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Who Is Sarah Miles? New Details About The Woman Burt Reynolds Allegedly Killed A Man Over

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Who Is Sarah Miles? New Details About The Woman Burt Reynolds Allegedly Killed A Man Over

In 1973, Burt Reynolds may have killed a man for the love of Sarah Miles. Who is she?

Hollywood has always been a source of mysteries, both on the big screen and in real life. One of the lesser-known mysteries in Hollywood history has to do with the death of a talent manager during the filming of a movie with a big star.

David Whiting was an aspiring screenwriter and was managing the career of actress Sarah Miles in 1973. He had joined his client on set for the filming of The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, in which she starred opposite Burt Reynolds. Although Miles was married at the time, she was thought to have been having affairs with both Reynolds and Whiting.

By the end of filming, Whiting was dead and both Miles and Reynod’s would be called to testify at his trial. While the death was ultimately ruled an overdose, questions remained for years. In addition to the drugs in his system, Whiting had a massive head wound and other evidence of violence on his body.

Now, sources are saying that Burt Reynold’s actually beat Whiting to death to protect Sarah Miles.

Who is Sarah Miles and what happened that night? Read on for more.


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1. Classically Trained

Born in England in 1941, Sarah Miles grew up in Sussex. Her parents were never married due to her father never having been able to officially divorce his first wife. Miles did not excel in school due to her dyslexia but ultimately enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts at 15.

2. Star power

Shortly after graduating from RADA, Miles starred in the movie Term of Trial, opposite legendary acts Laurence Olivier. Her performance won her a BAFTA nomination for Best Newcomer.

3. More accolades

In 1963, she was nominated for the Best Actress BAFTA for her role in The Servant. By 1970, she was married to Robert Bolt, who write the screenplay for Ryan’s Daughter in which she played Rosy. While the film was not well received, she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.

4. Cynical

While Miles was respected as an actress, the process of making films didn't suit her. Of filming Ryan’s Daughter she said, "My main memory is of sitting on a hilltop in a caravan at six in the morning in the rain. There was no other actor or member of the crew around me. I would sit there getting mad, waiting for either the rain to stop or someone to arrive. Film-acting is so horrifically belittling.” In another instance, she commented, “Filming is a frustrating unfulfilling process, only made bearable by those few minutes, five maybe, of genuine creativity between "action!" and “Cut!'".

5. The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing

In 1973, Miles was cast opposite Burt Reynolds in The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing. She was accompanied to the filming location by her young son and his nanny, as well as her manager David Whiting. Whiting is rumored to have been her lover at times. While filming, she was rumored to have started an affair with Reynolds as well.


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6. Late night

One night, Reynolds escorted Miles to her hotel room at 3am, where she found Whiting waiting and furious. He began beating her. At the time she said that he was throwing her around the room and though she didn’t fight back “I'm ashamed to admit, I was screaming,”

7. Rescue

Miles asked her her nanny to over to Reynolds’ room for help. By the time Reynolds arrived, Whiting was gone. Miles spent the rest of the night in Reynolds’ room.

8. Death scene

The next morning, Miles and Reynolds walked back to the room to find Whiting dead on the floor. Reynolds said in court testimony,  “Whiting was in a very strange, very awkward position, his arm bent up behind him. There was a plastic pill container in his hand. There were pills on his arm. There were pills all over the place. I don't know why I did it unless it was something I learned in the movies, but I felt for his pulse. His hand was ice‐cold. There was no pulse. I took the pill container out of his hand, like a dummy.” In addition to the pills, Whiting had a wound on his head and other evidence of having been beaten on his body.

9. Suicide ruling

Whiting’s death was ruled a suicide, in part due to Miles’ testimony the he suffered from periods of depression. She claimed that he was “in one of his moods” and that “He was not a perfectly balanced man. He had fits of depression and he had fits of creativity.” Despite the official ruling of suicide, officials at the time testified that the drugs in Whiting’s system were not sufficient to kill him and the injuries on his body were never explained.

10. Murder?

Now, Miles is saying that she’s not sure it truly was suicide. When asked about the possibility of foul play, the 77-year old replied, “I’m afraid — yes!” Radar Online has spoken to people involved with the original investigation and they say “It appears, from the crime scene, Reynolds arrived at the room and had a brief scuffle with Mr. Whiting, a scuffle that turned deadly. All the signs point to Reynolds being involved.” Other officials claim that lawyers fro the studio arrived and made sue the crime was covered up. But authorities says the there might be enough to reopen the case.

Sarah Miles is retired from acting now and she is the author of four books. She lives in England. It’s unknown if she would testify in a new trial.


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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.