Jeremy James Miller (born October 21, 1976) is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Ben Seaver on Growing Pains and its two reunion movies. He also voiced Linus van Pelt in Happy New Year, Charlie Brown along with Chad Allen.
Early life and career
Jeremy was born in West Covina
, to James Miller and Sonja Morckel. He was cast in a few commercials, then a 1984 guest role in Punky Brewster
before landing the role of Ben Seaver, the youngest son on Growing Pains
. Miller was supposed to be a part of the cast of the PBS
but was not invited back after shooting the pilot because his character was fairly older than the other characters.
He admits to having a "nervous breakdown" when he was ten years old.
At about age fourteen, Miller received numerous letters from an older male stalker during the run of the show. The stalker threatened to molest and kill Miller in his letters and even listed the date he planned to come to the set to carry out the fantasy. Miller knew nothing of the letters nor the stalker's intent. Miller was stunned to find out that the heightened security presence around the set during this time was orchestrated to protect him. In another letter, the stalker was bold enough to actually write down his home address. The FBI
arrested the individual shortly thereafter near the Philadelphia area. He was later convicted and sent to prison for his actions.
Miller most recently was seen speaking in commercials for McDonald's "Dollar Menunaires" promotion. The commercials were shot in the style of the VH1 series Best Week Ever.
Jeremy was the star of the Hanukah episode of Shalom Sesame (a Jewish version of Sesame Street). (See World Jewish Digest, May 2008).
He attended college at USC
for an unknown major but dropped out after first year, later citing attention deficit disorder
He has by-and-large left acting although his fans will be able to see him in the movie Milk and Fashion which Miller was filming in China during October 2005. He is currently in culinary school with aspirations to one day have his own restaurant.
As an actor, probably his most recognizable trademark is the "Ben Seaver Scream", which can be heard and seen in any number of Growing Pains episodes, or during the closing credits of the movie Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.
One of Miller's best friends while growing up was fellow former child star Dustin Diamond who played Screech on Saved by the Bell.
On a 1992 telephone interview with Howard Stern, he admitted having a serious crush on Tracey Gold (the actress who plays his big sister in Growing Pains) while filming the series.
He is currently married to Joanie Miller and they live with her three sons.
- (as Ben Seaver, being asked why he just screamed): "I don't know, I've never been glued to a table before!"
- (as Ben Seaver in the episode "Meet The Seavers"): "Why do you keep calling me Jeremy?"
- (as Ben Seaver in the episode "Meet The Seavers"): "I'm just glad you're not doing Passover parades with Morgan Fairchild."
- (as Ben Seaver being home-schooled, after being asked where all the "big movie stars" live): "The Betty Ford Clinic?"
- (as himself on the "Dollar Menunaires" commercial): "These people live like money grows on trees...trees they can't find!"