Arthur Miller dies: Marilyn Monroe’s former husband & Pulitzer Prize winner
Arthur Miller, one-time husband of Marilyn Monroe and the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Death of a Salesman, died of congestive heart failure at his Roxbury, Connecticut, home on Feb. 10. Miller was 89.
Professionally, Arthur Miller is best remembered for Death of a Salesman, his Broadway classic about the impossibility of the “American Dream.” Under the direction of Elia Kazan, Death of a Salesman opened on to rave reviews in 1949. Lee J. Cobb starred as salesman Willy Loman, Mildred Dunnock played his wife, and Arthur Kennedy and Cameron Mitchell were their sons.
Death of a Salesman won the Pulitzer Award for Drama, in addition to five Tony Awards: Best Play, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor - Drama (Kennedy), Best Scenic Design (Jo Mielziner), and the Tony Award Author for Miller.
Two years later, Death of a Salesman was filmed by László Benedek with Fredric March as the All-American loser Willy Loman, Kevin McCarthy as his defiant son, and Mildred Dunnock and Cameron Mitchell reprising their Broadway roles. March, McCarthy, and Dunnock were nominated for Academy Awards.
Arthur Miller: Marilyn Monroe & Hollywood
Arthur Miller made headlines the world over when he married 20th Century Fox star Marilyn Monroe in 1956. During their troubled marriage, Miller wrote the screenplay for John Huston’s ill-fated The Misfits (1961), starring Monroe and Clark Gable in what turned out to be their last film, in addition to Montgomery Clift, Eli Wallach, and Thelma Ritter. Despite its stellar cast and prestigious behind-the-scenes talent, The Misfits was neither a critical nor a box office success.
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were divorced in 1961. She died the following year.
Besides Death of a Salesman, other movies based on Arthur Miller’s plays include All My Sons (1948), directed by Irving Reis, and starring Edward G. Robinson and Burt Lancaster; the French-made The Witches of Salem (1957), based on The Crucible, directed by Raymond Rouleau, and starring Simone Signoret and Yves Montand; and The Crucible (1996), directed by Nicholas Hytner, and starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder.