Re: Margaret Miller

September 9 2017 at 9:14 AM
LJF  (Login LJF)

Response to Margaret Miller

Sorry for replying late, Nick. I've been busy with work lately and as usual digging some uncovered BL's mines :)
From what I know, so far, there isn’t any article which Margaret Miller spoke specifically on either Bruce or her audition for WOTD. However, I did come across bits and pieces of info about Margaret Miller and her connections to the WOTD audition.

Margaret Miller was also known as Mui Gai-Lai or Miu Ka-Lai to the HK audience. Not many people are aware that Margaret Miller actually was crowned the first runner-up for Ms Hong Kong in 1964 (got the info through my own research). She was later discovered by Lui Kei (aka James Lui, a well-known 60s Cantonese film actor who played opposite popular starlet Connie Chan Po-Chu. Lui Ke later became a director and producer) while singing at a HK night club in 1967. Then, they both acted in movies like “The Strange Girl” and “Unforgettable First Love” in 1967. Margaret had played in 7 films between 1967-1972 before being called up for the WOTD’s audition for the cousin role. It was likely that Lui Kei recommended Margaret Miller to Bruce whom knew Lui Kei personally. There’s a photo of Lui Kei and Bruce posing together at the TVB studio on 19th May 1972.

Besides Margaret Miller, the other candidate that came for the audition was Irene Ryder, a popular Eurasian singer (one of the team members of Robert Lee’s Thunderbird Singing Group in the mid 60s). Both Margaret Miller and Irene Ryder were two most popular Eurasian singers/actresses at that time. Bruce probably had heard about them through the GH’s staff before getting the relevant persons concerned to make recommendations to him.

In terms of acting experience, Margaret Miller has an edge over Irene Ryder and Fong Yan (another Taiwanese candidate for the WOTD audition) since both Irene and Fong have only played in 1-2 movies before attending the WOTD’s audition. From the audition photos, we can see that Margaret Miller, a more experienced candidate was well-composed as compared to Irene Ryder and Fong Yan.

Both Margaret Miller and Irene Ryder have good vocals and sang perfect English and Mandarin pop songs. A HK audience once commented that Margaret Miller sang like “Carpenters”. If not for Nora Miao who was picked by Bruce at the last minute, the probable candidate for the cousin’s role in WOTD in my opinion might be Margaret Miller because of her sophisticated and gorgeous look. In one of the audition photos, she stood cool with her arms folded which resembled one of Nora Miao’s pose in WOTD.

After the WOTD audition on 1st May 1972, Bruce was seen attending a night club opening ceremony together with many HK celebrities on 2nd May 1972. In several of the group photos, we could see Margaret Miller was sitting and posing next to Bruce. They probably struck a good conversation since both have a mixed blood parentage and were more westernized in their characters.

Margaret Miller did tell a TV colleague few years later that she was really honored to audition for a new film (WOTD) of the biggest star in HK (Bruce). She remembered that the superstar had never put on air like other big stars did instead he was very professional and was able to put people at ease with his humors. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the part otherwise she would have become an international star then. Frankly, it was indeed not easy for Eurasian stars to survive in the HK entertainment industry where 99% of the people there are Chinese and the traditional Chinese audience would still prefer faces of their own color back then and probably even today.

Margaret Miller later turned into a TV star in the mid 70s after switching from her movie and singing careers. She then retired in 1980s and once opened a restaurant in HK. The latest info from a HK source was that she had migrated to the U.S. and probably resided in San Francisco.

Margaret Miller with Bruce Lee and James Lui Kei:

Margaret Miller’s flickr’s album:

 Respond to this message   

  • Re: Margaret Miller - Nick Clarke on Sep 10, 2017, 8:43 PM
  • Excellent research LJF - Steve Kerridge on Sep 11, 2017, 6:53 PM
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