LOS ANGELES – Thomas L. Miller, who produced a string of hit TV comedies included “Full House” and “Perfect Strangers” before beginning a new chapter as a Broadway producer, has died. He was 79.
Miller died Sunday in Salisbury, Connecticut, from complications of heart disease, a spokeswoman for Miller’s family said Wednesday.
The Wisconsin native moved to Los Angeles in 1962 and began his Hollywood career in style, working for Billy Wilder during the four-year period in which the famed director made “The Fortune Cookie” and “Irma la Douce.” Their friendship lasted until Wilder’s death in 2002.
Miller worked at 20th Century Fox and Paramount Studios, where he developed programs including “The Odd Couple” and “Love, American Style,” before striking out as an independent producer. He and his early business partner, Edward K. Milkis, worked with Garry Marshall on sitcoms including “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy.”
Miller and Milkis also produced films including “Silver Streak” and “Foul Play."
After forming a production company with Robert L. Boyett, the pair co-created the Tom Hanks sitcom “Bosom Buddies” before joining with Lorimar Television (later Warner Bros. Television) to make “Full House” and “Perfect Strangers.”
Miller and Boyett, personal and professional partners for 40 years, produced Netflix’s “Fuller House,” a “Full House” sequel that debuted in 2016 and is to conclude this year.
“Thomas Miller was born to entertain, infused with irrepressible passion and love for bringing joy to others through his life’s work,” including TV series that will “live long in the collective memory of fans around the world,” Warner Bros. Television Group said in a statement.
In 2000, Miller moved east to work in theater, collaborating with Boyett on productions including “War Horse,” the 2011 Tony winner for best play, the Tony-nominated “Tootsie,” a current revival of “Company” and the upcoming “Mrs. Doubtfire."
A private burial for Miller, whose survivors include Boyett, is to take place in his hometown of Milwaukee.