Walter C. Miller, Legendary Former Director of Grammys, Tonys and CMA Awards, Dies at 94

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Producer Walter C. Miller attends the Recording Academy's Special Merit Awards and Nominee Reception at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Jan. 30, 2010, the night before the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards.

Walter C. Miller, the Emmy Award-winning former  director/executive producer of the Tonys, Grammys and CMA Awards,  died on Nov. 13, the CMA revealed on Saturday (Nov. 14). He was 94.

“Walter was clearly the most unforgettable character I’ve ever met in a working capacity, and one of my closest friends outside the business," said former Grammy Awards executive producer Ken Ehrlich in a statement. " When we were first put together in 1980 by Pierre Cossette to do the Grammys together, after one meeting with Walter, I had doubts that we could ever work together, but as the years went by, I not only grew to respect his abilities which were considerable, but to love him as a mentor, a co-conspirator and a friend.  People who have known the both of us over the years see the connection and, by the way, it’s not always pretty.  But through it all, whether he had his arms around me or his hands around my neck, we had one of the most wonderful, and obviously successful, partnerships over more than 30 years.  He left an indelible mark on pretty much everyone he work with, and, as they say, 'they just don’t make them like Walter anymore.’"

Miller  also worked for the CMAs for four decades in various producing capacities. "Walter was an absolute television legend," said Sarah Trahern, CMA chief executive officer. "When you worked with him, you instantly knew you were in the presence of greatness. He brought so much innovation and brilliance to the CMA Awards over the 40 years he worked with the organization."

He was born in 1926 and began his television career in the '40s as a lighting director for variety series The Horn and Hardart Children's Hour on NBC. Among his other early credits, Miller worked on Startime, The Bell Telephone Hour and Sing Along With Mitch.

Later in his career, Miller directed television events including New Orleans Jazz Festival 1969, Johnny Cash and Friends, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and the Barbra Streisand special The Belle of 14th Street. Miller worked with numerous musicians throughout his career, among them Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra.

"Walter Miller was my friend and mentor,” says Robert Deaton, CMA Awards executive producer. "Everything I know about producing great television I learned from Walter Miller. Walter had a long list of accomplishments and credits and working with the biggest names in entertainment. However, I know that working in Nashville and with the CMA Awards was closest to his heart. He loved our artists, and in return we counted Walter as one of our own. Today we say thank you, you will be missed and rest in peace dear friend."

He was nominated for 19 Emmy Awards, winning five trophies in the years between 1972 and 1999. Four of his wins were for directing the Tony Awards.  In 2007, Miller received the CMA Presidents Award, followed later by the Irving Waugh award for his lifelong service to the organization.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.