Mark Miller, best known as patriarch Jim Nash on the sitcom “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,” died September 9 of natural causes, THR reports.
He was 97.
Born November 20, 1924, in Houston, he was a New York stage-trained actor whose first paid job was opposite Grace Kelly in “Private Lives.” They were an item, and later friends.
Another early gig — playing the cowboy in the touring company of “Bus Stop,” with Elaine Stritch in the role that went to Marilyn Monroe in the film.
By the ’50s, Miller was also working irregularly on TV. From 1960-1961, he appeared on the series “Guestward Ho!” at the behest of Desi Arnaz, and went on to appear on such shows as “The Andy Griffith Show” (1961) and “The Twilight Zone” (1963).
“Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” (1965-1967), initially a hit, was the victim of a time-slot shuffle. Based on the Jean Kerr best seller of the same title, the story had already been used in a 1960 Doris Day-David Niven romantic comedy. The series followed the day-to-day lives of a suburban family of six headed by an English professor (Nash) and a housework-averse newspaper columnist (Pat Crowley).
A sheepdog named Ladadog did some of the comic heavy lifting.
The show was a precursor of sorts to “The Brady Bunch,” which debuted in 1969, just two years after “Daisies” wilted. Maureen McCormick of that show tweeted condolences to Miller’s actress daughter Penelope Ann Miller, writing, “Dearest Penelope, I am so very sorry for the loss of your father. I had no idea that he was your Papa till now. He was a class act and I was such a fan of his work. Sending you my deepest condolences and love. Rest In Peace #MarkMiller.”
In 2021, Kim Tyler, one of the Nash kids on the show, became the first main cast member to die; the series had before then been the oldest show with more than two people in its main cast of which none had died. (The distinction may now be “Police Woman’s.”)
Kim Tyler, Former Child Actor from ‘Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,’ Dies at 66
Though short-lived, “Daisies” garnered Miller an Emmy nomination for writing, a vocation he continued in earnest after the series concluded.
In 1974, Miller wrote, produced, and acted in “Ginger in the Morning,” casting newcomer Sissy Spacek. He co-wrote and acted in “Christmas Mountain: The Story of a Cowboy” (1981) and the family film “Savannah Smiles” (1982).
He also co-wrote the feature film “A Walk in the Clouds” (1995), which starred Keanu Reeves.
Miller worked until the end of his life on film projects, including on a reported sequel to “Savannah Smiles.”
Married and divorced twice, the actor was preceded in death by his son Gabe Miller from his second marriage.
He is survived by his three daughters from his first marriage, and by six granddaughters.
My Papa’s beautiful soul left this earth 9/9/2022. He loved deeply & was loved by all who knew him. He touched many lives. He was funny, fun, & always creating. He cherished this life and saw the glass half full! I was blessed to call him my dad❣️🙏🌟 pic.twitter.com/mbhgOpW19t
— Penelope Ann Miller (@PenelopeAMiller) September 15, 2022