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The family lived on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, from where Miller Sr.was chauffeur-driven to work until 1928, when the decline of his prosperous clothing business obliged him to move with his family to humbler circumstances in Brooklyn.
Convicted of contempt of Congress, he was denied a passport to attend productions of abroad. Unrepentant, Miller continued to be politically visible.
In 1968 he became a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and four years later in Miami.
I’m still disappointed that the trophy on my mantelpiece marks my victory at the age of 12 in “the -yard dash,” so frustratingly short of the gold standard for all would-be sprinters.
But of course it’s the larger human dimension of the number 100 that so fascinates us.
Thus the possibility of arriving at 100 becomes the next personal frontier.
Winnie Blagden was a Yorkshire widow without children and living alone.The Vietnam War made these turbulent times at home, and Arthur Miller was never one to retreat to the sidelines.Indeed he went global, as a member of PEN (the international writers’ organization defending fellow writers subject to suppressive governments abroad), and serving for four years as its president.In recent times, especially during a presidential campaign, we’ve come to think of politics and morality as distinct, or even antithetical.For Miller, a moral person had to express himself politically.Arthur was evidently delighted to write for his son-in-law the screenplay of alone was a political statement for anyone with ears to hear the Mc Carthy witch-hunt allusion.Already under federal scrutiny, the playwright was hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to which he refused to name names.¤ Ten years after his death in 2005, Arthur Miller’s centenary proved a bumper year for productions of his work, and not all of it the old familiars.The Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut, for example, a notable regional theater led by Mark Lamos, formerly of Hartford Stage, chose the centenary month of October to revive Miller’s , an important late play that I’ll have more to say about in due course.Meanwhile, of course, Miller had become a very public figure outside the theater, and not just because of his 1956 marriage to Marilyn Monroe.(Real domestic happiness for him seems to have begun only in 1962, after his divorce from Monroe and his marriage to the Austrian photographer Ingeborg Morath, who bore him two children, one of them the film director Rebecca Miller, now married to Daniel Day-Lewis.