SEATTLE — Warren Miller, the legendary outdoor filmmaker who for decades made homages to downhill skiing that he narrated with his own humorous style, died Wednesday night at age 93.

His family said in a statement that Miller died of natural causes at his home on Orcas Island in Washington.

A World War II veteran, ski racer, surfer and sailor, Miller produced more than 500 films about a variety of outdoor activities, including surfing and sailing. But he was best known for his films featuring skiers barreling down breathtakingly steep slopes.

His annual movies served as informal kickoffs to ski season and became a rite of passage for the legions of ski bums and snowboarders who flocked to see them at theaters, and played them on video while relaxing with drinks after tough ski days.

Miller was born in Los Angeles in 1924. He grew up during the Depression and said his family struggled.

According to a biography on his website, Miller bought his first camera for 39 cents when he was 12. He used earnings from his newspaper route to buy his first skis and bamboo ski poles when he was 15, and took his first run at Mount Waterman near Los Angeles with his Boy Scout troop.

“I really believe in my heart that that first turn you make on a pair of skis is your first taste of total freedom, the first time in your life that you could go anywhere that your adrenaline would let you go,” he told The Seattle Times in a 2010 interview.

More: A detailed look at Miller’s life

In this undated photo, Warren Miller is shown lacing up his boots in view of the Matterhorn. Warren Miller Co. via AP

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