He was Tarzan, King of the Apes, and was once the Gorton’s fisherman. But Bloomington, IN native and actor Denny Miller didn’t grow up with dreams of Hollywood. Sure, he loved the movies, but his heroes were athletes. “Basketball filled my dreams,” he says. Those dreams, plus talent, landed him a scholarship at UCLA (where he met another Denny named Crum, a good friend ever since).
While studying to be a coach, Miller had what he describes as a “happy accident.” He was moving furniture at his summer job when a talent agent approached and gave Denny his card. By the end of the day, three more agents had done the same thing. “Nothing like this had happened to me before, and it hasn’t happened again,” Denny marvels.
He followed up with the first agent and landed a screen test—and a seven-year acting contract. So long, basketball!
“Lucky? You bet!” says Miller. “Luck got me another screen test. This one was a scene from the play Voice of the Turtle. The test was directed by Oscar-winning director George Cukor. The contract that resulted was for that of a studio contract player for MGM. That led to the role of Tarzan.”
Since then, Denny Miller has had much success in Hollywood, starring in shows such as Wagon Train and guest-starring on countless others, including Gilligan’s Island and Gunsmoke. All in all, he has acted in 138 TV commercials, 234 TV episodes, and 20 films.
Between acting jobs, Miller has used his degree in physical education from UCLA to teach fitness. He also produced, wrote, directed, and starred in an instructional video on relaxation techniques called Homestretch. He and his wife, Nancy, make their home in Las Vegas, NV.
For more facts and fun stuff on this versatile actor, visit Denny-Miller.com.
- Program 107
- Hollywood actor Denny Miller, the University of Louisville’s Tarzan collection, Indian bead artist Surekha Kulkarni, the facts about Kentucky “seafood,” and an interview with Mayor Jerry Abramson. (#107)