I sent the link of my recent blog post – about calling Elizabeth Taylor – to my Big Brother, Dick Miller. <http://tinyurl.com/preview.php?num=4fa5bye> Why do I capitalize the words “Big Brother”? Because although I never intended to follow in Dick’s footsteps – he blazed my path. Dick worked as a photographer and then founded his own management company representing performers. Somehow, even though I long-resisted being part of that world, I chose the same exact same road.
When Dick received my message, he dashed off a quick reply, writing that – as soon as he got back to his office – I was to expect a photo. Shortly thereafter Big Brother Dick sends me this amazing image – of him with Ms. Taylor — it just blew me away!
Ha! I had to laugh at myself. Here I was, blogging about a brief telephone conversation with the famous Elizabeth Taylor, when Big Brother had not only met her, but had gazed lovingly into her eyes … and was bathed by a warm and loving gaze in return – WOW!
In addition to his work representing artists, my Big Brother Dick Miller wrote a syndicated entertainment newspaper column for 15 years from the early 1970’s until the 1980’s. DICK MILLER, NEW YORK, NEW YORK was primarily about New York City Broadway and other entertainment news.
His upbeat column spoke of people involved in show business in a positive and informative manner. Dick covered Opening Night performances of Broadway, off-Broadway and nightclub shows, mixing with all of the stars and creators of the productions, including interesting facts about them in his column.
Readers would remark in letters to Dick that they knew if he didn’t write about a performer or a show, there was a good chance Dick Miller didn’t care about it and didn’t want to say anything negative. Unlike most columnists who dished the dirt – my Big Brother just ignored what he didn’t like, maintaining his positive approach.
Dick met and spoke with Elizabeth Taylor, (documented in this photo taken by his wife, Deborah Miller – his girlfriend at the time of the photo – on May 7, 1981), at the Opening Night party of “The Little Foxes.”
He wrote about the meeting in his syndicated column:
“Liz Taylor was extremely generous. You look at this photo, the way she was looking at me. That was not posed. She showed tremendous interest in talking to me. You don’t always feel that from a major star.”
It’s interesting to me that we both chose the word “generous” to describe Ms. Taylor.
And, I just discovered something else, a document that showed me again that I was, even then, following in Big Brother’s path …
I just looked back at The Washington Post review of The Fine Line Actors Theatre production of Marsha Norman’s “Getting Out.” I was the executive director of the company and performing the co-lead in the show. I was also raising money to support our Women’s Prison Project. When I looked at the date of the article, I discovered that I was calling Ms. Taylor to support our Project at just about the SAME time Big Brother Dick was gazing into her violet eyes – the Spring of 1981 – 30 years ago!
Strange – and synchronistic, right?
To give you some background on this photo:
My brother Dick and his wife Deborah attended the Broadway Opening of “The Little Foxes,” at the Martin Beck Theater, now the Al Hirschfeld Theater. After the Opening Night Gala The Millers celebrated along with celebrities Liza Minnelli, Senator John Warner, Shirley MacLaine, Anne Miller, Joan Fontaine, Halston, Bill Blass and dozens of other notables. During that memorable celebration, Dick talked with Elizabeth Taylor and reported about the event in his Syndicated newspaper column.
… That Opening Night event was taking place during the same time-period I found myself speechless in response to Elizabeth Taylor answering her own phone.
There is a spider web that connects us – with gossamer strands of blood that tie us together to family. Sometimes we don’t see the threads ‘till we look back, lovingly, may years into the past … as we remember the generosity of others, clearly expressed through the kindness of voice and the beauty shining through violet eyes.