April 08, 2003

FATAL CHUTE-ING: The internationally active

FATAL CHUTE-ING: The internationally active parachutist/prankster known as "Fan Man" has died in an apparent suicide. The body of James Miller, 39, was found last month in Alaska after he apparently hung himself while on a nature hike. Miller drew international notoriety for a series of thrill-seeking pranks in the early '90s, which included parachuting into a World Cup soccer game and onto the roof of Buckingham Palace (the latter of which got him banished from England for life). But Miller was perhaps best known for the incident in which he paraglided into the ring during the second Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield heavyweight title fight, in Las Vegas in 1993. That flight took place just a few months after tennis star Monica Seles was stabbed on the court in Germany by a deranged fan, which made observers fear that Miller was an assassin- therefore, both fighters' entourages spent several minutes beating the stuffings out of him as soon as he landed.
Miller, contrary to popular belief, was not the man who floated into Shea Stadium during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series in a "Let's Go Mets" parachute. That was Mike Sergio who- somewhat shockingly- also directed the 2001 film "Under Hellgate Bridge," which co-starred "Sopranos" cast members Dominic Chianese and Vincent Pastore.

Posted by Stephen Silver at April 8, 2003 03:08 AM
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