Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye:  A few weeks ago I lost a very good friend of mine, Roy Miller, whom I’d known for 33 years. Funny expression, isn’t it?…If only he was just lost.

I was so hoping that this was just a big publicity stunt. It’s been known to boost sales for many a show in the past. I wouldn’t put it past him. After all he did get married on stage after one of the performances of “Drowsy Chaperone” which he produced on Broadway.  One of many Broadway shows he produced.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The Opening Number

I met Roy the first day I moved to New York in the spring of 1980. I was 17 and he was the older and wiser 19 year old. I was living with 4 or 5 (it varied depending on the day) other girls in a one bedroom apartment on 56th and Broadway and Roy lived with a few guys two floors away.

It was very much like the show “Friends” in that we all went about our day auditioning, taking classes and looking for work and then when we got home we met up at one of the apartments (usually the guys) donned in togas & set to watch “Animal House”.

The Actor

When I met him, Roy was an actor. He was amazingly dedicated getting up in the wee hours every Thursday to pick up that week’s edition of “Backstage” hot off the presses so that he could be the first to line up for any auditions happening that day.

I had no interest in anything except ballet, but on one particular Thursday morning at three am, Roy shows me an audition for a summer stock production of “Oklahoma. His plan was to audition for ‘Will Parker’ and I would audition for ‘Dream Laurie’. I resisted as this would be my very first audition since moving to the city and it was for a musical not a ballet company, but he was adamant. “Then we could spend the summer together on the beach in Rhode Island”, he said. I didn’t even have an 8×10 so Roy got a hold of my high school picture, blew it up and stapled a resume to it (I’m not even sure it was mine come to think of it), and I got the job! I remember thinking how easy this musical theatre thing was. I later ate those words!

The direction of my life and my career changed dramatically that day thanks to Roy and I’ve never looked back. He taught me so many things as I had no skills other than ballet at the time. He got me a voice teacher an acting teacher and an agent. I have done some amazing things in this industry, things I never imaged I would ever do, all thanks to Roy’s insistence that I broaden my horizons.

He was someone who wouldn’t take “No” for an answer. He was dedicated, determined and downright belligerent. All qualities a good actor needs along with the talent of course. And talent he had, he could sing and act and move pretty well, but he could also do magic, play the accordion, and do impressions. In my eyes he could do anything and everything.

He was even the Yankees mascot which was this huge blue furry creature of a costume that he crawled into and walked around the stadium doing crazy things to entertain the crowd. He loved it! He loved everything he did. He dove head first into every job he had and was completely and totally absorbed.

The Chumley Years

Roy had a soft spot for dogs. Early on in our relationship he was on the road doing “They’re Playing Our Song” and we were in the middle of a fight with hundreds of miles between us and no cell phones so we were paying for every second spent bickering on the phone! The next thing I knew he showed up on Christmas morning at my door with an engagement ring and the cutest little Pekingese puppy I’d ever seen, Chumley . The greatest dog ever!! He was the most loyal, loving, laid back best friend anyone could ever want. He did have his favorite pee spot on the leg of the couch, but one look into those big brown eyes that seemed to say, “I’m sorry. I can’t help myself. I love you!” and all was forgiven (for both of them).

We moved to West Hollywood, California for about a year while I was shooting Fame. Our apartment had a balcony on the2nd floor. Roy concocted a pulley device so that he could lower Chumley’s crate down to the ground, Chumley would do his business then get back into the crate and Roy would pull him back up. They were so great together and so attached to each other.


But Roy was concerned that Chumley was lonely when we weren’t around so he found him a girlfriend, Tasha. The second greatest dog ever! We had big plans for them. They’d have puppies and we’d give them to all of our friends, but that didn’t work out too well despite all of our efforts to make a love connection. We tried everything, but they just weren’t interested in each other in that way. They were way better as friends. I think that was true for Roy and me as well. We never actually officially broke up. I think because we still felt connected in some way.

The last text I got from Roy was on the 10th anniversary of Tasha’s passing. He said in the text, “She and Chumley are no doubt having a ball in doggie heaven”. I will forever have the image of all of them together up there having a blast!

Big Time Broadway Producer

Roy started his producing career at The Papermill Playhouse in 1991 where he produced hundreds of shows. When he left in 2004 he had immediate success producing on Broadway with the shows, “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “A Christmas Story: The Musical”, “West Side Story,” “Ragtime,” [title of show]”, “I’m Not Rappaport” and “The Pee Wee Herman show”.

Oddly enough one of the shows he was working on before he passed was “Animal House”.

He loved everything about the theatre. He lived for it. If anyone deserved that kind of success it was Roy. I don’t know if he ever had aspirations of being a producer. I think it was more like producing found him because he was good at it. He could charm the pants off of anyone. Broadway was lucky to have him.


I’m so proud and so lucky to have had Roy in my life. I guess I never imagined a life without knowing that he would always be there if I ever needed him. He touched so many lives in his short 52 years. He is so missed by all of us.

I have so many more memories of Roy. We spent a lot of time together and he was a very important part of my life at a very impressionable time. He always had and always will have a very special place in my heart where he will remain until we meet again.  I hate saying goodbye so let’s say until the next show!

My thoughts are with his family now and always.

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saying goodbye

saying goodbye

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