The Guardian remembers the count

Sunday, August 26, 2018

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Britain's The Guardian newspaper has paid tribute to late Jamaican-born artiste Count Prince Miller who passed away in a UK hospital on August 16.

An obituary in the popular newspaper recounted the life and work of the man known to many for his adaptation of the song Mule Train in 1971. The article also chronicled his life as an actor on stage, television and in film, and his work as a compère for a number of events involving Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals in that part of the Diaspora.

The Guardian pointed to his role as Vince in the long-running Channel 4 sitcom Desmond's.

“Miller's role as Vince in Desmond's, a sitcom based around a black barber's shop run by Desmond Ambrose (Norman Beaton), began as a bit part but became stronger as Vince graduated from being a customer and friend of Desmond into an assistant hairdresser. The show, which attracted up to five million viewers a week at its peak, lasted for 71 episodes from 1989 to 1994, and Miller was a regular in its less successful spin-off series, Porkpie, which ran for two seasons in 1995-96. Nothing with such a high profile followed, but he continued to appear in films and theatrical roles into his 80s,” the newspaper stated.

Born Clarence Linberg Miller in Padgetts near Port Maria in St Mary, he is reported to have moved to Kingston at age 10 with his mother, where his love for music and entertainment blossomed and he would go on to to become the frontman for a local group, The Downbeats. According to The Guardian that alliance was short lived and Miller would move on to becoming a member of The Jiving Juniors, then it was on to The Vagabonds in 1964 which took him to London.

As much an all-round entertainer as a singer, Miller made an asset and trademark of his huge mouth, which he claimed was so big when he opened it that “me top lip cover me eye”. Much of his high-energy material was comic, upbeat and rather risque, and it was only a printing error on an early handbill that changed his intended stage name of Clown Prince Miller into Count Prince Miller ,” The Guardian noted.

For his acting Miller won the best male actor award at the Black Film-makers' International awards for his role as Grandpa Dunbee in the British short film Winnie and the Duppy Bat. He also featured as Carlton McNally, a wise punter among foolish gamblers, in the British crime comedy Smoking Guns and as an elderly patient in Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

Last year he appeared as a grandfather in the first UK-wide television advertising campaign, for Ikea, to feature an all-black family.

Miller was 84 when he died and is survived by his son, Jean-Pierre, from his 1968 marriage to Verna McKenzie Hastings, which ended in divorce in 1974.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




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