Nolan Miller

Costume Designer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his five-hour Archive interview, Designer Nolan Miller (1935-2012) talks about his entry into television in the wardrobe department at NBC in the late 1950s, with the daily anthology series Matinee Theater. He recalls his break into the business when he met several notables while working part time in several flower shops, including Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Carolyn Jones and Aaron Spelling. It was this later meeting, Miller explains, that led to his work on Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, soon to be produced by Spelling. He speaks in great detail about his long association with Spelling's series including Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat and the series for which Nolan Miller's name is synonymous— Dynasty. Miler describes his work on Dynasty and the introduction of some of the series' well-known costume choices, such as hats and shoulder pads. Miller talks about working with the cast and producers of Dynasty, the budget he received for each season and some of the individual costumes he created for the show. Additionally, he talks about his work on several other series including Burke's Law, Gilligan's Island (for which he created gowns for Tina Louise), Green Acres (for which he created costumes for Eva Gabor), The Addams Family (for which he followed the Charles Addams cartoons to create the characters' initial wardrobe), Honey West (his first credited series as costume designer, for which he made memorable zebra-striped and leather costumes for Anne Francis), The Mod Squad (for which he asked for the title wardrobe consultant), The Survivors (costuming screen icon Lana Turner), Vega$ (describing his work with Robert Urich), Fantasy Island (discussing his work with the leads), Hart to Hart (discussing his work with the leads), Hotel (working with Bette Davis and Elizabeth Taylor) and The Colbys (and the different approach of this show from Dynas ty). Miller also talks about his work on the television movies The Two Mrs. Grenvilles and Poker Alice and The Academy Awards (as a private designer for celebrities and as a designer for the 58th Annual ceremonies). Also, b-roll of over 30 of Miller's sketches were filmed with his comments in voice-over, as well as a walk-around at his studio. The interview was conducted by Gary Rutkowski in Los Angeles California on April 8, 2003.

"My forte is that I am capable of making women look pretty, which is what I'm all about. I love to see women look glamorous."

Highlights
Costume designer Nolan Miller on Dynasty
Costume designer Nolan Miller on working with his clients for their appearances on The Academy Awards
Nolan Miller on designing "Ginger's" (Tina Louise) gowns for Gilligan's Island
03:09
Costume designer Nolan Miller on working with Joan Crawford on Night Gallery
04:13
Costume designer Nolan Miller on working with Eva Gabor on Green Acres
03:50
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and interest in design; on moving to Hollywood; on meeting Joan Crawford; on starting his television work at NBC

Chapter 2

On his work at NBC; on working as a florist and meeting Barbara Stanwyck
On meeting Carolyn Jones and Aaron Spelling; on developing a professional relationship with Spelling; on working on Zane Grey Theater

Chapter 3

On his work for NBC; on Joan Crawford, Jane Wyman, and Gloria Swanson; on The June Allyson Show; Burke's Law; on Gilligan's Island; on The Addams Family; on Green Acres

Chapter 4

On working on Green Acres, Honey West, The Mod Squad, The Survivors, Night Gallery, Supertrain, and The Affair (with Natalie Wood)

Chapter 5

On working on The Bette Davis Show pilot; on John Travolta's first meeting in Hollywood; on S.W.A.T.
On working on Charlie's Angels

Chapter 6

On working on Charlie's Angels (continued)
On working on The Love Boat

Chapter 7

On working on various Aaron Spelling shows including The Love Boat, Vegas, and Hart to Hart
On working on Dynasty

Chapter 8

On working on Dynasty (continued)

Chapter 9

On what designing for Dynasty did for his career
On his work on Hotel
On The Colbys and The Two Mrs. Grenvilles
On The Academy Awards

Chapter 10

On his design process; advice to an aspiring designer; on how he would like to be remembered
On some of the designs he's done over his career (with drawings/photos)
Shows

Academy Awards, The

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working with his clients for their appearances on The Academy Awards

Addams Family, The

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Nolan Miller on designing costumes for The Addams Family, particularly "Morticia" (Carolyn Jones)
06:41

Charlie's Angels

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working on Charlie's Angels
18:20
Costume designer Nolan Miller on working on Charlie's Angels (continued)
14:20

Colbys, The

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on his work on The Colbys and The Two Mrs. Grenvilles
07:22

Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working for Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater

Dynasty

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on Dynasty
Costume designer Nolan Miller on working on Dynasty (continued)
Costume designer Nolan Miller on what designing for Dynasty did for his career
06:27

Gilligan's Island

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Nolan Miller on designing "Ginger's" (Tina Louise) gowns for Gilligan's Island
03:09

Green Acres

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Nolan Miller on designing costumes for Green Acres
01:47
Costume designer Nolan Miller on working with Eva Gabor on Green Acres
03:50

Harold Robbins' The Survivors

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working on Harold Robbins' The Survivors
07:24

Hart to Hart

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on Hart to Hart
01:47

Honey West

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working on Honey West
05:24

Love Boat, The

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working on The Love Boat
14:31

Mod Squad, The

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working on The Mod Squad
03:08

Night Gallery

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working with Joan Crawford on Night Gallery
04:13

Supertrain

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working on Supertrain
02:29
People

Joan Crawford

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working with Joan Crawford on Night Gallery
04:13

Anne Francis

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Costume designer Nolan Miller on working on Honey West
05:24

Eva Gabor

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Nolan Miller on designing costumes for Green Acres
01:47
Costume Designer Nolan Miller on working with Eva Gabor on Green Acres
03:50

Carolyn Jones

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Nolan Miller on first meeting Carolyn Jones and then-husband Aaron Spelling; and eventually forming a professional relationship with Spelling
07:45
Nolan Miller on designing costumes for The Addams Family, particularly "Morticia" (Carolyn Jones)
06:41

Tina Louise

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Nolan Miller on designing "Ginger's" (Tina Louise) gowns for Gilligan's Island
03:09

Aaron Spelling

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Nolan Miller on first meeting Carolyn Jones and then-husband Aaron Spelling; and eventually forming a professional relationship with Spelling
07:45

Barbara Stanwyck

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Nolan Miller on first meeting Barbara Stanwyck while he was working as a florist in Los Angeles
03:16

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