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Abby Miller
Abby Miller played Dottie on Sunday night’s episode of “Mad Men.” She also has had roles in TV series such as “Dollhouse,” “The Nine” and “Veronica Mars.” (Courtesy photo)

A Nebraska native had a great scene on the other night's episode of "Mad Men."

As Dottie, a secretary brought to tears in a market focus group, Abby Miller walked that fine line between comedy and pathos that has always characterized the show.

It's been nearly seven years since the Clay Center native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate migrated to L.A. And it's been, and continues to be, a good run for the actress/singer/songwriter/screenplay writer. In addition to a large body of commercial work, Miller's also had roles in such TV series as "Dollhouse," "The Nine" and "Veronica Mars." Right now she's working on a movie from a screenplay she co-wrote and taking a break from her folk-pop combo, Jen & Abby.

In seven years' worth of lucky breaks and good runs, Miller said the "Mad Men" experience ranks pretty high up there.

"I couldn't have had a better thing to come in on," she said. "‘Mad Men's" one of my favorite shows, and it's been on my list of best shows on TV that I want to be on for a long time."

Sunday night's episode, "The Rejected," was also the directorial debut of actor John Slattery, who plays the silver-haired, silver-tongued Roger Sterling. Working with Slattery and show creator Matthew Weiner, Miller got into the skin of a 1965 secretary whose boyfriend rejected her. "We worked together a lot," Miller said. "John's an incredibly giving director, and it was a great process."

Becoming Dottie was an "incredibly involved process." As anyone who watches the show knows, the period details are very, very specific. "The wardrobe," said Miller, "is an important aspect of the show, maybe the most of any show I've watched. Everything matters. And everyone looks so lovely."

But the show's staff is quite efficient at making everyone look 1965. Miller said they turned her from Abby to Dottie (hair, make-up, wardrobe) in about an hour.

So the question, of course is, will Dottie be back this season? Even if she did know, Miller couldn't tell us. And she doesn't know. Right now, she's going to do what all "Mad Men" fans must.

"I'm going to sit back," she said, "and see what happens next."

Reach Micah Mertes at 402-473-7395 or


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