Sir Jonathan Miller dies aged 85

Photo from ENO website

How fitting that English National Opera are currently playing Sir Jonathan Miller’s delightful production of THE MIKADO, now in its 32nd year and its (I believe) fifteenth revival for the company.

More eloquent writers than me will have summarised this fascinating man’s life by now, who has been in the public eye in a variety of roles since the 1960s.

You can find many tributes and career highlights elsewhere, but I just wanted to recall the last show of his that I saw. Northern Broadsides’ production of Githa Sowerby’s RUTHERFORD AND SON toured the UK in 2013. As directed by Jonathan Miller, it gave us his compelling and insightful view on Sowerby’s devastating 1912 classic which has stayed with me to this day.

His many talents spanned numerous areas of the arts and sciences. He will be remembered as an actor, director, presenter and author of a number of books on the subjects of psychoanalysis, humour, acting and medical matters.

How bitter that a man with such an agile and capable mind should succumb to the dismantling effects of Alzheimer’s. I am sure that THE MIKADO company will pay him a fitting, rousing tribute at their final season performance this Saturday, November 30th.

2 Replies to “Sir Jonathan Miller dies aged 85”

  1. I was listening to the Beyond the Fringe albums in grade school. They, along with Lenny Bruce, the Smothers Brothers, and Mad magazine helped shaped my sense of humor. Somewhere on YouTube is the cast of Fringe on ” What’s My Line.” Spoiler: Arlene Francis guesses who they are.

    1. Looks like we had a lot in common, Kevin! The WML episode clip with the Beyond The Fringe Team is here for anyone interested to take a look

      For those interested in the New York stage, What’s My Line was always a treasure trove of Broadway stars as the show went out live at 10.30 on Sunday evenings and so often the Mystery Guest was a leading light of Broadway. You can find the whole fifties and sixties runs of the show on YouTube.

      And regarding Miss Arlene, she often guesses the guests – she was always so sharp and funny – and occasionally naughty. She really knew how to play the game. A true professional and, let’s not forget, one of the pioneering women of television.

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