Hayley Mills

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Hayley Mills
Mills cat.jpg
Born Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills
(1946-04-18) 18 April 1946 (age 68)
London, England, UK
Education Elmhurst Ballet School
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1947–present
Spouse(s) Roy Boulting (1971–1977)
Partner(s) Leigh Lawson (1975–1984)
Firdous Bamji (current)
Children Crispian Mills
Jason 'Ace' Lawson
Parents Sir John Mills
Mary Hayley Bell
Relatives Juliet Mills (sister)

Hayley 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 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.

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

Early life and career[edit]

Mills was born in 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 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 favorite 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 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 directed by Marcus Dillistone and 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 raga 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 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] 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."[10]

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]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1959 Tiger Bay Gillie
1960 Pollyanna Pollyanna Won an Academy Juvenile Award, the last awarded[11]
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 Gypsy Girl 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
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
1975 Kingfisher Caper, TheThe Kingfisher Caper Tracey Van Der Byl
1976 Bananas Boat, TheThe Bananas Boat Jenny
1976 Deadly Strangers Belle Adams
1988 Appointment with Death Miss Quinton
1990 After Midnight Sally Ryan
1994 Troll in Central Park, AA Troll in Central Park Hillary Voice
2004 2BPerfectlyHonest Terri
2005 Stricken Hildy Short film
2010 Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure Mary Elizabeth Taft
2011 Foster Mrs. Lange

Television[edit]

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 Susan Evers / Sharon Grand Movie
1989 Parent Trap IV: Hawaiian Honeymoon, TheThe Parent Trap IV: Hawaiian Honeymoon Susan Wyatt / Sharon Evers 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"

Theatre[edit]

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

Awards/Nominations[edit]

Awards
Year Award Category Production Result
1959 Berlin International Film Festival Special Prize Tiger Bay Won
1960 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 Laurel Awards Top Female Star Nominated
1962 Laurel Awards Top Female Comedy Performance The Parent Trap Nominated
1962 BAFTA Awards Best British Actress Whistle Down the Wind Nominated
1963 Laurel Awards Top Female Star Nominated
1964 Laurel Awards Top Female Star Nominated
1964 Golden Globe Award Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy Summer Magic Nominated
1966 Laurel Awards Female Star Nominated
1966 Laurel Awards Comedy Performance, Female That Darn Cat! Nominated
1967 Laurel Awards Female Star Nominated
2010 Golden Nymph Outstanding Actress - Drama Series Wild at Heart Nominated

References[edit]

  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. ^ Foege, Alec. "Pollyanna at 50", People, 07 April 1997. Retrieved on 14 August 2014.
  11. ^ The 33rd Academy Awards | Oscar Legacy | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Oscars.org. Retrieved on 12 April 2014.

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