I want to Talk about the Millers, not the TV sitcom, but Lainie and Dick Miller, the Toluca Lake residents who are long time friends, and professional colleagues. (They also love Sheila Kuehl; our choice for this district’s new L.A. County Supervisor.)
In early 1960, I was in Edinburgh with the “Billy Barnes Revue.” It was just after filming Little Shop of Horrors, the two-day wonder, where I first met Dick Miller. Dick played the customer who ate the flowers. His previous Roger Corman film, Bucket of Blood, in which he played a crazed nebbish, was playing at the Royal Scottish Historical Society. I had to attend! That movie also starred Burt Convey (fellow cast member in the BB Revue), and Tony Carbone (a fellow LACC drama department star). It made a lasting impression … and so did Dick Miller. In passing decades he played my husband in Get Crazy and both Gremlins films. I met his wife Lainie on the New York Gremlins 2 set, where we hunkered in a trailer and ate free lox. What better bonding experience?
Fast forward. Dick Miller has never stopped working, and has become a good luck charm for directors. And now, there is a feature length documentary ready for its big opening called, “THAT GUY DICK MILLER.” Director Elijah Drenner just announced the film is finally a reality and is having its International Premiere at the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin this March. Lainie (a Producer along with Drenner), and Dick will be returning to Austin for the first time since PIRANHA in 1978 (Historical tid-bit).
Dick’s career, spanning six decades, began in the ‘50s as a starving writer, then made the switch to starving actor.
“That Guy Dick Miller” brings you the true story of a real reel actor who has worked for some of the biggest Directors (i.e. Roger Corman, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, Jonathan Kaplan, Ernest Dickerson, and Martin Scorsese). He has shared the screen with Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Ramones, and Julianna Margulies, just to name a few. Lainie tells me, “This piece is loaded with clips and interviews interwoven to tell the story of Dick’s leap from obscurity to genre icon. Last but not least, most especially for his fans worldwide, is his personal story, including his family, his private footage, written works, and artistry. In an underlying sense, it also includes the love story of Dick and Lainie Miller. Once you have seen ‘That Guy Dick Miller’ you’ll say to yourself: Sure, I remember That Guy, That Guy’s Dick Miller.”
I think she likes him. I know I do.
SHEILA KUEHL continued.
Sheila is making news: “Sheila Kuehl is doing something different as she campaigns for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. As well as telling voters about herself, Kuehl is trying to teach them about the office.”
(I’m telling you, hit the Internet and learn. I just read her explanation of Mental Health opportunities that we should all know!) “On the Kuehl for Supervisor website this former California legislator is writing a series of essays she is calling ‘LA County 101,’ explaining aspects of the powerful but little-understood county government. The fifth and latest essay is about the county Department of Health. Earlier ones discussed the basics of the county and its importance in implementing state and federal policies; the general history of the county, and the birth of Hollywood and the fights over water. I want people to understand how important it is that they vote,” said Sheila, at a visit to the LA News Group.
That Guy Dick Miller knows it’s important to vote? Thanks to Sheila Kuehl, we can all understand why. June Election, don’t think it’s not a big deal …