Entrepreneur, management guru, agent and cattle breeder Harry M Miller has died at the age of 84.
His management group announced this morning that Mr Miller died in Sydney yesterday surrounded by his family.
Mr Miller helped start the Simmental Society and was a renowned cattle breeder, from his property Dunmore, near Manilla.
His management group announced: “It is with enormous sadness that we share that the visionary agent and theatrical producer Harry M Miller died peacefully in Sydney on Wednesday 4 July. By his side were his long term partner Simmone Logue, daughters Justine, Brook and Lauren and their mother Wendy.
“A celebration of Harry’s life will be announced in due course. Please consider a donation to Dementia Australia and the Salvation Army in lieu of flowers.”
His biography on his management website said Miller moved to Australia from New Zealand in 1963.
“The business here was still in its infancy, but the fledgling entrepreneur had 100 pounds and an unerring vision. He introduced stars such as Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jnr, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Chubby Checker, Louis Armstrong, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones and the Rolling Stones to isolated local audiences hungry to be part of the international music scene.
“In 1969, Miller introduced a new phenomenon to Australia, the rock opera, changing the face of live theatrical shows for all time. The first of these was Hair, the hugely successful production that launched the careers of Marcia Hines, Reg Livermore and John Waters. This was followed by Boys in the Band, Grease and David Williamson’s The Removalists. In 1972, Miller produced the extremely successful productions of Jesus Christ Superstar followed by The Rocky Horror Show in 1974.”
Miller’s links to rural Australia were long and deep. He established the Dunmore Stud at Manilla from 1972 and introduced the Simmental breed to Australia.
“Miller’s involvement in this industry also saw him nominated by the Federal Government as an appointee to the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation as well as the NSW Oil Seeds Marketing Board … This was followed with Miller being awarded in 1977 the Knight’s Cross Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany for services to agriculture and the promotion of German drama in Australia. Miller’s involvement in this industry also saw him nominated by the Federal Government as an appointee to the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation as well as the NSW Oil Seeds Marketing Board.
“Dunmore became the largest and one of the finest Simmental herds in the world until it was dispersed in 1989.”
The Land’s Mark Griggs who was with NSW Country Life in the early 1970s met Mr Miller for a story and photos, flying to Dunmore at Manilla. Back in Sydney at Mr Miller’s office at the Hyatt Kingsgate, he got a cup of coffee, stood with Mr Miller at a big light box looking over the transparencies of the Simmentals. “He was happy with the pics, and then asked me to give an opinion on The Seekers song if it would be a hit, and I said ‘yeh’, and he liked me after that. Then I found myself in the midst of an almighty telephone row with the intercom on as he argued over rights to New Zealand interests to Jesus Christ Superstar with the star of the show, Trevor White.” When Miller put down the phone, he told Griggs: “The day’s not going well, it’s only 9.30am and I’ve already had a row with Jesus Christ.” Mr Griggs said he also helped Mr Miller get into the Ekka show in Brisbane to view his cattle because he didn’t have a ticket. “That was the talk of the show all day,” Griggs remembers.