Jonathan Miller, a distinguished British theatre and opera director, writer and TV producer, has died at the age of 85 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Miller’s family confirmed his death and said he passed away “peacefully at home” following a multi-hyphenated career in arts and entertainment, on which he embarked after originally training as a doctor at Cambridge University.
Miller moved into the arts world through stage revue Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s, starring alongside Alan Bennett, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in the seminal comedy stage show that took the West End and Broadway by storm.
He went on to work for the BBC, editing and presenting arts show Monitor, as well as directing and producing six of the BBC’s Television Shakespeare Collection. This included the 1980 adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew, starring John Cleese as Petruchio, and the 1981 version of Othello, featuring Anthony Hopkins.
Knighted for his contribution to the arts by the Queen in 2002, Miller also directed operas, served as the artistic director of London’s Old Vic and worked as a director at the National Theatre.
BBC director general Tony Hall said: “Jonathan Miller was a creative genius whose imagination knew no bounds. He was a doctor; a writer; producer; director; presenter — a creator who enjoyed a remarkable career in theatre, television and opera. He brought arts and culture to millions on the BBC.”
English National Opera tweeted: “We are all deeply saddened at the news that Sir Jonathan Miller has passed away. His contribution to comedy, theatre and ENO in particular was immeasurable. For over four decades Jonathan created some of ENO’s most celebrated and popular opera productions.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.