Dana Miller, a Force in WeHo’s Gay Community, Passes Away

Dana Miller, a Malibu resident with strong connections to West Hollywood’s gay community, passed away this weekend.

Miller, 59, was found at his mother’s home in South Pasadena by his lover, Brody Darren Robertson. His health had been deteriorating in recent years with hip problems and treatment for cancer.

Miller got his start in the entertainment business working for Bob Hope. One of his favorite anecdotes was Hope’s response when Miller asked him what he should request when he called room service for him. “Buxom and blonde,” Hope replied.

Dana Miller with friend Elton John
A young Dana Miller with friend Elton John

In his long career, Miller managed teen idols such as Corey Hart, Rick Springfield and Andy Gibb. He then migrated to radio, serving as co-chairman of Entertainment Radio Networks, a syndicator of radio programming such as “Entertainment Tonight” and “Blockbuster’s Top 25 Countdown.” Miller also served as CEO of Hogtied Records.

Miller, who is gay, served as the chairman of AIDS Project Los Angeles. He also has hosted the annual Toy Box party, now in its 19th year, which benefits APLA and provides toys to children. He was instrumental in creating the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Party, which was first held in 1993 at the Maple Restaurant in Beverly Hills. The event, now staged at the Pacific Design Center, has grown dramatically and generates close to $10 million for the foundation each year.

Miller was a friend of most of Hollywood’s gay celebrities and business titans such as David Geffen and Barry Diller. He also was known, however, for mentoring young performers who landed in Los Angeles looking for a start in the entertainment business.

Earlier this year Miller was recognized by West Hollywood’s Disabilities Advisory Board for his service to the disabled and the LGBT community.

In addition to his private influence, Miller had a public voice, for 12 years writing a column for Frontiers, the gay magazine. In the column he offered his sometimes acerbic take on local politics and the local gay culture. He stopped writing the column shortly after Frontiers was acquired by investor Michael Turner. Miller told friends that Frontiers had sharply cut his monthly payment for the columns and that he sometimes had trouble getting paid at all. Before he died, Miller was talking with friends about the possibility of launching a competitor to the financially troubled Frontiers.

Ryan Black, Miller’s husband, told WEHOville that he is arranging a memorial service for Miller that likely will be held in January.

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jimmypalmieri
jimmypalmieri
5 years ago

Very sad. What a wonderful life, and amazing journey of community service.

Larry Block
5 years ago

A true friend and champion I’m so sad that we have lost a community hero. We touched base last week and he wished me love and luck. There is a very bright star above in his name. I’ve worked with Dana as President of Labor Day LA and we put on the best black tie affair ever in 1999 raising over $100,000 for our local social service organizations. He dedicated his life to fundraising and the fight against HIV/Aids in honor of lover who passed away 25 years ago. I was proud to nominate him for the Disability Service Award… Read more »

Todd Bianco
5 years ago

I’m so sorry to hear of Dana’s death. I missed his regular missives in Frontiers and we have lost an important piece of LA gay history. Who is going to push for change at CSW now? His memories of the dark days of AIDS helped me to connect to the lost souls of my generation. RIP, Dana.

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