In part three of this series we take a look at Arthur Miller’s life after Marilyn.
Marilyn and Arthur Miller’s lives changed once they returned from filming of The Misfits in November 1960 – they separated – with her going to live in their New York apartment, and Miller staying at the house in Roxbury, Connecticut.
The couple reached an agreement prior to Marilyn travelling to Mexico to file for divorce in January 1961. It included Miller keeping Hugo the dog, the house at Roxbury and all assets (aside from Marilyn’s things) and she got their New York apartment. There was no financial settlement made between the two – each kept their own money earned up to that point.
Miller began dating photographer Inge Morath immediately following the separation. Morath was a photographer who had been on the set of The Misfits in 1960. While it is a common belief that the couple had an affair during that time, it has always been denied by Miller. Both parties claimed no contact after The Misfits but happened to have run into each other in New York after filming had finished and started to see each other after that.
Miller and Morath married in February 1962. The first of their two children, Rebecca, was born on September 15, 1962, with their son, Daniel born in November 1966.
Miller has come under fire for a few decisions he made following the breakdown of his realtionship with Marilyn;
- Dating Morath so soon after the marriage ended and having the children Marilyn so desperately wanted with her – while this was insensitive and no doubt very difficult for Marilyn, the truth is both had moved on.
- People argue that Miller should have attended Marilyn’s funeral, however whilst he was unable to attend, Miller did send flowers from both himself and his children.
- Following Marilyn’s death Miller published his play ‘After The Fall’ about his relationship with Marilyn. He denied it but it is clear that the character of Maggie is modeled after her.
- Following Daniel’s birth, he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Miller was said to have insisted on him being institutionalized. While this is extremely frowned upon today, at that time, it was not uncommon.
- He also excluded Daniel from the his life which, again, was not uncommon for that time. (Miller’s son-in-law, actor Daniel Day-Lewis, is said to have visited Daniel frequently, and to have persuaded Miller to reunite with him prior to his death.)
Miller and Morath remained together until her death in 2002.
Over the years much has been made of whether Marilyn really loved Miller, whether she was truly happy during their marriage and whether he loved Marilyn. There is no doubt that they both made mistakes during their time together, and Miller following their marriage, but all you have to do is look at the quotes that came directly from them to find the truth;
“I am so concerned about protecting Arthur. I love him—and he is the only person—human being I have ever known that I could love not only as a man to which I am attracted to practically out of my senses—but he is the only person—as another human being that I trust as much as myself…” (Marilyn said to reporters during Miller’s HUAC debacle)
“I fell in love with two of the nicest men I had met up to that time and was lucky enough to marry them.” (Redbook Magazine Article by Alan Levy, 1962)
“First of all I took her at her own evaluation; I thought she was a very serious girl, because I loved her. Because I took that view, she thought the best of her was in my eyes” (TV Interview 1987)
“The great thing about her to me, was that the struggle was valiant, she was a very courageous human being and she didn’t give up till the end” (TV Interview 1987)
Towards the end of Millers life, Christopher Bigsby was writing a book about him and was given access to some of his papers and to interview Miller at Roxbury. Bigsby found that Miller had kept five letters Marilyn had written to him and Marilyn’s bicycle, which was hanging in the garage, in the same place she had left it – forty years before.
Miller died on February 10, 2005 and is buried in Roxbury Centre Cemetary, Connecticut. His career as a writer spanned over seven decades and he is considered to be one of the greatest playwrights of the twentieth century.