Hayley Mills

Hayley Mills

Birth name: Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills
Born: April 18, 1946
Age: 77
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England
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Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills (born 18 April 1946) is an English actress. The daughter of Sir John Mills and Mary Hayley Bell, and younger sister of actress Juliet Mills, Mills began her acting career as a child and was hailed as a promising newcomer, winning the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer for Tiger Bay (1959), the Academy Juvenile Award for Pollyanna (1960) and Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actress in 1961. During her early career, she appeared in six films for Walt Disney, and is perhaps best known for her dual role as twins Susan and Sharon in the Disney film The Parent Trap (1961).

During the late 1960s she began performing in theatrical plays, and played in more mature roles. The age of contracts with studios soon passed. Although she has not maintained the box office success or the Hollywood A-list she experienced as a child actress, she has continued to make films and TV appearances, including the title role in Good Morning, Miss Bliss and as Caroline, a main character in Wild at Heart.


Early life and career

Mills was born in Marylebone, London. She was 12 when she was discovered by J. Lee Thompson, who was initially looking for a boy to play the lead role in Tiger Bay, which co-starred her father, veteran British actor Sir John Mills. Bill Anderson, one of Walt Disney's producers, saw her performance and suggested that she be given the lead role in Pollyanna. The role of the orphaned "glad girl" who moves in with her aunt catapulted Mills to stardom in the United States and earned her a special Academy Award (the last person to receive the Juvenile Oscar). Because Mills was not able to be present to receive the trophy, Annette Funicello accepted it for her.

Disney subsequently cast Mills as twins Sharon and Susan who reunite their divorced parents in The Parent Trap. In the film, Mills sings "Let's Get Together" as a duet with herself. She made four additional films for Disney in a four-year span, including In Search of the Castaways and Summer Magic. Her final two Disney films, The Moon-Spinners and That Darn Cat!, did very well at the box office.

During her six-year run at Disney, Mills was arguably the most popular child actress of the era. Critics noted that America's favourite child star was, in fact, quite British and very ladylike. The success of "Let's Get Together" (which hit No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and No. 17 in Britain) also led to the release of a record album on Disney's Buena Vista label, Let's Get Together with Hayley Mills, which also included her only other hit song, "Johnny Jingo" (Billboard No. 21, 1962). In 1962 British exhibitors voted her the most popular film actress in the country.

In addition to her Disney films, Mills starred in several other films, notably Whistle Down the Wind, 1961 (based on the book of the same title written by her mother, Mary Hayley Bell), with Alan Bates, The Truth About Spring (with her father, John Mills, cast as her father and James MacArthur as the love interest), and The Chalk Garden, 1964 (from the play by Enid Bagnold).

In 1962 Disney announced plans to film I Capture the Castle, from the novel by Dodie Smith, with Hayley Mills in the role of Cassandra. However, Disney never produced the film.

Post-Disney film career

After her contract with Disney, Mills scored a hit in The Trouble with Angels (1966), as a prankish Catholic boarding school girl with "scathingly brilliant" schemes, opposite screen veteran Rosalind Russell, and directed by another Hollywood veteran, Ida Lupino. Looking to break from her girl-next-door image, Mills returned to Britain to appear as a mentally challenged teenager in the film Sky West and Crooked, which was directed by her father and written by her mother. Shortly thereafter, Mills appeared alongside her father and Hywel Bennett in director Roy Boulting's critically acclaimed film The Family Way, a comedy about a couple having difficulty consummating their marriage, featuring a score by Paul McCartney and arrangements by Beatles producer George Martin. She eventually married Roy Boulting in 1971. She then starred as the protagonist of Pretty Polly, opposite famous Indian film actor Shashi Kapoor in Singapore, and appeared in the controversial horror thriller Twisted Nerve in 1968, along with her Family Way co-star Hywel Bennett. In 1972 she again acted opposite Hywel Bennett in Endless Night along with Britt Ekland, Per Oscarsson and George Sanders. It is based on the novel Endless Night by Agatha Christie. After her appearance in The Kingfisher Caper in 1975, Mills dropped out of the film industry for a few years.

Television resurgence and reception

In 1981 Mills returned to acting with a starring role in the UK television mini-series The Flame Trees of Thika, based on Elspeth Huxley's memoir of her childhood in East Africa. The series was well received, prompting Mills to accept more acting roles. She then returned to America, and made two appearances on The Love Boat.

