February 24, 1966
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Ben Miller was a popular British comedian, director, producer, and writer best known for his roles on the television shows "Armstrong and Miller" (Channel 4 1997-2001) and "Death In Paradise" (BBC 2011-2014). Miller was born in London, England and grew up in Nantwich, Cheshire, the son of two literature professors. He studied natural sciences at St. Catherine's College, Cambridge, but he also was involved in the theater scene there, performing with and dating actress Rachel Weisz. He went on to pursue his PhD in solid state physics there, but he dropped out to move to London and pursue comedy. He began performing sketch comedy, pairing up with another Cambridge graduate, Alexander Armstrong. Their live act eventually turned into a comedy show, "Armstrong and Miller" as well as a BBC radio show. With the franchise's success, Miller began appearing in films, starring in Steve Coogan's first film, "The Parole Officer" (2001). He also appeared in the Rowan Atkinson vehicle "Johnny English" (2003) as the title character's sidekick. He continued to appear in British television shows, eventually directing his own film about the standup comedy world, "Huge" (2010). In 2013, he released his first book, which combined his interests in physics and comedy into an accessible science volume called "It's Not Rocket Science." Miller starred in the hugely popular "Death In Paradise" as the fish out of water detective Richard Poole, leaving the show to much popular dismay in 2013. Miller wanted to spend more time with his family; his wife at the time was pregnant with Miller's third child. After that, he appeared in smaller roles on television and in film, including a guest appearance on "Doctor Who" (BBC 1963- ) as the Sheriff of Nottingham in a Robin Hood-themed episode in 2013. He also co-starred in the dysfunctional-family comedy "What We Did On Our Holiday" (2014) opposite David Tennant and Rosamund Pike.