NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) — Walter C. Miller, an award-winning director and producer who played a major role in the CMA Awards for more than four decades, died on November 13th. He was 84.
“Walter was an absolute television legend,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer in a statement about his passing. “When you worked with him, you instantly knew you were in the presence of greatness. He brought so much innovation and brilliance to the CMA Awards over the 40 years he worked with the organization.”
Born Walter Corwin Miller, he began his career in television in the late 1940s as the lighting director for the variety series “The Horn and Hardart Children’s Hour” on NBC.
In the late 1967, Miller co-directed Barbra Streisand’s “The Belle of 14th Street,” on CBS with John Layton, setting Miller on the path to work with numerous recording artists on television projects, including the “New Orleans Jazz Festival 1969,” “Johnny Cash and Friends” and “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
With a reputation for music television, Miller joined the CMA Awards as a producer for the award gala’s third annual telecast, which was then held at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
In addition to the CMA Awards, Miller also directed and produced the Emmy Awards, People’s Choice Awards, Grammy Awards and the Tony Awards.
Miller was nominated for 19 Emmys during his long career, taking home five trophies between 1972 and 1999. In 2007, he was presented with the CMA’s President Award, followed by the CMA Irving Waugh Award two years later.
In receiving the award, Miller became only the fifth person to do so, following Waugh, Frances Preston, Jo Walker-Meador and Cash.
“Walter Miller was my friend and mentor,” says Robert Deaton, CMA Awards Executive Producer. “Everything I know about producing great television I learned from Walter Miller. Walter had a long list of accomplishments and credits and working with the biggest names in entertainment, however I know that working in Nashville and with the CMA Awards was closest to his heart. He loved our artists, and in return we counted Walter as one of our own. Today we say thank you, you will be missed and rest in peace dear friend.”