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Jason Miller

As Father Karras in The Exorcist III, 1990
Born John Anthony Miller
April 22, 1939(1939-04-22)
Long Island City, Queens, USA
Died May 13, 2001 (aged 62)
Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA
Spouse(s) Linda Miller (1963-1973)
Susan Bernard (1974-1983)
Ruth Josem (1984-1990)

Jason Miller (April 22, 1939 – May 13, 2001) was an American actor and playwright. He received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play That Championship Season, and was widely recognized for his role as Father Damien Karras in the 1973 horror film The Exorcist. He later became Artistic Director of the Scranton Public Theatre in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where his play That Championship Season was set.



Early years

Miller was born John Anthony Miller in Long Island City, Queens, the son of Mary Claire Collins, a teacher, and John A. Miller, an electrician.[1][2] He was of Greek Cypriot ancestry. His family moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Miller was educated at St. Patrick's High School and the Jesuit-run University of Scranton. He also attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C..


Miller was launched into stardom in 1973 by winning a Pulitzer Prize for his play, That Championship Season. That same year, he was offered the role of the troubled priest in William Friedkin's horror film The Exorcist (1973), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Miller's film career was sporadic, however, and he preferred to work in regional theatre. He starred as Henry Drummond opposite Malachy McCourt as Matt Brady in the Philadelphia production of Inherit The Wind. The show is to date the longest running production in Philadelphia history. He was also co-founder of Scranton Public Theatre. With SPT, Miller directed and starred in varous productions including Blithe Spirit, California Suite, Crimes of the Heart and The Lion in Winter.

Miller continued to act occasionally in such films as The Dain Curse (1978), The Ninth Configuration (1980), Toy Soldiers (1984), The Exorcist III (1990) and Rudy (1993), playing a role close to his heart, Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian.

In 1998 he toured the country in his one-man play Barrymore's Ghost, ending the tour with a four-month run Off-Broadway . Miller's last projects included a revival of The Odd Couple for the Pennsylvania Summer Theatre Festival, in which he was appearing in the role of Oscar Madison.

Personal life

Miller was the father of actors Jason Patric (by first wife Linda Gleason, daughter of Jackie Gleason) and Joshua John Miller (by second wife Susan Bernard). On May 13, 2001, Miller died of a heart attack at Farley's Pub and Eatery in Scranton, Pennsylvania, at the age of 62.[3]

In 2004, actor Paul Sorvino, a longtime friend of Miller, was commissioned by the city of Scranton to create a bronze bust of the late playwright and actor. The statue was unveiled in December 2008.


Year Film Role Notes
1973 The Exorcist Father Damien Karras Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1974 The Nickel Ride Cooper
1975 A Home of Our Own Father William Wasson TV
1976 F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood F. Scott Fitzgerald TV
El Perro Aristides Ungria aka The Dog
aka Vengeance (USA Video Title)
1977 The Devil's Advocate (UK)
1978 The Dain Curse Owen Fitzstephan TV mini-series
1979 Vampire John Rawlins TV
1980 Marilyn: The Untold Story Arthur Miller TV
The Ninth Configuration Lt. Frankie Reno aka Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane
The Henderson Monster Dr. Tom Henderson TV
1981 The Best Little Girl in the World Clay Orlovsky TV
1982 That Championship Season Screenwriter/Director
Nominated - Golden Berlin Bear
Monsignor Don Vito Appolini
1984 A Touch of Scandal Garrett Locke TV
Toy Soldiers Sarge
Terror in the Aisles archival footage
1987 Deadly Care Dr. Miles Keefer TV
Light of Day Benjamin Rasnick
1990 The Exorcist III Patient X (Father Damien Karras)
1992 Small Kill Mikie
1993 Rudy Ara Parseghian
1995 Mommy Lieutenant March
Murdered Innocence Detective Rollins
1998 Trance The Doctor aka The Eternal
1999 That Championship Season TV
2000 Slice
2002 Paradox Lake
2003 Finding Home Lester Bownlow


  • Nobody Hears a Broken Drum (1970)
  • Lou Gehrig Did Not Die Of Cancer (1971)
  • That Championship Season (1972)
  • Barrymore's Ghost (2000)
  • Three One-Act Plays (1973, drama)


  1. ^ Staff writers (14 May 2001). "Jason Miller's Storied Career". Scranton Times Tribune. Retrieved 2008-12-19.  
  2. ^ "Jason Miller Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-25.  
  3. ^ Jennifer Henn (24 May 2001). "Jason Miller dies". Scranton Times Tribune. Retrieved 2008-12-19.  

External links

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