Wentworth Earl Miller III describes himself as an “overnight success 10 years in the making”. 6′ 1/2″ Wentworth is of African, Jamaican, English, and German descent on his father’s side, and of Russian, French, Dutch, Syrian and Lebanese descent on his mother’s side. His father, Wentworth Earl Miller II, is a Lawyer and a graduate of Yale and his mother, Roxann is a Special Education Teacher and is also a graduate of Yale. Wentworth has two younger sisters, Gillian and Leigh, who are both law graduates and he is allergic to cats, dogs and certain foods.
He was born in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England, UK where his father was a Rhodes Scholar to be precise, on 2nd June 1972. At the age of one, his parents took him back to the States and he grew up in Brooklyn, New York.
Wentworth grew up in Brooklyn, and started off at Midwood High School but went to Pennsylvania for his senior year with his father and graduated in 1990 from Quaker Valley Senior High School. In high school, he was part of the Judo and track club and also in a chorus.
He then went to Princeton to study English Literature, where he joined an a-capella group, The Princeton Tigertones. After graduating from Princeton in 1995, Wentworth worked as a lowly assistant in the development department of a production company, and also worked in Borders Bookstore.
He had loved acting as a child, but decided not to pursue it professionally until he had finished his education. However, after working for some time in the production company, he realized how much he really wanted to act, his first acting role was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1997.
His first big movie role was as young Coleman Silk in “The Human Stain” (2003), which also starred Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman. This was a powerful role for Wentworth Miller, because of his similar racial background and also because of an incident that happened when young Wentworth was in Princeton. One of his cartoons was misinterpreted as racism, and everyone assumed that Wentworth was white and he gained the reputation of being racist. Wentworth, knowing that he was in the right, did not feel that he had to explain himself and his racial background, but he did apologise to Cornel West, the African-American professor whom he based the cartoon on, who was present at the premiere and hugged Wentworth.
Wentworth’s comments about this incident: “To be perfectly clear, passing is something that has never crossed my mind. Instead of stepping forward and explaining what I’d meant by the cartoon and positing my own racial background as evidence that I’d really meant no harm, I chose to remain silent. My attitude was, If they don’t get it, I don’t have to explain it, which was my way of saying that if they don’t get me, I don’t have to explain me. The people who knew me on campus and knew my background knew where I was coming from, but I think for most people I was just a name in the paper, and they probably assumed I was white.”
You may have also seen him in two Mariah Carey videos: It’s Like That and We Belong Together, which were directed by Brett Ratner. Wentworth met Brett Ratner when he auditioned for the part of Superman/Clark Kent in “Superman Returns” when Ratner was meant to direct the film.
Wentworth is now starring in Prison Break, which earned him a 2005 Golden Globe Nomination for “Best actor in a drama series”.