Thomas Miller, a producer who has been instrumental in creating hit TV shows including “Happy Days”, “Laverne & Shirley” and “Full House” as well as the films “Silver Streak” and “Foul Play” , died Sunday at the age of 79.
The cause of death was complications from heart disease, according to Warner Bros., its longtime production house. He died at his home in Connecticut.
Mr. Miller was best known along with his professional and personal partner, Robert Boyett, for developing family-style television comedies. The hit shows launched by Miller / Boyett Productions included “Family Matters,” “Full House,” “Perfect Strangers,” and “Step by Step,” all of which were staples of ABC’s prime-time programming in the UK. 1980s and 1990s.
A native of Milwaukee, Mr. Miller arrived in Los Angeles in 1962 and landed a job as a dialogue coach for director Billy Wilder. He has worked on several director’s classics, including “The Fortune Cookie”. He then moved to executive television roles at Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount Studios, where he oversaw the development of several hits including “The Odd Couple” and “Love American Style”.
After leaving Paramount to become a producer, Mr. Miller founded a company with Edward Milkis. Along with producer Garry Marshall, they were part of the team behind ABC’s hits “Happy Days”, “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy”. Miller-Milkis Productions also directed the hit films “Silver Streak” with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder and “Foul Play” with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase.