Winter Heat
40 1988 Escape To Ski
41 1989 White Magic
42 1990 Extreme Winter
43 1991 Born To Ski
44 1992 Steeper And Deeper
45 1993 Black Diamond Rush
46 1994 Vertical Reality
47 1995 Endless Winter
48 1996 Snowriders
49 1997 Snowriders 2
50 1998 Freeriders
51 1999 Fifty
52 2000 Ride
53 2001 Cold Fusion
54 2002 Storm
55 2003 Journey
56 2004 Impact

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. See the complete list for all films bearing Warren Miller's name.


  • 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 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. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  8. ^ "A Legacy Will Live On". Warren Miller Productions. 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.
  9. ^ Lund, Morten (March 2004) Warren Miller profile, Skiing Heritage Vol 16 #1:8-14
  10. ^ Fry, John (2010) The Story of Modern Skiing Hanover: University Press of New England ISBN 978-1584658962 pg 278-280
  11. ^ Blevins, Jason (2013) "The Balance Sheet", The Denver Post; retrieved June 3, 2014.
  12. ^ Chuba, Kirsten (January 25, 2018). "Warren Miller, pioneering ski filmmaker, dies at 93". Variety. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  13. ^ "Warren Miller's Off the Grid: The world's largest winter sports movie announces 2006 U.S. tour", Skinet.net; retrieved August 19, 2007.
  14. ^ "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
  15. ^ Thompson, Neal (2011) "Ski Movie Mogul Warren Miller Refuses to Go Downhill" Seattle Met; retrieved August 6, 2018
  16. ^ Dorworth, Dick (1974) “Warren Miller: Making It on Film” Skiing vol 26#7 pg 70
  17. ^ a b "Warren Miller's autobiography to be available in second printing this fall". Ski Racing. July 22, 2017. Retrieved October 6, 2019.

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