Monday, May 14, 2001

Jason Miller's storied career

April 22, 1939 -- Born John Anthony Miller in Long Island City, N.Y., son of John A. and Mary Collins Miller. Later moved to 118 S. Fillmore Ave. in West Scranton. Attended Alexander Hamilton School in West Scranton and St. Patrick's High School, where he was known as Jackie and was a standout basketball player.

1958-63 -- Majors in English and philosophy at the University of Scranton, where he continues his interest in acting and begins writing some of his own material. Later attends Catholic University, Washington, D.C., for his master's degree.

March 9, 1963 -- Marries Linda Mae Gleason, daughter of actor and comedian Jackie Gleason, at St. Patrick's Church, Scranton. They move to New York, where he works a series of odd jobs and pursues his acting career.

March 17, 1966 -- Son Jason is born, one of Miller's four children; he would later become a well-known actor -- Jason Patric -- starring in such films as "The Lost Boys" and "Rush."

1970 -- "The Circus Theatre," a series of one-act plays, and "Nobody Hears a Broken Drum," a full-length play, are produced off-Broadway.

1973 -- Miller's most acclaimed year as a professional. His "That Championship Season" wins the Pulitzer Prize in drama, a Tony Award and a New York Drama Critics Award. He also is nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of Father Damien Karras in "The Exorcist."

1975 -- Stars in "The Nickel Ride"

1976 -- Stars in "F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood," earning an Emmy nomination.

1980 -- Stars in "Marilyn: The Untold Story."

Summer 1982 -- Films the screen version of "That Championship Season" in Scranton, starring such Hollywood heavyweights as Robert Mitchum, Martin Sheen, Paul Sorvino and Bruce Dern.

1984 -- Marries Ruth Josem.

June 1986 -- Receives the Frank O'Hara Award, given to distinguished University of Scranton alumni.

Late 1980s -- Returns to Scranton permanently to become artistic director of Scranton Public Theater. Over the years, his many critical and commercial successes include a production of "Inherit the Wind" that traveled to Philadelphia, where it became the longest-running drama in the city's history.

1990 -- Stars in "The Exorcist 3."

1993 -- Appears in the box-office sleeper "Rudy," playing a role close to his Irish heart -- that of legendary Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian.

2000 -- "The Exorcist" is re-released. Wins critical acclaim for acting and writing in his one-man play, "Barrymore's Ghost," which is performed from Pittsburgh to Seattle.

Sept. 20, 2000 -- Receives the first Pennsylvania Film Festival's Keystone Award in Scranton for excellence and outstanding lifetime achievement in film and the arts.

2001 -- Was working on a film script of the life of Jackie Gleason in conjunction with the Showtime network.

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