Jonny Lee Miller

Jonathan Lee Miller (born 15 November 1972) is an English-American[1] film, television and theatre actor. He achieved early success for his portrayal of Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson in the dark comedy drama film Trainspotting (1996) and as Dade Murphy in Hackers (1995), before earning further critical recognition for his performances in Afterglow (1997), Mansfield Park (1999), The Flying Scotsman (2006), Endgame (2009) and T2 Trainspotting (2017); for The Flying Scotsman he received a London Film Critics' Circle nomination for Actor of the Year.[2] He was also part of the principal cast in the films Melinda and Melinda (2004), Dark Shadows (2012) and Byzantium (2013). He has appeared in several theatrical productions on Broadway, most notably After Miss Julie and Frankenstein, the latter of which earned him an Olivier Award for Best Actor.[3]

Jonny Lee Miller
Jonathan Lee Miller

(1972-11-15) 15 November 1972
EducationTiffin School
Years active1983–present
RelativesBernard Lee (grandfather)

Miller starred as the title character in the ABC comedy-drama Eli Stone for which he received a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor. This was followed by another starring role in the BBC costume drama Emma and a supporting role as Jordan Chase in the fifth season of the Showtime drama Dexter. From 2012 to 2019 he starred as a modern-day version of Sherlock Holmes in the CBS crime drama Elementary which earned him his second Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor.[4]

Early life

Miller was born on 15 November 1972 at Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, and was raised in south west London. He is the son of Anna Lee and Alan Miller, and was influenced by his parents to start acting; they were both theatre actors and were involved in stage productions at the BBC.[5] His grandfather was actor Bernard Lee, who played M in the first eleven James Bond films. Miller has said he remembers little of him as he was still young when his grandfather died.[5]

Miller attended Tiffin School as a child. He appeared in several school plays such as The Ragged Child and performed as part of the Tiffin Swing Band. He then joined the National Youth Music Theatre where he met fellow actor Jude Law. He left school at the age of sixteen after taking his GCSEs to pursue a career in acting.[5]



Miller made his television debut with an uncredited appearance in the BBC series Doctor Who at the age of nine in the 1982 episode Kinda. The following year he appeared in Jemima Shore and had a role as Charles Price in the serial drama Mansfield Park. He then appeared in various television shows throughout the 1990s. These included Keeping Up Appearances in 1990, followed by Inspector Morse and Minder in 1991. He appeared in two separate guest roles in the ITV procedural The Bill, one in 1991 and another in 1993, as well as single episode roles in the BBC drama Between the Lines and the medical drama Casualty, both of which were broadcast in 1992.

In 1993's third instalment of Prime Suspect, Miller played a young man victimized as a child by a paedophile. His first notable acting role that year was in the soap opera EastEnders where he played Jonathan Hewitt. Miller later revealed he had been offered a contract to remain on the show but declined: "It was five weeks' work and I made more money there than I ever had in my life. Then they offered me a year's contract. I said no, thank God. I thought I should get out of there while I still could."[5]

In 2003, Miller appeared in the BBC modernisation of The Canterbury Tales in the episode The Pardoner's Tale, and had a starring role as Lord Byron in the television film Byron. He then starred alongside Ray Liotta in the CBS drama Smith. However, the show was canceled after only seven episodes. Miller was then cast as the titular character in the legal comedy-drama Eli Stone. The show ran for two seasons on ABC and he received a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor. He then starred in the BBC costume drama Emma as George Knightley.

Miller then performed in a guest role as Jordan Chase in the fifth season of the Showtime drama Dexter for which he received a nomination for Screen Actors Guild Award for being part of the main cast in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. In early 2010, it was reported he was set to portray Rick Grimes in the television adaptation of the comic The Walking Dead. It was later revealed Andrew Lincoln had been cast.[6] In 2011, Miller auditioned for the role of Sherlock Holmes in the CBS adaption based on the works of Arthur Conan Doyle. He originally turned down the part as he feared it would be too similar to the BBC version Sherlock. However, after receiving the script he accepted the part and it was officially announced he would star in Elementary alongside Lucy Liu.[7] This earned him his second Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor.[4]


He first starred in the film Hackers (1995), with Angelina Jolie, whom he married in 1996.[5] Shortly after Hackers, Miller was cast as Sick Boy in Trainspotting. He was suggested for the role by Ewan McGregor.[8] The accent he used in the film was regarded as very convincing, leading some people to incorrectly believe that he was Scottish.[8] Miller has stated: "I had to do a lot of work. I read and re-read the book and I pretended to be Scottish all the time I was in Glasgow, hanging around with Scots, picking up bits and pieces on the street and in bars. Everyone's been very encouraging and Danny thinks that I've got it about right. Of course, the others are from all over Scotland and have different accents themselves, so I've tried to just pick up a general, composite accent."

