Hayley Mills

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Hayley Mills
Mills cat.jpg
BornHayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills
(1946-04-18) 18 April 1946 (age 67)
London, England, UK
EducationElmhurst Ballet School
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1947–present
Spouse(s)Roy Boulting (1971–1977)
Partner(s)Leigh Lawson (1975–1984)
Firdous Bamji (current)
ChildrenCrispian Mills
Jason 'Ace' Lawson
ParentsSir John Mills
Mary Hayley Bell
RelativesJuliet Mills (sister)
Jump to: navigation, search
Hayley Mills
Mills cat.jpg
BornHayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills
(1946-04-18) 18 April 1946 (age 67)
London, England, UK
EducationElmhurst Ballet School
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1947–present
Spouse(s)Roy Boulting (1971–1977)
Partner(s)Leigh Lawson (1975–1984)
Firdous Bamji (current)
ChildrenCrispian Mills
Jason 'Ace' Lawson
ParentsSir John Mills
Mary Hayley Bell
RelativesJuliet Mills (sister)

Hayley Mills (born 18 April 1946, London) is an English actress. The daughter of Sir John Mills and Mary Hayley Bell, and 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 several 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, having two films in post-production in 2010.

From 2007 to 2012, Mills played Caroline, a main character in the ITV1 Series Wild at Heart.

Early life and career[edit]

Mills 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. Bill Anderson, one of Walt Disney's producers, saw her performance and suggested that Mills be given the lead role in Pollyanna.[1] The role of the orphaned "glad girl" who moves in with her aunt catapulted Mills to super-stardom in the United States and earned her a special Academy Award[2] (the last person to receive the Juvenile Oscar).

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.[3]

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.[4]

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 real 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.

Mills was considered for the role of Lolita Haze in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film version of Lolita. However, Walt Disney discouraged the casting, feeling the role was not up to Disney's wholesome standard, and the part eventually went to Sue Lyon.

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[edit]

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.[5]

Television resurgence and reception[edit]

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 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 for her work with The Walt Disney Company, Mills was awarded the prestigious Disney Legends award in 1998.[6]

Mills recalled her childhood in the 2000 documentary film Sir John Mills' Moving Memories which was written by her brother Jonathan. In 2007 she began appearing (alongside her sister Juliet) as Caroline in the ITV1 African vet drama, Wild at Heart.

In 2005 Mills appeared in the acclaimed short film, Stricken, written and directed by Jayce Bartok.

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

Stage career[edit]

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 to "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.

Personal life[edit]

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 psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker. The couple divorced in 1977. Mills currently lives in New York City and London.

Mills later had a second son, Jason Lawson, during a relationship with British actor Leigh Lawson. Mills' current (2012) partner is Firdous Bamji.[7]

Mills has had involvement with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (the "Hare Krishna" movement).[8] 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 meat) since the late 1990s.[9]

In 1988 she 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, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery and chemotherapy and told Good Housekeeping Magazine in January 2012 that she had recovered.[7]


