Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Barry Miller

John Travolta received all of the attention when Saturday Night Fever came out in 1977, but it was Barry Miller in the role of Bobby C that caught my eye. I found him to be the most interesting character in the film, and I don't credit the script for that. I credit the actor.

The more movies I saw Barry Miller in, the more I was impressed with his acting talents. And then a few years later when his wonderful performance in Fame hit the theaters, I figured he was well on his way to becoming a household name. I was wrong.


More memorable performances were to follow in films like The Chosen and Peggy Sue Got Married, as well as the short-lived, but very good television show Equal Justice, in which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. However, it appears that the only medium to really appreciate his talents was the theatre, as he won a Tony Award in 1985 for the Neil Simon play, Biloxi Blues.

Barry Miller hasn't done any major film or television work for almost ten years now. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that his days in front of the camera aren't over.

5 comments:

  1. I always loved Barry's heart breaking work in Fame - he is truly a talent. I just borrowed an old film from a friend "The Adventure of Natty Gann" (or something like that). I recognized him right away and then began to wonder the same thing you did... why didn't this guy become very famous? He's an incredible actor. I would love to see him again on the screen. Perhaps his star is yet to rise. Wonder what he's like in real life and why he's chosen not to continue with acting? I couldn't even find if he has a web site - most actors of any stature do these days.

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    1. you have to recall that he was the littlest of the gang and was probably only included because he had the car. Plus, how could anyone think those cloddhopper platform dancing shoes he wore in Saturday Night Fever looked acceptable rather than frigging ridiculous ... He showed a lot of balls being seen in those abominations.

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  2. Here's the most recent things I could find on him:

    USA Today: The 'Fame' Gang: Barry Miller

    Here was an interesting followup to that article:

    Barry Miller Decries Fame

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    1. Thanks, Literary Lioness. This information is good to know.

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  3. His poignant portrayal of Bobby in Saturday Night Fever was very believeable, and showcased his promise as an actor with staying power. Sad that we don't hear anything from him, although some of the other actors from the film have been interviewed over the years. And I love that his father was Sidney Miller, best known as a 50's and 60's character actor. His role as the drunk from "Pismo Beach" in both Dragnet series (from the 50s series and when the show was reprised in the 70's) was iconic. It was so popular in the 50s on that episode when Sidney told Sgt. Friday (Jack Webb) he wanted to go to Pismo Beach for the clam chowder, as he staggered and slurred his funny dialogue thatt the episode was completely reprised when Dragnet reincarnated in the Seventies. You should watch it. From Pismo Beach to Saturday Night Fever is a long step, but this father/son team of actors showed their acting chops in a very memorable way.

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