Marvin Elliott Miller (July 18, 1913 – February 8, 1985) was an American radio, film, and voice-over actor. Possessing a deep, baritone voice, he began his career in radio in St. Louis, Missouri, before becoming a Hollywood actor. Miller is best remembered for two of his roles—as Michael Anthony, the man who passed out a weekly check on the TV series The Millionaire, and as the voice of Robby the Robot in the film Forbidden Planet.
Radio and recordings
Born Marvin Mueller in St. Louis, Miller graduated from Washington University before commencing his career in radio. When a singer named Marvin Miller debuted on another St. Louis radio station, he began using his middle initial to distinguish himself from the newcomer. For the Mutual Broadcasting System, he narrated a daily 15-minute radio show entitled The Story Behind the Story, which offered historical vignettes. He also served as announcer on several Old Time Radio shows of the 1940s and 1950s, including The Jo Stafford Show and the long-running mystery series The Whistler.
Mueller played Dr. Lee Markham on The Woman in White on NBC radio and Howard Andrews on Midstream on the Blue Network and appeared as "The voice of the Past" on the May 21, 1942 broadcast of The Right to Happiness. In 1945-47, he was the announcer for Songs by Sinatra.
In 1952, Miller had a one-man program, Armchair Adventures, on CBS. He did "all voices and narration" in the 15-minute dramatic anthology. He also recorded 260 episodes of a program described in a 1950 trade publication as "Marvin Miller: Famous radio voice in series of five minute vignettes about famous people." The program was syndicated via electrical transcription by The Cardinal Company.
He also won Grammy Awards in 1965 and 1966 for his recordings of Dr. Seuss stories: in 1967 for Dr Seuss Presents – If I Ran the Zoo and Sleep Book and 1966 for Dr Seuss Presents Fox in Socks and Green Eggs and Ham. He also read Horton Hatches the Egg and The Sneetches and Other Stories and Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories.
In the mid-1970s, Miller even lent his voice to sports films, narrating the official Indianapolis 500 films in 1975 and 1976.
In films, the heavyset Miller was often cast as a villain, many times playing Asian roles. He portrayed a sadistic henchman in the 1947 Humphrey Bogart film Dead Reckoning, and as Yamada in the 1945 James Cagney effort Blood on the Sun. In Deadline at Dawn he plays Sleepy Parsons, a blind pianist. Miller played George "Gusty" Gustafson in the George Raft film noir classic Johnny Angel.
Miller also did a great deal of voice work in American animation from the 1950s to the 1970s, from the narration on the 1950 Academy Award-winning United Productions of America cartoon Gerald McBoing Boing to the 1970 The Ant and the Aardvark cartoon Scratch a Tiger.
From 1949 to 1950 he starred as Dr. Yat Fu on the short-lived ABC series Mysteries of Chinatown, with Gloria Saunders cast as his niece. In 1961, Miller guest-starred as Johnny Kelso, with Erin O'Brien, in "The Marble Slab" episode of the Frederick Ziv-, United Artists-, and MGM-produced Bat Masterson, starring Gene Barry. Original air date was May 11, 1961.
Miller voiced "Mr. Sun" in the ATandT educational film Our Mr. Sun, and "Hemo" in the ATandT educational film Hemo the Magnificent, parts of a series featuring Dr. Frank C. Baxter and directed by Frank Capra, which was shown on American network television in 1956 and 1957. Miller crossed paths with other prolific voice-over artists many times in his career including June Foray, playing "Deer" in Hemo the Magnificent and in the TV series Rocky and Bullwinkle along with Paul Frees, who voiced "Boris Badenov" in that program. Miller and Frees also performed in separate segments on the audio recording Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America Volume One The Early Years.
Miller made a guest appearance in 1963 on Perry Mason as unscrupulous attorney F.J. Weatherby in "The Case of the Lover's Leap."
Miller voiced Aquaman for the Filmation studio for their 1967 series The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. He was also the voice of pilot/scientist Busby Birdwell in the company's animated series Fantastic Voyage.
He was the voice of the arrogant alien "Zarn" in three episodes of the second season of Land of the Lost. Miller also lent his distinct voice to The Pink Panther Show, often talking with the feline offscreen and asking questions, while also voicing The Inspector, his second Deux Deux and their boss The Commissioner.
On The Millionaire, Miller played Michael Anthony in over 200 episodes, conveying the wishes of the "fabulously wealthy" John Beresford Tipton, voiced by Paul Frees.
Miller died in 1985 at the age of 71 from a heart attack. He is entombed at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
For his contribution to the television industry, Marvin Miller has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6101 Hollywood Boulevard. He is not included on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
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2. Breesee, Frank. "Golden Days of Radio". Interview with Marvin Miller, Part I. American Forces Radio and Television Service.
3. "Say Hello to ..." (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror 13 (4): 46. February 1940.
4. Mackenzie, Harry (1999). The Directory of the Armed Forces Radio Service Series. ABC-CLIO, Incorporated. ISBN 9780313308123.
5. Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. P. 40.
6. Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1950). Shows: 1950 Radio Daily Program Buyers Guide. Radio Daily Corp. P. 40.
7. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 823. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
8. "Marvin Miller, Actor on TV; Appeared in 'The Millionaire'". The New York Times. 1985-02-10.