Always welcomed at Disney, Mills narrated an episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, sparking renewed interest in her Disney work. In 1985, Mills was originally considered to voice Princess Eilonwy in Disney's 25th animated feature film The Black Cauldron but was later replaced by the veteran British voice actress Susan Sheridan. In 1986 she reprised her roles as twins Sharon and Susan for a trio of Parent Trap television films: The Parent Trap II, The Parent Trap III, and The Parent Trap IV: Hawaiian Honeymoon. Mills also starred as the title character in the Disney Channel-produced television series Good Morning, Miss Bliss in 1987. The show was cancelled after 13 episodes and the rights were acquired by NBC, which reformatted Good Morning, Miss Bliss into Saved by the Bell. In recognition of her work with The Walt Disney Company, Mills was awarded the Disney Legends award in 1998.

Mills recalled her childhood in the 2000 documentary film Sir John Mills' Moving Memories which was directed by Marcus Dillistone and written by her brother Jonathan. In 2005 Mills appeared in the acclaimed short film, Stricken, written and directed by Jayce Bartok.In 2007 she began appearing as Caroline in the ITV1 African vet drama, Wild at Heart; her sister Juliet was a guest star in the drama.

In 2010 Mills appeared in Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure, based on one of the popular Mandie novels of Lois Gladys Leppard.

Stage career

Mills made her stage debut in a 1966 West End revival of Peter Pan. In 2000 she made her Off Broadway debut in Sir Noël Coward's Suite in Two Keys, opposite American actress Judith Ivey, for which she won a Theatre World Award. In 1991 she appeared as Anna Leonowens in the Australian production of The King and I. In December 2007, for their annual birthday celebration of "The Master", The Noël Coward Society invited Mills as the guest celebrity to lay flowers in front of Coward's statue at New York's Gershwin Theatre, thereby commemorating the 108th birthday of Sir Noel.

In 2012 Mills starred as Ursula Widdington in the stage production of Ladies in Lavender at the Royal & Derngate Theatre, before embarking on a national UK tour.

Beginning May 2015, Mills will tour Australia with sister Juliet Mills and Maxwell Caulfield in the comedy Legends! by James Kirkwood.

Personal life

While filming The Family Way, the 20-year-old Mills met 53-year-old director Roy Boulting. The two married in 1971, and owned a flat in London's Kensington. They then went on to purchase Cobstone Windmill in Ibstone, Buckinghamshire. Their son, Crispian Mills, achieved recognition as the lead singer and guitarist for the raga rock band Kula Shaker. The couple divorced in 1977. Mills later had a second son, Jason Lawson, during a relationship with British actor Leigh Lawson.

Mills' partner since 1997 is actor/writer Firdous Bamji, who is 20 years her junior.

Mills had involvement with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (the "Hare Krishna" movement). She wrote the preface to the book The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking, published in 1984. Mills has been a pescetarian (i.e., one who eats fish but not other meat) since the late 1990s. However, in a 1997 article of People magazine, Mills stated that "she is 'not a part of Hare Krishna', though she delved into Hinduism and her own Christianity for guidance."

In 1988 Mills co-edited, with Marcus Maclaine, the book My God, which consisted of brief letters from celebrities on their beliefs (or lack thereof) regarding God and the life to come.

On 18 April 2008, Mills was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery and started, but quickly abandoned, chemotherapy after only three sessions due to the severity of side effects. Mills credits her survival to the alternative treatments she tried out, beating the disease into remission. She told Good Housekeeping magazine in January 2012 that she had fully recovered.