In 1997, he played Billy Prior in the film adaptation of Pat Barker's World War I novel Regeneration. In 2000, he played Cameron Colley in Complicity, based on the book by Iain Banks. He costarred in the film Love, Honour and Obey as Johnny, a London street kid getting mixed up with a notorious British gangster. Also in 2000, he appeared as Simon Sheppard in Wes Craven's Dracula 2000. In 2005, he was considered for the role of James Bond, replacing Pierce Brosnan. The role eventually went to Daniel Craig. The following year, Miller portrayed cyclist Graeme Obree in The Flying Scotsman.

He was considered as the third teammate to join Ben Fogle and James Cracknell in Team QinetiQ for the Amundsen Omega 3 South Pole Race in January 2009. He participated in training for the event in Norway, which was televised for a BBC2 documentary series On Thin Ice.[9] He was not able to attend the race due to filming commitments of Eli Stone being extended for a second season.[10] In 1997, he was involved with the creation and operation of the production company Natural Nylon with friends Jude Law;[5] Natural Nylon folded in 2003.


In November 1999, he played Brito in Paul Corcoran's Four Nights in Knaresborough at the Tricycle Theatre, London. In March 2011, at the Royal National Theatre, he played both Victor Frankenstein and Frankenstein's Monster on alternate nights, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, in a stage adaptation of Frankenstein.[11] Directed by Danny Boyle, the play was broadcast to cinemas worldwide as part of National Theatre Live on 17 March 2011 and additional dates throughout March and April.[12] He also appeared on Broadway in a production of After Miss Julie, with his performance receiving very positive reviews.[13] In March 2004, he played Christian in Festen by David Eldridge at The Almeida Theatre in London. [14]

Awards and honors

  • Laurence Olivier Award (2012)
  • Satellite Award (2008, 2012)
  • IQ Award (2014) Initially Edward Snowden had been nominated by Mensa members, and the IQ commission had approved his nomination, the managing board of Mensa revoked Snowden's nomination because "Mensa is not allowed to comment on political issues." In protest, Miller was then proposed by one member, for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. He won the most votes to take the award.[15]

Personal life

Miller married actress Angelina Jolie on 28 March 1996. They separated 18 months later[5] and were divorced in 2000; however, they remain close friends. He began dating actress and model Michele Hicks in 2006. They married in July 2008 in Malibu, California.[16] The couple have one son, Buster Timothy Miller, born in December 2008.[16]

He is a marathon runner, often supporting the charity Mencap. Miller was signed up to run the 2006 Marathon des Sables, but he had to drop out due to shooting a film.[17] He ran the 2008 London Marathon in 3:01:40.[18] Miller is an advocate to finding treatment for the disease Sanfilippo syndrome, following a case with five-year-old Jonah Weishaar. In 2014, he addressed the Congressional caucus in Washington, D.C., on behalf of rare disease organisations, in the hopes of securing financing to fund treatment research.[19]

He became an American citizen in November 2014.[20]

Muay Thai

Miller has also trained in both Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Evolution Muay Thai in New York City. In May 2018, he took part in an exhibition Muay Thai bout held at Chok Sabai Gym in New York City, which followed a five-week training camp leading up to the event.[21]

On February 1, 2019, Miller made his Muay Thai debut at "Friday Night Fights" held at Broad Street Ballroom in New York City, NY where he took on Robert Bermudez in the scheduled for three rounds 145-pound bout. Miller won the fight by knockout in the third round with right cross – left hook combination.[22]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Dead Romantic Paul
1993 Bad Company Michael Hickey
1993 Olly's Prison Smiler
1994 Meat Charlie Dyce
1995 Hackers Dade Murphy
1996 Trainspotting Sick Boy
1996 Dead Man's Walk Woodrow F. Call
1997 Afterglow Jeffrey Byron
1997 Regeneration 2nd Lt. Billy Prior
1999 Plunkett & Macleane Macleane
1999 Mansfield Park Edmund Bertram
2000 Love, Honour and Obey Jonny
2000 Complicity Cameron Colley
2000 Dracula 2000 Simon Sheppard
2002 The Escapist Denis Hopkins
2003 Byron Lord Byron
2004 Mindhunters Lucas Harper
2004 Melinda and Melinda Lee
2005 Æon Flux Oren Goodchild
2006 The Flying Scotsman Graeme Obree
2009 Endgame Michael Young
2012 Dark Shadows Roger Collins
2012 Byzantium The Captain
2017 T2 Trainspotting Sick Boy


