Warren Miller, the pioneering snow-sports filmmaker, died Wednesday at his home on Orcas Island. He was 93. (Warren Miller Entertainment, 1989)

Legendary skiing filmmaker Warren Miller dies at age 93

Warren Miller, the pioneering snow-sports filmmaker, died Wednesday at his home on Orcas Island.

Warren Miller, the legendary outdoor filmmaker who for decades made homages to downhill skiing that he narrated with his own humorous style, has died. He was 93.

His family said in a statement that Miller died of natural causes Wednesday evening at his home on Orcas Island in Washington state.

A World War II veteran, ski racer, surfer and sailor, Miller produced more than 500 action films about a variety of outdoor activities including surfing and sailing. But he was best known for his thrill-seeking films featuring daredevil skiers barrelling down breathtakingly steep slopes.

His annual ski movies served as informal kickoffs to ski season and became a rite of passage for the legions of ski bums and snowboarders who flocked to see them at movie theatres and played them on video while relaxing with drinks after tough ski days.

“Warren’s legacy of adventure, freedom and humour carries on in the countless lives he touched,” his wife of 30 years, Laurie Miller, said in a statement Thursday. “Warren loved nothing more than sharing his life’s adventures and hearing literally every day from friends old and new about how his stories inspired others to enrich and enjoy their own lives.”

Miller was born in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, in 1924. He grew up during the Depression and said his family struggled to put food on the table.

According to a biography on his website, Miller bought his first camera for 39 cents when he was 12 years old. He used earnings from his newspaper route to buy his first skis and bamboo ski poles when he was 15 and took his first run at Mount Waterman near Los Angeles with his Boy Scout troop.

“I really believe in my heart that that first turn you make on a pair of skis is your first taste of total freedom, the first time in your life that you could go anywhere that your adrenaline would let you go,” he told The Seattle Times in a 2010 interview.

Miller played varsity basketball at the University of Southern California and served in the Navy.

In 1946, he bought a camera for $77 and set off with his friend Ward Baker in a 1936 Buick Phaeton towing a teardrop trailer to ski destinations across the U.S., including Yosemite, Jackson Hole and Mammoth Mountain. They camped in parking lots of ski resorts, perfecting the ski bum life.

He once recalled loving the smell of rabbit frying in the silent evening while parked in Sun Valley’s parking lot.

Miller launched his film career in 1950 with his first skiing film, “Deep and Light.”

He headed Warren Miller Entertainment until the late 1980s when he sold it to his son, Kurt Miller. Time Inc. bought it in 2000 and later sold it. Warren Miller Entertainment It is now owned by Active Interest Media.

Miller was inducted into the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame in 1978.

Aside from his wife, Miller is survived by sons Scott and Kurt, daughter Chris and a stepson, Colin Kaufman.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Pottery show supports Vernon street nurse

Cammy LaFleur Street Nurse Outreach Program benefactor of Nov. 16 show and sale

Special Vernon theatre showing for Dorothy Alexander Centre

Powerhouse Theatre presents Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays

Silver lining to Vernon poppy tin theft

Vendors, customers at Vernon Farmers’ Market’s customer appreciation day help replenish stolen funds

New Vernon operatory opens doors for more affordable care

Vernon Community Dental Access Centre knocks down barriers for low-income citizens

Vernon car fire deemed suspicious

SUV found fully engulfed with nobody around at 4 a.m. Tuesday on Commonage Road

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

‘Homes not shelters’: Those living on Kelowna streets rally for rights

On Tuesday, Leon Avenue residents came together to demand change

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Police surround Peachland neighbourhood

The incident in Peachland is now over

Penticton arts, culture and sports programs get boost of over $500,000 thanks to provincial grant

The B.C. Community Gaming Grants program will be distributing $505,900 to 18 local groups

Okanagan school districts reach agreement with CUPE Local 523

The union represents members who provide a variety of services to support students

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Special theatre showing for Okanagan’s Dorothy Alexander Centre

Powerhouse Theatre presents Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Most Read