Romeo Muller, Jr. (August 7, 1928 – December 30, 1992) was an American screenwriter and actor most remembered for his screenplays, such as those for the Rankin-Bass holiday specials.
Muller was born on August 7, 1928 in the Bronx, New York and raised on Long Island. His talents in the arts were evident very early on. At age 11, he became a puppeteer at his grade school and eventually he began writing his own plays.
His career in theatre began when he joined an acting troupe called "Theater Go Round" in Virginia Beach, Virginia with producer/friend Lesley Savage. At this time Romeo wrote plays such as Angel With The Big, Big Ears and The Great Getaway, which eventually became the Rankin-Bass off Broadway play A Month Of Sundays. Since Romeo was a big man at six-foot-two and 300 pounds, he decided to stay away from acting and turn his attention towards writing.
After writing material for comedian Jack Benny, Muller was discovered by CBS founder William Paley and selected to be a staff writer for the prestigious Studio One and Philco Theatre. He wrote one of the most popular episodes for the Studio One series entitled "Love Me To Pieces, Baby".
In 1963, Muller met with producer/directors Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass and began a relationship that would last for years. Rankin and Bass asked Romeo to write a screenplay for their first network television special, entitled Return To Oz, which aired on NBC's The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The show was a success and set the stage for their first Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Muller embellished the short story of Robert May into an hour-long broadcast and added a variety of characters into the story.
Muller was also known for his screenplays in other such specials as Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, The Little Drummer Boy (which he personally admitted was his favorite of the specials he wrote for Rankin/Bass), and Frosty the Snowman, among many others.
Muller passed away in his sleep of a heart attack at his home in shortly after a diagnosis of cancer on December 30, 1992.
Christmas specials written by Romeo Muller
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
- Cricket on the Hearth (1967)
- The Little Drummer Boy (1968)
- Frosty the Snowman (1969)
- Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (1970)
- Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976)
- Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)
- The Stingiest Man in Town (1978; adapted from Janice Torre's book of the TV special)
- Jack Frost (1979)
- Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979)
- The Little Rascals Christmas Special (1979)
- Pinocchio's Christmas (1980)
- The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold (1981)
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