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Doctor Who Kinda child (uncredited) Episode: "Kinda: Part One"
1983 Jemima Shore Investigates Boy with dog Episode: "A Little Bit of Wildlife"
1983 Mansfield Park Charles Price 2 episodes
1990 Keeping Up Appearances Youth Episode: "Daisy's Toyboy"
1991 4 Play Dennis Turnbull Episode: "Itch"
1991 The Bill Simon Cooper Episode: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
1991 Inspector Morse Student Episode: "Greeks Bearing Gifts"
1991 Minder Auctioneer's assistant Episode: "Three Cons Make a Mountain"
1992 EastEnders Jonathan Hewitt 6 episodes
1992 Between the Lines David Ringwood Episode: "The Only Good Copper"
1992 Casualty Matt Episode: "Tender Loving Care"
1992 Second Thoughts Chas Episode: "Short Change"
1992 Goodbye Cruel World Mark Television movie
1993 Prime Suspect 3 Anthony Field Episode: "Part II"
1993 The Bill Lee Gibson Episode: "Mighty Atoms"
1994 Mystery!: Cadfael Edwin Gurney Episode: "Monk's Hood"
1996 Dead Man's Walk Woodrow Call 3 episodes
1999 Operation Good Guys Himself Episode: "Stardust"
2003 The Canterbury Tales Arty Episode: "The Pardoner's Tale"
2006–2007 Smith Tom 7 episodes
2008–2009 Eli Stone Eli Stone 26 episodes
2009 Emma Mr. Knightley 4 episodes
2010 Dexter Jordan Chase 6 episodes
2012–2019 Elementary Sherlock Holmes Main Role, also director of 3 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Beautiful Thing Ste Bush Theatre
1999 Four Knights in Knaresborough Brito Tricycle Theatre
2004 Festen Christian Almeida Theatre
2005 Someone Who'll Watch Over Me Adam Ambassadors Theatre
2009 After Miss Julie John American Airlines Theatre
2011 Frankenstein Victor Frankenstein
Frankenstein's Creature
Royal National Theatre
2019 Ink Larry Lamb Manhattan Theatre Club

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2007 BAFTA Award Best Actor in a Scottish Film
The Flying Scotsman
London Film Critics Circle Award Best British Actor of the Year Nominated
2008 Satellite Award Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Eli Stone
2010 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2012 Olivier Award Best Actor in a Play
Satellite Award Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actor – Action Nominated

Kickboxing record

Kickboxing record
1 Win, 0 Losses, 0 Draw, 1 KO, 1 NC
2019-02-01Win Robert BermudezFriday Night FightsBroad Street Ballroom, New York City, NYKO (Punches)3

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

See also


  1. "English Actor Jonny Lee Miller Has Become A Citizen Of The U.s." Ltd. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  2. Sun, Rebecca. "Jonny Lee Miller Signs With UTA". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  3. Sargeant, Harri (16 April 2012). "Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller win joint Olivier award". Hypable. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  4. Kilday, Gregg. "Satellite Awards Nominates 10 Films for Best Motion Picture". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  5. Reid, Vicki (3 October 2009). "Jonny Lee Miller Interview". The Telegraph. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  6. Moody, Mike (29 March 2010). "Jonny Lee Miller for 'Walking Dead'?". Hypable. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  7. Lawless, Jill. "Why Jonny Lee Miller Originally Said No To 'Elementary'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  8. Waldman, Allison (21 March 2008). "Jonny Lee Miller: In the Limelight". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  9. On Thin Ice (2009). [TV programme]. TwoFour Productions. [Transmitted: 29 June 2009].
  10. Singh, Anita (4 April 2009). "Romola Garai to Play Emma in BBC's Latest Jane Austen Adaptation". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  11. "A Monster Double Act for Danny Boyle's Frankenstein". Daily Mail. 29 October 2010.
  12. "Frankenstein – Productions". Royal National Theatre. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  13. Ng, David (23 October 2009). "Sienna Miller in 'After Miss Julie' on Broadway: What did the critics think?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  14. Drama online
  15. Werdermann, Felix (21 January 2015). "Kein IQ-Preis für Edward Snowden (No IQ Award for Edward Snowden)". der Freitag. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  16. "Jonny Lee Miller and Michele Hicks Welcome Son". People. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  17. "Jonny Lee Miller pulls out of marathon so he can film 'Marathon'". 4 April 2006. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  18. "Flora London Marathon 2008 Results". Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  19. Unknown Author (26 February 2014). "'Elementary' Star Jonny Lee Miller Works To Solve Sanfilippo Syndrome". CBS New York. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  20. Congratulations Jonny Lee Miller: A New American Citizen, retrieved 19 November 2019
  21. Dikmans, Lilian (20 September 2018). "Jonny Lee Miller, Elementary's Sherlock Holmes in Muay Thai ring". FIGHTMAG. Australia. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  22. Iskenderov, Parviz (2 February 2019). "KNOCKOUT: Jonny Lee Miller makes successful Muay Thai debut". FIGHTMAG. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
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