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Wentworth Miller

Wentworth Miller

Birth name Wentworth Earl Miller III
Born June 2, 1972 (1972-06-02) (age 35)
Flag of United Kingdom Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Notable roles Michael Scofield in
Prison Break

Wentworth Earl Miller (b. June 2, 1972) is a British-born American actor who achieved fame as Michael Scofield in the Fox Network's television series Prison Break.



[edit] Biography

[edit] Early life

Miller's father is of Jamaican, British, German, Jewish, and Cherokee descent, while his mother is of Russian, French, Dutch,and Lebanese descent.[1][2] In an interview, Miller said: "My father is black and my mother is white. Therefore, I could answer to either which kind of makes me a racial Lone Ranger, at times, caught between two communities."[3]

He was born in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England, where his father, a Rhodes Scholar, was studying.[4] His family moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, when he was one. He has two sisters, Leigh and Gillian. Miller attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English Literature. While at Princeton, he performed with the school's a cappella group, The Princeton Tiger Tones.

[edit] Career

Miller's first starring role was as the sensitive and introverted David in ABC's mini-series Dinotopia. After appearing in a few minor television roles, he moved on to co-star in the 2003 film The Human Stain, playing the younger version of Anthony Hopkins' character.

Miller further increased his profile in 2005 by obtaining the starring role as Michael Scofield in Fox Network's television drama, Prison Break. His performance in the show earned him a 2005 Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series.[5]

Also in 2005, Miller made appearances in the music videos of Mariah Carey's "It's Like That" and "We Belong Together" (consequently, Entertainment Weekly's website named it the 2nd sexiest music video cameo of all-time). Both music videos were directed by Brett Ratner, who directed the series pilot of Prison Break. According to Brett Ratner on the DVD audio commentary for the pilot episode of Prison Break' Wentworth Miller did not audition for the role of Superman/Clark Kent when the Superman Returns project was still under Ratner's directorial control, despite popular belief.

Miller is currently featured in the Gap's Khakis with Attitude campaign. He is also the new jeans model for the Korean label Bean Pole International.

[edit] Personal life

Miller as "Coleman Silk" in The Human Stain. © Miramax Films 2003
Miller as "Coleman Silk" in The Human Stain. © Miramax Films 2003

In 2003, Miller was cast as 'Coleman Silk' in The Human Stain. It was revealed that he had an intense personal connection to this mixed-race character. Not only did Miller possess a similar racial background, but he also was involved in a controversial racial incident during his time at Princeton, when he was mistakenly believed to have written a derogatory remark about African-Americans, similar to the situation with his character in the movie.

In 1994, while Miller was a junior at Princeton, he published a cartoon in The Daily Princetonian featuring Cornel West, who was then a professor of African-American Studies there but who had just been hired away by Harvard University. The cartoon depicted Muffy, a white Harvard student, imagining her first class with West, who is saying, "Today's lecture is entitled, Rhythm—Why None of You Have It, and How You Can Get It." It also described West as "newly purchased," which is an innocent academic term for newly hired that was taken as a reference to slavery.

Within days the paper had run angry letters signed by dozens of students and faculty members, including novelist Toni Morrison, who according to the The New York Times wrote an angry letter to Miller. A symposium was even convened on campus on the issue. Miller, who everyone assumed was white, was considered a campus racist. Like 'Coleman Silk', Miller declined to bring up his own African-American heritage.

Years later when discussing the controversy, Miller remarked: "To be perfectly clear, passing is something that has never crossed my mind. Instead of stepping forward and explaining what I'd meant by the cartoon and positing my own racial background as evidence that I'd really meant no harm, I chose to remain silent. My attitude was, If they don't get it, I don't have to explain it, which was my way of saying that if they don't get me, I don't have to explain me. The people who knew me on campus and knew my background knew where I was coming from, but I think for most people I was just a name in the paper, and they probably assumed I was white."[1]

After filming The Human Stain, Miller wrote a letter to West apologizing for the cartoon, but received no replies. However, West was present at the premiere of the movie. Incidentally, West is a friend of actress Anna Deavere Smith, who played Coleman Silk's mother in the film.


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