Remembering Arthur Miller

Feb. 20, 2005, midnight | By Emma Zachurski | 19 years, 4 months ago

Famous playwright passes away from heart failure at 89

This article is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from "Arthur Miller dead at 89" from CNN, "Broadway Marquees Dim for Miller" by Michael Kuchwara of ABC News and The Associated Press.

Playwright Arthur Miller, known best for his plays "The Crucible" and "Death of a Salesman," passed away in his home in Roxbury, Connecticut on the evening of Feb. 10. His death was due to congestive heart failure, according to CNN.

Miller's assistant Julia Bolus officially confirmed the death on Feb. 11, according to CNN. ABC News stated that Bolus also announced that a private memorial has been set for Miller, but no public services as of yet.

In addition to a private memorial being planned for Miller, Broadway also paid honor to the late playwright. All marquees on Broadway were darkened at curtain time on Feb. 10 to pay respect to Miller, according to ABC News.

Miller first began writing plays during his college years at the University of Michigan. In 1944, he made his debut on Broadway as a playwright with "The Man Who Had All the Luck." The play flopped and was taken off the stage after only four performances.

Miller quickly made up for the failure of his debut. In 1947, "All My Sons" opened to high acclaim and success. The play was also awarded with the New York Drama Critics Circle's Best Play Award.

In 1949, Miller unveiled "Death of a Salesman," a play centered around Willy Loman, a man who sees himself failing to reach success in corporate business or feel appreciated by his family. "Death of a Salesman" received the Pulitzer Prize and has gone on to be performed on stages worldwide.

"The Crucible" premiered in 1953 and caused controversy. Released during the era of the Red Scare and the House Committee on Un-American Activities, the play was based on the Salem witch trials but alluded to the McCarthy trials of suspected communists.

Besides his plays, Miller also gained fame for his five-year marriage to screen legend Marilyn Monroe from 1956 to 1961.

Miller continued to write plays into his later years. Though his later plays were not as famous as "Death of a Salesman," "All My Sons" or "The Crucible," he still remained a central figure in 20th century American literature for the analysis of family life and morals his works dealt with.

"A lot of my work goes to the center of where we belong – if there is any root to life – because nowadays the family is broken up, and people don't live in the same place for very long," said Miller during a 1988 interview, according to CNN. "Dislocation, maybe, is part of our uneasiness. It implants the feeling that nothing is really permanent."

By the end of his life, Miller received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tony Awards, the National Medal of the Arts and the National Book Award Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Robert Weil, Executive Editor of W.W. Norton Publishing, said to CNN, "I always felt it was a deep tragedy that [Miller] never won the Nobel. His plays were so universal and affected a world generation."

Emma Zachurski. Emma has lead a bohemian lifestyle ever since her birth to an eccentric pair of a journalist and an artist. She is now currently a senior and looks forward to another great year with Silver Chips Online! Her spare time is best spent listening to … More »

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