How well do you know the Millers?

Posted Thursday, Oct. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
The Millers • 7:30 p.m. Thursday • KTVT/Channel 11

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The Millers debuts Thursday on CBS. Not to be confused with We’re the Millers, which is still playing at select movie theaters around town.

But, yes, it is confusing.

According to a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau survey, “Miller” is No. 6 on the list of most common surnames in America. In Hollywood, Millers — real and fictional — have been entertaining us for decades on the big and small screen, from the fearsome Frank Miller in High Noon to the humorous antics of Barney Miller (and company) in the television comedy of the same name.

So it really should come as no surprise that many Millers are in our midst.

In the buzzy new CBS sitcom The Millers, Will Arnett is Nathan Miller, a guy who divorces his wife, prompting his dad, Tom Miller (Beau Bridges), to do the same.

It has nothing to do with the hit summer comedy We’re the Millers, in which Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis pretend to be a married couple who, along with the rest of their fake family, journey south of the border on a mission that’s a little below the law.

So, now that we have that straight, let’s visit with more Millers.

With this quiz, test your knowledge of a dozen TV and movie Millers on and off screen, and find out at the end how well-acquainted you are.

1. In the Emmy-winning ABC sitcom Barney Miller (1974-82), Hal Linden played the title character, a police captain promoted to deputy inspector. Today, Linden is 82 and still acting. What was Linden’s birth name?

a) Harold Lipshitz

b) Hal Jordan

c) Allen Konigsberg

d) Harold Goldberg

2. Fans of Fox News know Dennis Miller as a political humorist and commentator. Longtime Miller maniacs remember the comedian as a “Not Ready for Prime Time Player.” In what year did he join the cast of Saturday Night Live ?

a) 1974

b) 1985

c) 1996

d) 2001

3. In 1954, James Stewart played the titular big band leader in The Glenn Miller Story . Who played Miller’s wife, Helen Burger Miller?

a) June Allyson

b) Julie Newmar

c) June Lockhart

d) Julie Adams

4. Wentworth Miller rose to fame in 2005 as Michael Scofield on the critically acclaimed TV drama Prison Break . He has landed many guest spots in other shows through the years. In which show did he portray a swimmer who turns into a sea creature?

a) ER

b) Joan of Arcadia

c) Ghost Whisperer

d) Buffy the Vampire Slayer

5. Steve Miller Band: Live From Chicago is a 2008 DVD featuring the arena rockers performing such hits as Fly Like an Eagle, Rock’n Me and Take the Money and Run at the Ravinia amphitheater. Which of the following is NOT a Steve Miller Band song?

a) Jet Airliner

b) Abracadabra

c) Living in the USA

d) Rockin’ in the U.S.A

6. Miller’s Crossing was written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, the dynamic duo responsible for such modern classics as Blood Simple (1984) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). Which frequent Coen collaborator played Mink Larouie in Miller’s Crossing?

a) John Goodman

b) Frances McDormand

c) Steve Buscemi

d) Jon Polito

7. British model-actress Sienna Miller is, arguably, known as much for her high-profile romances as she is for her work as an actress. Which of these actors has she NOT dated?

a) Jude Law

b) Balthazar Getty

c) Rhys Ifans

d) Chris O’Donnell

8. Frank Miller is the outlaw returning to town at noon in the film High Noon (1952). Who played Frank Miller?

a) Gary Cooper

b) Lloyd Bridges

c) Ian MacDonald

d) Jack Palance

9. Saving Lincoln , released to theaters in February, told the relatively obscure story of Ward Hill Lamon (Lea Coco), Abraham Lincoln’s law partner and, later, his bodyguard. Tom Amandes portrayed Lincoln. Which of these Millers was Mary Todd?

a) Penelope Ann Miller

b) Sienna Miller

c) Shannon Miller

d) Nicole Miller

10. Noted playwright Arthur Miller ( Death of a Salesman, The Crucible ) wrote the screenplay for Marilyn Monroe’s last film, which was released in 1961. What is the title of that movie?

a) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

b) The Prince and the Showgirl

c) The Misfits

d) Some Like It Hot

11. NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, who suited up for the Indiana Pacers his entire career, played himself in which of these basketball films?

a) Space Jam (1996)

b) He Got Game (1998)

c) Hoosiers (1986)

d) The Basketball Diaries (1995)

12. In McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Warren Beatty played John McCabe, a gambler who opens a brothel in an Old West town. Who portrayed Constance Miller?

a) Julie Christie

b) Annette Bening

c) Mia Farrow

d) Raquel Welch


1: A. Born Harold Lipshitz in 1931, Hal Linden, before he caught the acting bug, was an aspiring big band leader who once said, “‘Swing and Sway with Harold Lipshitz’ just didn’t parse.”

2: B. In 1985, Dennis Miller joined Randy Quaid, Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Jr., Damon Wayans and Jon Lovitz on SNL, using his stand-up sensibilities to revitalize the recurring “Weekend Update” skit.

3: A. June Allyson, who that same year was voted Most Popular Female Star by Photoplay magazine.

4: D. In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Go Fish,” several members of the high school swim team, including Gage Petronzi (Wentworth Miller), transform into gill-men.

5: D. Rockin’ in the U.S.A. Though it mentions a “big ol’ jet airliner” (a 747 in this case), Rockin’ in the U.S.A. is a KISS track on Side 4 of KISS Alive II.

6: C. Steve Buscemi, who also appeared in Barton Fink (1991), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998) and the French anthology film Paris, je t’aime (2006).

7: D. Chris O’Donnell. According to, Miller was once engaged to Rhys Ifans, and she was in an on-again/off-again relationship with Balthazar Getty in 2008-09. She dated Jude Law off and on for several years, in a tabloid-worthy romance that included a confession by Law that he had an affair with his children’s nanny.

8: C. Ian MacDonald. That same year, MacDonald appeared in a less famous Western called The Savage, which starred Charlton Heston.

9: A. Penelope Ann Miller, who also starred in such diverse films as Big Top Pee-wee (1988), Along Came a Spider (2001) and The Artist (2011).

10: C. The Misfits, which was directed by John Huston ( The Maltese Falcon), also featured the final film appearance of Clark Gable.

11: B. He Got Game. Reggie Miller also had a cameo in Forget Paris (1995).

12: A. Julie Christie, as Englishwoman Constance Miller, goes into business with McCabe.

How did you score?

0-4 points: Thanks for playing, but you can forget about keeping up with the Joneses — you can’t even keep up with the Millers.

5-8 points: When it comes to Miller Mania, you’re in the middle of the pack.

9-12 points: Congratulations, you’re an honorary Miller. Stand tall, be proud and mill(er) about smartly.

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