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

Jacob Tremblay tells Langley film fest about playing a boy with facial differences

It was a long stay in a makeup chair, but it could have been even longer

Update: Eyewitnesses kept driver who hit Langley pedestrian from fleeing (with video)

Police issue tickets for multiple offences after Sunday incident

VIDEO: A Langley man travels coast-to-coast to honour Canada’s national symbol

The “Beaver appreciation tour” was timed for country’s 150th birthday

Gators top ’Cats in all-Langley Fraser Valley final

Walnut Grove junior girls continue strong play over past month by winning Fraser Valley banner

Rebels beat road-weary Giants

Vancouver was playing fourth game in five days

Update: Police report “physical altercation” during Langley gas station holdup (with video)

Incident on Glover Road involving armed robber draws massive police response

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

No charges for B.C. Mountie in car wash shooting

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Aldergrove Kodiaks facing playoffs elimination

Kodiaks are down three games in the best-of-seven series against the Ridge Meadows Flames

UPDATE: Man killed in targted Coquitlam shooting identified

IHIT also asking for information about 2018 grey Chrysler 300 on fire near the shooting

VIDEO: B.C. deer caught obeying traffic signs

A herd of deer in Fernie, B.C. is getting attention online after stopping for a stop sign

Petition wants fundraiser dropped for family of man cleared in Boushie’s death

Group says GoFundMe is profiting from the young Indigenous man’s death

Porch lights turn on for Canadian teen behind #BeccaToldMeTo movement

New Brunswick’s Rebecca Schofield had asked her Facebook followers to perform random acts of kindness

B.C. files challenge to Alberta wine trade ban

First formal dispute under Canadian Free Trade Agreement

Most Read