Kieth Merrill

Kieth W. Merrill
Born (1940-05-22) May 22, 1940 (age 80)
Farmington, Utah, United States
  • film director
  • film producer
  • novelist
  • screenwriter
Language English
Nationality American
Education Bachelor of Arts
Alma mater Brigham Young University
  • Christianity
  • documentaries
  • fantasy
  • general fiction
  • historical fiction
Notable works The Great American Cowboy (1973)
The Wild West (1993)
Amazon (1997)
Various films for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Notable awards Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film (1973)
Years active 1973 - present

Kieth W. Merrill[1] (born May 22, 1940)[2] is an American filmmaker who has worked as a writer, director, and producer in the film industry since 1967. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Directors Guild of America, and received an Academy Award for The Great American Cowboy (1973) and a nomination for Amazon (1997).

He published a novel, The Evolution of Thomas Hall, through Shadow Mountain in May 2011. His first fantasy novel, The Immortal Crown, was published by Shadow Mountain in May 2016.


The son of artist/landscape architect David Merrill, and playwright/actress Leola Green Merrill, Kieth was born and raised in Farmington, Utah, a small, pioneer-founded town 20 miles north of Salt Lake City.[3]

As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as a young man he served as a missionary for the church in Denmark for two-and-a-half years.[4][5]

Merrill graduated in 1967 with a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University (BYU). He is married to Dagny Johnson and they are the parents of eight children. They reside in Northern California.[3] Merrill was commissioned by the LDS Church's First Presidency to produce the films Legacy and The Testaments for the state-of-the-art 70 mm Legacy Theater at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.[citation needed]

Merrill has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Virginia University and president of the BYU Alumni Association. He received the Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Award from BYU[6] when he delivered the commencement address to the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications in 2007.[7]


Merrill has done work in various formats including IMAX and 70mm. He has created feature films, documentaries, television commercials, and miniseries.[8][9]

  • The Great American Cowboy (1973 Documentary Academy Award Winner)[10]
  • A Matter of Winning (1973)
  • Great American Indian (1976)
  • Three Warriors (1977)
  • Take Down (1978)
  • Kenny Rogers and the American Cowboy (1979)
  • Windwalker (1980)
  • Mr. Krueger's Christmas (1980)
  • Wheels of Fire (1981)
  • Harry's War (1981)
  • Rivals (1981)
  • The Cherokee Trail (1981)
  • Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets (1984) (IMAX)
  • Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic (1986) (IMAX)
  • Alamo: The Price of Freedom (1988)
  • Legacy (1990)
  • Polynesian Odyssey (1991) (IMAX)
  • On The Way Home (1992)
  • The Wild West (1993) (TV miniseries) (Emmy nomination)
  • Yellowstone (1994) (IMAX)
  • Passion for Life (1995) (IMAX)
  • Ozarks: Legacy and Legends (1995) (IMAX)
  • San Francisco: The Movie (1995) (IMAX)
  • Zion Canyon: Treasure of the Gods (1996) (IMAX)
  • Amazon (1997) (IMAX) (Nominated for Academy Award)
  • The Witness (1997) (IMAX)
  • Olympic Glory (1999) (IMAX)
  • The Testaments (2000)
  • The 12 Dogs of Christmas (2005)
  • The 12 Dogs of Christmas – Great Puppy Rescue (2012)


  • The Evolution of Thomas Hall (May 2011, ISBN 9781606418369, Shadow Mountain)
  • Saga of Kings series


  1. ^ Middle initial from Condie, Todd R. (Spring 2003). "A Philosophy of Storytelling". BYU Magazine. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  2. ^ "Kieth Merrill". allmovie. All Media Guide. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Kieth Merrill profile". Outstanding Alumni Profiles BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  4. ^ "8-Day Norway Fjords "Lights of the Fjords" Cruise". Meridian Magazine. September 23, 2004. Archived from the original on February 25, 2006.
  5. ^ Kelly, Brian. "Kieth Merrill: Great American Filmmaker". New Era: 10. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  6. ^ "Kieth Merrill profile" (wiki). College of Fine Arts and Communications History. Brigham Young University. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  7. ^ Merrill, Keith (2007). "Telling 'Out Story' to All the World". Meridian Magazine. Archived from the original on February 2, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  8. ^ "Kieth Merrill profile". Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. ^ "Kieth Merrill - Filmmaker". April 2, 2002. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  10. ^ "Session Timeout - Academy Awards® Database". Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2015.

External links