1947So Well RememberedInfant (uncredited)
1959Tiger BayGillieWon: Silver Bear Extraordinary Prize of the Jury at Berlin,[10]
BAFTA Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Film
1960PollyannaPollyannaWon: Academy Juvenile Award for Outstanding juvenile performance
Nominated: BAFTA Award for Best British Actress
1961The Parent TrapSusan Evers / Sharon McKendrickNominated: Best Motion Picture Actress – Musical/Comedy,
2nd place Golden Laurel for Top Female Comedy Performance
Whistle Down the WindKathy BostockNominated: BAFTA Film Award for Best British Actress
1962In Search of the CastawaysMary Grant
1963Summer MagicNancy CareyNominated: Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress – Musical/Comedy
1964The Chalk GardenLaurel
The Moon-SpinnersNikky Ferris
1965The Truth About SpringSpring Tyler
That Darn Cat!Patti Randall2nd Place: Golden Laurel for Comedy Performance, Female
1966Sky West and CrookedBrydie WhiteUSA title: Gypsy Girl
The Trouble with AngelsMary Clancy
The DaydreamerThe Little Mermaid (voice)
The Family WayJenny Fitton
1967Africa: Texas StyleBlonde girl at airport (uncredited)
Pretty PollyPolly BarlowUSA title: A Matter of Innocence
1968Twisted NerveSusan Harper
1970Take a Girl Like YouJenny Bunn
1971Mr. Forbush and the PenguinsTara St. John LukeUSA title: Cry of the Penguins
1972Endless NightFenella 'Ellie' Thomsen
1974What Changed Charley FarthingJennyUSA title: The Bananas Boat
Deadly StrangersBelle Adams
ThrillerSamantha MillerEpisode: "Only a Scream Away"
1975The Kingfisher CaperTracy
1979The Love BoatShirley TysonEpisode: "The Secret Life of Burl Smith", with her father and sister
1980The Love BoatLeila StanhopeEpisode: "Haven't We Met Before"
1981The Flame Trees of ThikaTilly GrantTV mini-series
1983Tales of the UnexpectedClaire HawksworthEpisode: "A Sad Loss"
1984The Storybook Series with Hayley MillsHost/NarratorTV series
1985The Love BoatDianne Tipton2-part episode: "The Perfect Divorce"
1986The Parent Trap IISusan Carey / Sharon FerrisTV film
Murder, She WroteCynthia TateEpisode: "Unfinished Business"
Amazing StoriesJoan SimmonsEpisode: "The Greibble"
1987–89Good Morning, Miss BlissMiss Carrie Bliss14 episodes
1988Appointment with DeathMiss Quinton
1989The Parent Trap IIISusan Evers / Sharon GrandTV film
1989The Parent Trap: Hawaiian HoneymoonSusan Wyatt / Sharon EversTV film
1990Back HomeMrs. Peggy DickinsonTV film
1990After MidnightSally Ryan
1994A Troll in Central ParkHilary (voice)
2000Sir John Mills' Moving MemoriesHerselfInterviewed about her childhood memories
2006Pola Negri: Life is a Dream in CinemaHerselfInterviewed in depth about working with silent actress Pola Negri in the film The Moon-Spinners (1964)
2007–12Wild at HeartCaroline Du PlessisNominated: Monte Carlo TV Festival Golden Nymph for Outstanding Actress – Drama Series
2010Mandie and the Cherokee TreasureMary Elizabeth Taft
2012FosterMrs. Lange
2013Midsomer MurdersEpisode: Wild Harvest

Box-office rankings[edit]

At the peak of her career, Mills was voted by exhibitors as one of the most popular stars at the box office.


  1. ^ Leonard Mosley (1990). Disney's World. Scarborough House. pp. 257–8. ISBN 9781589796560. 
  2. ^ "Awards for Pollyana (1960)". Retrieved 5 November 2007. 
  3. ^ "misslennon2.tripod.com". misslennon2.tripod.com. 20 March 1964. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLY Presents Teenagers WEEKLY.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) (1933 - 1982: National Library of Australia). 20 February 1963. p. 65 Supplement: Teenagers' Weekly. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "infoplease.com/biography". Infoplease.com. 18 April 1946. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Disney.com Network (18 April 1946). "legends.disney.go.com". legends.disney.go.com. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  7. ^ a b The Daily Express 4 January 2012: My secret triumph over breast cancer, by actress Heyley Mills
  8. ^ Daily Mail 19 June 1984
  9. ^ Rachel Corcoran (8 March 2012). "Hayley Mills: My father was an inspiration to me | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Berlinale: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  11. ^ "Year of Profitable British Films." Times [London, England] 1 January 1960: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 12 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Money-Making Films of 1962." Times [London, England] 4 January 1963: 4. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 12 July 2012.
  13. ^ 'Doris Day Heads Top 10' The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 14 January 1964: A27.
  14. ^ "Most Popular Films of 1963." Times [London, England] 3 January 1964: 4. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 12 July 2012.

External links[edit]