Wentworth Miller ’95 signs autographs at a movie premiere in 2010, above. Last week, he was named Out magazine’s Newsmaker of the Year. (Photos: © Junko Kimura/Jana/ZUMApress.com; Out magazine)

Professionally, Wentworth Miller ’95 had a pretty good year. An actor best known for his role on the Fox television series Prison Break, Miller wrote the screenplay for Stoker, a thriller that hit theaters in March and received good reviews. His second screenplay, The Disappointments Room, is scheduled to begin filming next year. But Miller’s most notable piece of writing may have been the 120-word letter he wrote in August to decline an invitation to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in Russia.

“Thank you for your kind invitation,” Miller began. “As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes. However, as a gay man, I must decline.”

Out magazine, which recently named Miller its Newsmaker of the Year, wrote that there “have been many powerful coming-out statements, but few as elegant and considered as Miller’s letter.” He went on to criticize the Russian government for denying its LGBT residents “their basic right to live and love openly.” But the story didn’t end there. At a Human Rights Campaign event in September, Miller spoke about his difficult teenage years, including a suicide attempt at age 15, sharing his story in the hope that it would encourage others to seek help.

Miller, an English major at Princeton, sang with the Tigertones, performed in Theatre Intime’s production of Amadeus, and drew political cartoons for The Daily Princetonian. He made his feature-film debut in the 2003 adaptation of Philip Roth’s The Human Stain and starred on Prison Break from 2005 to 2009.