Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was a prolific Pulitzer Prize winning American playwright and essayist. Arthur became the final husband of the famous Hollywood star, Marilyn Monroe, from 1956 until 1961, a year prior to her death. His most famous plays are Death of a Salesman (1949) and The Crucible (1953). His screenplay work included The Misfits (1961), which was the final starring role of his wife Marilyn, as well as for Clark Gable, and one of the last for Montgomery Clift.
Arthur Asher Miller was born on October 17, 1915, in Harlem, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, the second of three children of Augusta (Barnett) and Isidore Miller. His father was an Austrian Jewish immigrant, and his mother was born in New York, to Austrian Jewish parents.
His wealthy father owned a women's clothing manufacturing business employing 400 people.
The family, including his younger sister Joan (who later grew up to become a famous actress), lived on West 110th Street in Manhattan, and owned a summer house in Far Rockaway, Queens, and employed a chauffeur.
In the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the family lost almost everything and moved to Gravesend, Brooklyn.
As a teenager, Arthur Miller delivered bread every morning before school to help the family.
After graduating in 1932 from Abraham Lincoln High School, he worked at several menial jobs to pay for his college tuition.
At the University of Michigan, Miller first majored in journalism and worked for the student paper, the Michigan Daily. It was during this time that he wrote his first play, No Villain, for which he won the Avery Hopwood Award for No Villain.
After his graduation in 1938, he joined the Federal Theater Project, a New Deal agency established to provide jobs in the theater.
During the War Arthur Miller began working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard while continuing to write radio plays, some of which were broadcast on CBS.
In 1940, he married Mary Grace Slattery. The couple had two children,
In June 1956, Miller left his first wife Mary Slattery and on June 29 he married Marilyn Monroe. Miller and Monroe had met in April 23, 1951, when they had a brief affair, and had remained in contact since then.
There is much imaginative embellishment about Marilyn's origins, but here are the basic facts: Marilyn Monroe was born June 1, 1926 in a charity ward of Los Angeles County Hospital. Her birth name was Norma Jeane Baker, and her birth mother was Gladys Baker, a film cutter. Gladys' first husband had divorced her, and taken her two children. Her second husband had also left Gladys before Marilyn was born. It remains uncertain who was Marilyn's father. Gladys placed Marilyn in foster care, but visited her every Saturday. In 1933 Gladys bought a house when Marilyn was seven, and tried to raise her, but soon had a mental breakdown after only a few months.
Shortly before Marilyn's film The Misfits premiered in 1961, Marilyn and Arthur divorced. 19 months later, Monroe died of a possible drug overdose.
Arthur Miller's future wife Inge Morath had worked as a photographer documenting the film's production.
Arthur Miller married photographer Inge Morath on February 17, 1962 and the first of their two children,
Arthur and Inge remained together until Inge's death in 2002.
In December 2004, the 89-year-old Miller announced that he had been in love with 34-year-old minimalist painter Agnes Barley and had been living with her at his Connecticut farm since 2002, and that they intended to marry.
Arthur Miller's son-in-law, actor Daniel Day-Lewis (husband of Rebecca), is said to have visited Daniel frequently, and to have persuaded Arthur Miller to reunite with his then adult son, Daniel.
Arthur Miller died of heart failure after suffering from cancer, pneumonia and congestive heart disease, at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. He had been in hospice care at his sister's apartment in New York since his release from hospital the previous month. He died on the evening of February 10, 2005 (the 56th anniversary of the Broadway debut of Death of a Salesman), aged 89, surrounded by his lover Agnes Barley, family and friends.
Within hours of her father's death, Rebecca Miller (Arthur's youngest daughter, and an accomplished actresss and director) ordered Agnes Barley to vacate the premises, having consistently opposed the relationship.
He is interred at Roxbury Center Cemetery in Roxbury.
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