Robert Ellis Miller
A child actor, Robert Ellis Miller left Harvard University determined to become a director, working in theater and live TV in his native NYC before relocating to Los Angeles. He cut his teeth helming episodes of "Naked City" (ABC), "The Twilight Zone" and "Route 66" (both CBS), among other series, before making his feature directorial debut with the engaging romantic comedy, "Any Wednesday" (1966), starring Jane Fonda and Jason Robards. He scored a critical success with the screen version of Carson McCullers' novel, "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" (1968). The picture won Oscar nominations for both Alan Arkin (Best Actor) and Sandra Locke (Best Supporting Actress), featured Stacy Keach and gave Cicely Tyson her first major film role and enhanced his reputation as an actors' director. Thirty years later, the American Film Institute honored Miller, screening this film along with Mike Nichols' "The Graduate" (1967) and Robert Altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971). Of his remaining features, "Reuben, Reuben" (1983), which reunited him with "Ash Wednesday" screenwriter Julius J Epstein, probably attracted the most notice, garnering a Best Actor Oscar nomination for Tom Conti.