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

BC Nurses Union calls for decriminalization of opioids

BCNU president wants the federal government to do more to reduce preventable deaths

Pedestrian struck on Quadra Street

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Quadra Street at Hulford… Continue reading

Victoria airport workers rally on Tuesday

Food service workers call for improved working conditions

Police respond after dog left in vehicle at the movies

West Shore RCMP determined the animal was not in distress

Saanich grants public hearing to senior housing proposal

Five-storey rental apartment would add 39 units near Cuthbert Holmes Park

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Former Vike returns to lead women’s rowing program

Williams rowed for UVic, Oxford and Canada

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Most Read