I know child actors are the easy way out for a column like this, but I thought it was interesting the branches this one allowed me to climb, so here we are.
Jeremy Miller was born on October 21, 1976 in West Covina, California. He began acting in commercials before landing a guest role on Punky Brewster in 1984. It was after this that he landed his famed role on the hit show Growing Pains, where he played young Benjamin Hubet Horatio Humphrey Seaver through all seven seasons of the show’s run.
Here’s where I’m going to branch off and discuss the show a little bit. I want to take a look at some of the before-they-were-huge-stars that appeared on this show, because the first two I wasn’t aware of.
First up: Matthew Perry. He appeared on an episode as Carol Seaver’s boyfriend, Sandy. He acts the same in this as he does in everything else he did. Chandler before he was Chandler. Look!
Next: Brad Pitt. I’ve seen every episode of Growing Pains, but that was when it was still on TV and before I knew who Brad Pitt was. I have a hard time listening to his terrible accent. He actually appeared on two episodes as two different characters. First as a new student who steals Carol’s heart:
And again as rock-star Jonathan Keith. I couldn’t find a video, but I felt this picture with Jeremy Miller is just as good.
Since good things come in threes, we’ll leave the last spot for probably the most remembered future star from Growing Pains: Leonardo DiCaprio. If you watched the show, you know that Mike became a teacher and Luke (DiCaprio) was one of his students who lived in the janitor’s closet. Mike convinces his family to take Luke in, and the two begin a special bond. Here’s the tear-jerking clip from when Luke hits the open road with his newly-returned father.
Ok, back to Miller. While at his peak with Growing Pains, he appeared on one of my favorite educational shows Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? as a celebrity guest along with Blossom (and now Big Bang Theory) star Mayim Bialik, and Fresh Prince’s Tatyana Ali. Here’s the video to prove it. I watched the whole thing, and forgot about Rockapella’s crazy mullets.
Jeremy and teammate Lindsey didn’t start out very well, probably because they spent too much time flirting and not boning up on geography, but they came out ahead when it was time to try and find Carmen. The sleuth jackets they received at the end are one of the few things I wanted as a kid that I still want today.
He never made it in many feature length films, but he did appear in Milk and Fashion, Never Have I Ever, Ditching Party, and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (I’ve never heard of the first three, though any of them may be a good candidate for the next “The Depths of Netflix“). There was also two (two!) Growing Pains films that he appeared in, the first in 2000, the second in 2004. He also did the voice of Linus van Pelt in Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, and This Is America, Charlie Brown.
Outside of acting, Miller has admitted to suffering from alcohol abuse, and in 2011 he became a spokesperson for a rehabilitation company that administered the implant treatment he had received. He talks more in-depth about it in an interview with People earlier this year.
Here’s how he’s looking these days:
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”