Waterhouse among Harry M Miller mourners

Horse trainer Gai Waterhouse says the late Harry M. Miller helped her pursue her acting dream.
Horse trainer Gai Waterhouse says the late Harry M. Miller helped her pursue her acting dream.

Horse trainer Gai Waterhouse has credited late celebrity promoter and agent Harry M Miller for helping her pursue her acting dream.

Miller died peacefully aged 84 in Sydney on Wednesday surrounded by family.

The agency Miller founded, HMMG, on Thursday called him a visionary agent and theatrical producer while singer and TV host David Campbell labelled the New Zealand-born entrepreneur "a titan of our industry".

"He broke new ground with Rocky Horror and JCS (Jesus Christ Superstar) in the 70s. Made stars out of Marcia (Hines), Jon English and so many more. RIP," Campbell tweeted on Thursday.

Brendan Maclean, who starred alongside Hines in the original cabaret Velvet in 2015, said: "even when his body didn't let him walk or talk much, he STILL got out to the theatre."

Waterhouse, who acted in Australia and the UK before becoming one of Australia's leading horse trainers, said ever since they met in her early theatre days, Miller had been extremely kind.

She said he was the first to encourage her to pursue acting - a dream that horrified her parents, Valerie and TJ Smith.

"But Harry said: 'No Gai, you have a talent and must pursue your dream'," Waterhouse posted online.

"It was with his encouragement that young Gai went overseas to work in the theatre. On my return, Harry became my agent and the rest is history.

"Harry always acted fairly and gave me good advice."

Actor and disability advocate Quentin Kenihan said Miller was a great agent, manager and businessman.

"Most of all (he was) a great person and father. I always enjoyed our conversations," he said.

In his autobiography, Miller detailed his funeral plans - or lack thereof.

"There will be no funeral service as such, but a memorial, preferably at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney," he said.

Australian Associated Press