Walter C. Miller, a five-time Emmy-winner finest identified for producing or directing the Grammys, Tonys and CMA Awards within the Nineteen Seventies, ’80s and ’90s, died on Friday night, the Nation Music Affiliation confirmed to Selection. He was 94.
“Walter was an absolute tv legend,” mentioned CMA chief government officer Sarah Trahern in an announcement. “Whenever you labored with him, you immediately knew you have been within the presence of greatness. He introduced a lot innovation and brilliance to the CMA Awards over the 40 years he labored with the group.”
Miller additionally served on the helm of different awards exhibits, as effectively, together with the Emmys, Folks’s Alternative Awards and Latin Grammys.
Miller was nominated for 19 prime-time Emmy Awards, taking residence 5 trophies between 1972 and 1999 — 4 of them from directing the Tony Awards. He was additionally nominated for 2 daytime Emmys. Miller was a three-time Administrators Guild of America winner. In 1993, he received a CableACE Award for his ongoing work helming the “Comedian Aid” specials. In 2010, after his retirement, the Grammys gave him the org’s Trustees Award.
Born Walter Corwin Miller in 1926, the longtime leisure skilled broke into the trade as a lighting director for the NBC 123 collection “The Horn and Hardart Youngsters’s Hour,” and moved on to direct TV packages “Startime,” “The Bell Phone Hour” and “Sing Alongside With Mitch.” He additionally helmed stay occasions together with the “New Orleans Jazz Pageant 1969,” “Johnny Money and Buddies” and “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
In 1967, Miller made his breakthrough within the music programming scene because the co-director of “The Belle of 14th Avenue,” a Barbra Streisand particular on CBS. He went on to direct a number of specials for each Money and Doug Henning in addition to tv showcases for Frank Sinatra, Stevie Surprise, Steve Martin, Sam Kinison, Kathie Lee Gifford, Steven Wright, Perry Como, Bob Hope, Invoice Cosby, Wealthy Little, George Burns, the Osmond Household and Rodney Dangerfield.
Miller’s credit embody directing the Grammys 15 occasions between the years of 1984 and 2009. He additionally served as a producer on the present for a quantity of these years, and continued on as a consulting producer as just lately as 2016. He spent practically as a few years on the helm of the CMAs, engaged on the present 14 occasions between 1978 and 2004. He had an unbroken 11-year run directing the Tonys, from 1987-97, and continued on the present as a producer for a number of years after that.
“Walter was clearly essentially the most unforgettable character I’ve ever met in a working capability, and one of my closest buddies exterior the enterprise,” Ken Ehrlich, the Grammys’ government producer for 40 years, tells Selection. “After we have been first put collectively in 1980 by Pierre Cossette to do the Grammys collectively, after one assembly with Walter, I had doubts that we may ever work collectively, however because the years glided by, I not solely grew to respect his talents, which have been appreciable, however to like him as a mentor, a co-conspirator, and a pal. Individuals who have identified the each of us over time see the connection, and by the way in which, it’s not all the time fairly. However by all of it, whether or not he had his arms round me or his fingers round my neck, we had one of essentially the most great, and clearly profitable, partnerships over greater than 30 years. He left an indelible mark on just about everybody he labored with, and as they are saying, they simply don’t make ’em like Walter anymore.”
For his contribution to the CMA Awards, Miller was awarded the CMA President’s Award in 2007, and in 2009, he was bestowed with the CMA Irving Waugh Award to have a good time his service to the group. Miller turned the fifth recipient of the award, following Waugh, Frances Preston, Jo Walker-Meador and Money.
“Walter Miller was my pal and mentor,” mentioned CMA Awards government producer Robert Deaton. “The whole lot I learn about producing nice tv I realized from Walter Miller. Walter had a protracted record of accomplishments and credit and dealing with the largest names in leisure. Nevertheless, I do know that working in Nashville and with the CMA Awards was closest to his coronary heart. He beloved our artists, and in return we counted Walter as one of our personal. Immediately we are saying thanks. You may be missed and relaxation in peace expensive pal.”