Year Title Role Notes
1959 Tiger Bay Gillie
1960 Pollyanna Pollyanna Won an Academy Juvenile Award
1961 Parent Trap, TheThe Parent Trap Susan Evers / Sharon McKendrick
1961 Whistle Down the Wind Kathy Bostock
1962 In Search of the Castaways Mary Grant
1963 Summer Magic Nancy Carey
1964 Chalk Garden, TheThe Chalk Garden Laurel
1964 Moon-Spinners, TheThe Moon-Spinners Nikky Ferris
1965 Truth About Spring, TheThe Truth About Spring Spring Tyler
1965 Sky West and Crooked Brydie White
1965 That Darn Cat! Patricia "Patti" Randall
1966 Trouble with Angels, TheThe Trouble with Angels Mary Clancy
1966 Daydreamer, TheThe Daydreamer The Little Mermaid Voice role
1966 Family Way, TheThe Family Way Jenny Fitton
1967 Pretty Polly Polly Barlow Alternate title: A Matter of Innocence
1968 Twisted Nerve Susan Harper
1970 Take a Girl Like You Jenny Bunn
1971 Mr. Forbush and the Penguins Tara St. John Luke
1972 Endless Night Ellie
1974 What Changed Charley Farthing? Jenny Alternate title: The Bananas Boat
1975 Kingfisher Caper, TheThe Kingfisher Caper Tracey Van Der Byl
1976 Deadly Strangers Belle Adams
1988 Appointment with Death Miss Quinton
1990 After Midnight Sally Ryan
1994 A Troll in Central Park Hillary Voice role
2004 2BPerfectlyHonest Terri
2005 Stricken Hildy Short film
2010 Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure Mary Elizabeth Taft
2011 Foster Mrs. Lange

Box office ranking

  • 1961 - most popular star at the UK box office
  • 1962 - 20th most popular star in the US, 5th most popular in the UK
  • 1963 - 5th most popular star in the UK


Year Title Role Notes
1974 Thriller Samantha Miller Episode: "Only a Scream Away"
1979 Love Boat, TheThe Love Boat Shirley Tyson 1 episode
1980 Love Boat, TheThe Love Boat Leila Stanhope 1 episode
1981 Flame Trees of Thika, TheThe Flame Trees of Thika Tilly 7 episodes
1983 Tales of the Unexpected Claire Hawksworth Episode: "A Sad Loss"
1985 Love Boat, TheThe Love Boat Dianne Tipton 2 episodes
1986 Parent Trap II, TheThe Parent Trap II Susan Corey / Sharon Ferris Movie
1986 Murder, She Wrote Cynthia Tate Episode: "Unfinished Business"
1986 Amazing Stories Joan Simmons Episode: "The Greibble"
1987-89 Good Morning, Miss Bliss Miss Carrie Bliss Main role (14 episodes)
1989 Parent Trap III, TheThe Parent Trap III Susan Evers / Sharon Grand Movie
1989 Parent Trap IV: Hawaiian Honeymoon, TheThe Parent Trap IV: Hawaiian Honeymoon Susan Wyatt / Sharon Grand Movie
1990 Back Home Mrs. Peggy Dickinson Movie
2007-12 Wild at Heart Caroline Du Plessis Regular role (39 episodes)
2014 Midsomer Murders Lizzy Thornfield Episode: "Wild Harvest"
2014 Moving On Madge BBC, Series 6, Episode 1: "Madge"


Year Title Role Notes
1969 Peter Pan Peter Pan
1970 Three Sisters Irina
1970 Wild Duck, TheThe Wild Duck Hedvig
1972 Trelawny of the 'Wells' Rose Trelawny
1975 Touch of Spring, AA Touch of Spring Alison
1977 Rebecca Mrs. De Winter
1978 My Fat Friend
1979 Importance of Being Earnest, TheThe Importance of Being Earnest Gwendolina
1980 Summer Party, TheThe Summer Party
1982 Tally's Folly Sally
1983 Dial M for Murder Margot Wendice
1985 Toys in the Attic Carrie
1991 Kidnap Game, TheThe Kidnap Game
1991 King and I, TheThe King and I Anna
1992 Fallen Angels
1994 Midsummer Night's Dream, AA Midsummer Night's Dream
1994 Hamlet Gertrude
1994 Card, TheThe Card Countess of Chell
1995 Dead Guilty Margaret
1997 King and I, TheThe King and I Anna
2000 Two Can Play
2015 Cinderella-Pantomime Fairy Godmother

Awards and nominations

This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful.
Year Association Category Work Result
1959 Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear Extraordinary Prize of the Jury Tiger Bay Won
1959 BAFTA Awards Most Promising Newcomer to Film Tiger Bay Won
1961 BAFTA Awards Best British Actress Pollyanna Nominated
1961 Laurel Awards Top Female New Personality Won
1961 Academy Award Juvenile Award Pollyanna Won
1961 Golden Globe Award Most Promising Newcomer - Female Won
1962 Golden Globe Award Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy The Parent Trap Nominated
1962 BAFTA Awards Best British Actress Whistle Down the Wind Nominated
1964 Golden Globe Award Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy Summer Magic Nominated

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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