The School of Journalism and Mass Communications welcomed back Ron Miller, JMC graduate 1961, and recipient of the department’s alumni award.
While at SJSU, Miller was editor of Lyke, the campus feature magazine and is best known locally as the former TV editor of the San Jose Mercury News from 1977-99, syndicated columnist for Knight Ridder Newspapers and former national president of the Television Critics Association.
Miller spoke to Professor Diane Guerrazzi’s newswriting class Monday, October 3 in JMC’s television studio. Miller shared excerpts of his current book Conversations with Classic Film Stars, that includes 34 interviews conducted by Miller and his writing partner, James Bawden, ex-Toronto Star columnist.
Miller gave students his writing and interview tips and shared many celebrity stories. He recalled flying on Elizabeth Taylor’s private jet and not being able to talk to her until the plane actually landed. “I just sat there smiling, she just sat there smiling, and after we landed she gave me a very interesting interview. Even though she was a very famous movie star, she was a very down to earth person and very funny,” recalls Miller.
Miller presently lives in Blaine, WA, near the Canadian border. He is a veteran public speaker and campus lecturer. He teaches adult education classes for Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. He is also known as a prolific ‘master’ interviewer, having interviewed numerous Hollywood and PBS celebrities. Miller has written a second volume of his book, which is completed and awaiting publication in 2017. Meanwhile, his next book Mystery Classics on Film, will be published this fall by McFarland Publishing.