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Jason Miller –


About Jason Miller (1939 – 2001)

Jason Miller's birth name was John Anthony Miller, and he was born on April 22, 1939, into a Catholic family, in Long Island City, Queens. He was the son of Mary Claire (née Collins), a teacher, and John A. Miller, an electrician. His family moved to the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Miller was educated at St. Patrick's High School and the Jesuit-run University of Scranton.

Jason attended The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., in the mid-1960s', while he taught drama and English at Archbishop Carroll High School.

Jason had a variety of jobs before he started a writing career and wrote his own 1972 produced play, THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Dramatic writing, and won a Tony Award for Best Play Author as well. His director, A.J. Antoon, also won a Tony Award. The story ofTHAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON was based on his experiences at St. Patrick's High School. A character in the play was based on him.

This play was first performed on the stage of Joseph Papp's Public Theater in 1972, before being moved to the Booth Theatre on Broadway. Some very talented actors, including Charles Durning and Paul Sorvino brought this play to life. Paul was also nominated for a Tony Award for his performance.

This powerful story had lasting appeal, as Miller's story of THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON was retold in the 1982 film, that starred Robert Mitchum, Paul Sorvino, Bruce Dern and Martin Sheen. In 1999, the story was retold again in a TV Movie, starring Paul Sorvino, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Terry Kinney.

During the same year of 1972, when THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON made a huge splash on Broadway and the world, Jason stuck his toe into the acting world of film, when he was offered the role of the troubled priest, Father Damien Karras, in William Friedkin's horror, paranormal 1973 film, THE EXORCIST; a performance that Jason is best known for as an actor, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Jason remains the only person in history to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and an Academy Award nomination.

Though Miller preferred being involved with theatre companies; especially Scranton Public Theatre, directing and being in stage plays himself, Miller continued to act occasionally in such films as THE DAIN CURSE (1978), THE NINTH CONFIGURATION (1980), TOY SOLDIERS (1984), THE EXORCIST 111 (1990) and RUDY (1993). In total, Jason has 26 film and television acting credits.

Jason Miller was unlucky in love. Jason married his first wife, Linda Gleason, in 1963. They had one son, actor/producer Jason Patric. They divorced in 1973. Jason Miller married his second wife, a Jewish actress, former Playboy Bunny Susan Bernard in 1974. They had one son together, writer/actor/director Joshua John Miller. They divorced in 1983. Jason married his third wife, Ruth Josem, in 1984. They divorced in 1990.

In October of 2000, Miller wrote and performed in a starring role in the stage play, BARRYMORE'S GHOST, that was a hugely successful and critically acclaimed production directed by Michael Leland at Theatre Double main stage, in Philadelphia.

Jason Miller returned to Scranton to help run Scranton Public Theatre, where he continued to act and direct until his death in 2001 from a massive heart attack. Right before he died, Jason was in rehearsal for a revival of THE ODD COUPLE, playing  Oscar Madison. Also right before he died, he co-wrote a first draft of a play with his younger son, screenwriter Josh John Miller.

In 2004, the city of Scranton hired Miller's long-time friend, Paul Sorvino, to create a bronze bust of Jason Miller. Sorvino's finished work was presented to the public by the city of Scranton in 2008.

A 2011 Broadway revival of THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON opened in March, starring Brian Cox, Kiefer Sutherland, Jim Gaffigan, and Miller's oldest son, Jason Patric, who played the role that Miller based on himself. Miller's ashes were placed on the play set to honor Jason Miller

Jason Miller's notable movie credits include...

TRANCE (1998)
MOMMY (1995)
RUDY (1993)


Jason Miller in THE EXORCIST.