Tom Miller

SAWYERVILLE Tom Miller, 85, of Sawyerville, died December 6, 2007, at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa following a brief illness.

He had lived in Sawyerville since 1991, having moved from New York City where he had lived since 1957.

Before retirement in 1986 he had been a film publicist, primarily on films in production as well as those being prepared for release. His credits include the original Shaft, Blow Out, The Cotton Club, The Graduate, The Producers, Ryan's Daughter and Dr. Zhivago.

As Tom Canford, he is the author of novels "Boy at Sea", "The Curse of Vilma Valentine", and "Ghost Guitars" as well as several manuscripts unpublished at the time of his death.

Born in Carrier Mills, Illinois, he lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico from the time he was seven until he joined the United States Coast Guard in 1942. He served aboard a Navy destroyer escort in the Pacific during World War II as a Signalman of the United States Coast Guard and fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944.

He attended New Mexico State University, University of Southern California, and Los Angeles City and State Colleges.

He is survived by his sisters, Jane Fillingame O'Connell of San Antonio, Texas, and Betty Ryan of Penn Valley, California, by numerous nieces and nephews and their children, and by friend and fellow author Jonathan May of Sawyerville.

Published in Tuscaloosa News on Dec. 14, 2007