Harry M Miller
- Category : Business-Entrepreneur
- Type : GE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Individualism 2
Australian show business entrepreneur, celebrity agent and impresario, born to English immigrants in New Zealand. From a background of poverty, he rose to the position of one of the most powerful impresarios in Australia and New Zealand and innovator in computerized ticketing as well as the largest cattle breeder in Australia.
His father, a travelling haberdashery salesman of German-Jewish origins, slipped on a plum stone in 1935 and never walked again. He died after six years in an Auckland hospital. The infant boy grew up in a small humble rented house with his mother, a hypochondriac of Russian-Polish Jewish ancestry who received the widow's pension and rented out two rooms to boarders. It was a Jewish Orthodox home, and Miller learnt Hebrew. At nine, his mother was diagnosed with epilepsy, so he was removed to a Jewish welfare institution in Wellington. In 1947 he returned to his mother's home in Auckland. He attended good secondary schools.
From 1949 he worked as a junior hand on a dairy farm, a lab assistant at a freezing works, a bathroom steward on an Auckland-Sydney passenger ship, a Captains 'tiger' or personal servant on a Pacific liner, 1951, a travelling knitwear merchandiser, 1952-1956 and cooking pan demonstrator, 1958.
After successfully using female dancers to model garments in his promotions, he established himself as a part-time jazz & rock'n'roll show business promoter and entrepreneur in the late 1950s. In 1963 he moved to Australia where he established his Pan-Pacific productions company, promoting a large number of concert and theatre tours of Australia and New Zealand throughout the 1960s. These included tours by such artists as Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Arthur Rubinstein, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys. Miller consolidated his reputation by promoting the hugely successful stage musicals "Hair" 1969-1972, "Jesus Christ Superstar," 1972-1976 and "Rocky Horror Show," 1974-1976.
From 1971 to 1989 he was the largest grazier and breeder of Simmental cattle in Australasia. He was appointed a director of the Australian airline, Qantas, in the late 1970s and organizer of the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations in Australia in 1977. Miller established the firm Computicket in Sydney in 1977, processing the first computerized ticket on 28 August 1977 at 9:17 AM. The company collapsed on 12 February 1997, 1:15 PM and went into receivership after only six months in operation.
Under the intense glare of the media, Miller himself collapsed in a stress attack in March 1980 and underwent a temporal artery biopsy, but no physical illness was found. In May 1982, he was convicted on five charges of fraudulent misappropriation in connection with Computicket, and spent ten months in NSW's notorious Long Bay and Cessnock jails. He was released from Cessnock (32s50, 151e21) on 1 March 1983 at 7 AM. Miller's autobiography, "My Story," was published later that year, revealing his trauma as a white collar criminal in one of Australia's worst jails.
After his release, Miller re-created the largest client management business in Australia. Known for his flair and dedication to his patrons, he was criticized for capitalizing on the sensational and ghoulish, particularly after demanding high prices as the media agent for various disaster survivors (including Stuart Diver who survived burial in freezing rubble after a landslide in July 1997) and for the Sydney funeral for rock singer Michael Hutchence for which Miller handled the publicity in late 1997.
Miller enjoyed polo and skiing and was married several times (1957-1962, 1963-1967, 1972-?) and had three daughters (b. 1965, 1976 and 1977) and two sons
(b. 1958 and 1964).
Miller died in Sydney, Australia on 4 July 2018, aged 84, after suffering dementia since 2011.