Stephen E. Miller and Garwin Sanford win Sam Payne awards

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      Stephen E. Miller and Garwin Sanford have just won this year's two Sam Payne Awards, presented by UBCP/ACTRA to recognize B.C.-based performers.

      Vancouver's Miller, well-known from TV shows like The X-Files and Da Vinci’s City Hall, as well as Cold Squad, Endgame, and So Weird, has nabbed the Sam Payne Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes a person with an outstanding body of work in the performing-arts industry.

      Miller was born in Durham, North Carolina, and attended Virginia Military Institute. He then went on to the University of British Columbia in the graduate creative-writing program and was awarded an M.A. in 1970. At UBC he became interested in theatre, first as a stage carpenter and technician and then as an occasional actor. Following graduation, Stephen joined with other UBC alumni in the founding of Tamahnous Theatre, a seminal experimental group in the city. On-stage, he has acted in more than 40 plays and his screen credits are in the hundreds.

      Sanford, who's appeared in The Tall Man, Get Carter, The BarberSmallville, Airwolf , MacGyver, The Outer Limits, Earth: Final Conflict, Dark Angel, So Weird, and Supernatural, has won the Sam Payne Award for a performer whose personal characteristics mirror those of Sam Payne. (The late Payne was a respected professional actor on-stage and in movies, radio broadcasts, and television shows.)

      Sanford graduated from Langara College's Studio 58 and now teaches acting and filmmaking in Langara’s film-arts program. He has nurtured former students throughout their careers. In the award announcement, the Sam Payne Committee said it was recognizing his commitment to mentoring others and passion for his profession.