Arthur Miller dies, aged 89

Friday, February 11, 2005 Arthur Miller, the revered American playwright, has died aged 89 in Roxbury, Connecticut. The creator of Death of a Salesman and The Crucible had been suffering from cancer and pneumonia.

Miller's most famous play, Death of a Salesman, was first performed in 1949. Willy Loman, the central protagonist, became a symbol of the difficulties and frailties of the 'American Dream'.

Arthur Miller became embroiled in 1956 with the Communist hysteria which engulfed the United States as the Cold War began to take shape. When he refused to name friends and colleagues to the House Committee on Un-American Activities, he was held in contempt. The decision was later overturned, however Miller's experiences led him to write The Crucible, a thinly veiled critique of the McCarthyist witch-hunts.

Fans of Miller and his works worldwide paid tribute today to the Pulitzer-prize winning playwright. Zoe Caldwell, American actress who had appeared in Miller's "The Creation of the World and Other Business", told AP that Miller "was a big man and a deeply American man who was lucky enough to have extraordinary women in his life." Miller's fame was precipitated by his stormy relationship and subsequent marriage to Marilyn Monroe, which lasted five years.

"Mr Miller passed away at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, last night at 9.17pm of heart failure," his assistant revealed. Mr Miller leaves behind three children: Jane-Ellen, Robert and Rebecca Miller.