Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Roy Miller passed away in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 28, following a short illness. He was 52 years old.
Born in Irvington, New Jersey, Miller served 13 years as Paper Mill Playhouse's associate producer, leaving in 2004 to pursue his goal of producing shows on Broadway. He achieved his goal in 2006 with the Tony Award-winning production of The Drowsy Chaperone, which he discovered at the Toronto Fringe Festival. He later went on to produce a number of shows on Broadway including High Fidelity, Is He Dead?, [title of show], West Side Story, Ragtime, The Pee-wee Herman Show, and most recently, the 2013 Tony Award-nominated A Christmas Story: The Musical.
Beginning his stage career as a student actor at Hanover Park High School, Miller was only 19 years old when he booked the first national tour of They're Playing Our Song. He later transitioned to working at Paper Mill Playhouse, where he produced the tours of A Chorus Line and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Deborah Gibson and Patrick Cassidy as well as productions of Follies starring Ann Miller, Gypsy starring Betty Buckley, Crazy for You, Animal Crackers starring Kristin Chenoweth, Children of Eden, Anything Goes starring Chita Rivera, and Chess directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall.
He married actress Heather Hawkins in 2005 on the stage of Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre during the pre-Broadway engagement of The Drowsy Chaperone, officiated by the production's star, Bob Martin. The couple later divorced in 2009.
In 2010, Miller returned to Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, New Jersey, where he had apprenticed decades before from 1975-78. He served as the theater's producer and artistic director before returning to Broadway in 2012 to work on A Christmas Story. During his brief time there, Miller played a significant part in bringing the struggling theater out of bankruptcy.
Miller is survived by his parents, Roy and Helen Miller, sister Anna Hand, brother Glenn Miller, and nephew John Vitcusky.
Visitation will be held Sunday, May 5 from 2:00-6:00pm at Stephen J. Priola Parsippany Funeral Home (60 North Beverwyck Road, Lake Hiawatha, NJ, 07034). His funeral mass service will be held Monday, May 6 at 11:00am at St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church (179 Baldwin Road, Parsippany, NJ 07054), followed by a burial service at Evergreen Cemetery (65 Martin Luther King Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960).
In lieu of flowers, Roy Miller's family and friends request that donations in his memory be made to The Actors Fund (729 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY, 10019, www.actorsfund.org).
The Actors Fund will announce plans for a special gathering to memorialize Roy Miller's life in the theatre.