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Hayley Mills (English actress) Bio, Facts 

Hayley Mills

Born Name: Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills
Date of Birth: 18 April 1946
Place of Birth: Marylebone, London, United Kingdom
Residence: Cobstone Windmill, Ibstone, Buckinghamshire, England
Education: Elmhurst Ballet School
Occupation: Actress, singer
Spouse(s): Roy Boulting, (m. 1971; div. 1977)
Partner(s): Leigh Lawson (1975–1984), Firdous Bamji (1997–present)
Children: Crispian Mills, Jason Lawson
Parent(s): Sir John Mills, Mary Hayley Bell
Relatives: Juliet Mills (sister)

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 her performance in the British crime drama film Tiger Bay (1959), the Academy Juvenile Award for Disney's 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, including her dual role as twins Susan and Sharon in the Disney film The Parent Trap (1961). Her performance in Whistle Down the Wind (a 1961 adaptation of the novel written by her mother) saw Mills nominated for BAFTA Award for Best British Actress.

During the late 1960s Mills began performing in theatrical plays, and played in more mature roles. The age of contracts with studios soon passed. For her success with Disney she received the Disney Legend Award. 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 a starring role in the UK television mini-series The Flame Trees of Thika in 1981, the title role in Disney's television series Good Morning, Miss Bliss in 1988, and as Caroline, a main character in Wild at Heart (2007–2012) on ITV in the UK.

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. The movie was popular at the box office in Britain.

Bill Anderson, one of Walt Disney's producers, saw Tiger Bay and suggested that Mills 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 could not 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. The film was a hit around the world, reaching number 8 on a US TOP TEN list.

Mills received an offer to make a film in Britain for Bryan Forbes, Whistle Down the Wind (1961), about some children who believe an escaped convict is Jesus. It was a hit at the British box office and Mills was voted the biggest star in Britain for 1961.

Mills was offered the title role in Lolita by Stanley Kubrick but her father turned it down. "I wish I had done it," she said in 1962. "It was a smashing film."

Mills returned to Disney for an adventure film, In Search of the Castaways (1962) based on a novel by Jules Verne. It was another popular success and Mills would be voted the fifth biggest star in the country for the next two years.

In 1963 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.

Her fourth movie for Disney did less well though was still successful, Summer Magic (1963), a musical adaptation of the novel Mother Carey's Chickens.

Ross Hunter hired her for a British-American production, The Chalk Garden (1964), playing a girl who torments governess Deborah Kerr. Back at Disney she was in a film about jewel thieves, The Moon-Spinners (1964), getting her first on screen kiss from Peter McEnery.

Mills had a change of pace with Sky West and Crooked (1965), set in the world of gypsies, written by her mother and directed by her father. It was not very popular. In contrast, her last film with Disney, the comedy 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, No. 17 in Britain and No. 1 in Mexico) 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.

Post-Disney film career
For Universal, Mills made another movie with her father, The Truth About Spring (1965), co-starring Disney regular James MacArthur as her love interest. It was mildly popular. However The Trouble with Angels (1966), was a huge hit; Mills played as a prankish Catholic boarding school girl with "scathingly brilliant" schemes, opposite screen veteran Rosalind Russell, and directed by another Hollywood veteran, Ida Lupino. She then provided a voice for The Daydreamer (1966).

Roy Boulting
Shortly thereafter, Mills appeared alongside her father and Hywel Bennett in director Roy Boulting's critically acclaimed film The Family Way (1966), a comedy about a couple having difficulty consummating their marriage, featuring a score by Paul McCartney and arrangements by Beatles producer George Martin. She began a romantic relationship with Roy Boulting, and they eventually married in 1971.

She then starred as the protagonist of Pretty Polly (1967), opposite famous Indian film actor Shashi Kapoor in Singapore.

Mills made another movie for Boulting, the controversial horror thriller Twisted Nerve in 1968, along with her Family Way co-star Hywel Bennett. She made a comedy, Take a Girl Like You (1970) with Oliver Reed, and made her West End debut in The Wild Duck in 1970. She worked for Boulting again on Mr. Forbush and the Penguins (1971), replacing the original female lead.

In 1972 Mills 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. She made two films for Sidney Hayers, What Changed Charley Farthing? (1974) and Deadly Strangers (1975). After The Kingfisher Caper in 1975, co-written by Boulting, 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. Later, Mills reprised her roles as twins Sharon and Susan for a trio of Parent Trap television films: The Parent Trap II, Parent Trap III, and Parent Trap: 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 produced 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 Mills was a guest star in series 4 of 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 1997, Mills starred in the U.S. national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I.

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.

In 2015, Mills toured Australia with sister Juliet Mills and Maxwell Caulfield in the comedy Legends! by James Kirkwood.

Mills starred in the 2018 Off-Broadway run of Isobel Mahon's Party Face at City Center.

Personal life
In 1966 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 Chelsea. They later purchased Cobstone Windmill in Ibstone, Buckinghamshire. Their son, Crispian Mills, is 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 and 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. 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 afterlife. Mills has been a pescetarian since the late 1990s.

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. She told Good Housekeeping magazine in January 2012 that she had fully recovered.

Mills is a trustee of the children's arts charity Anno's Africa.

References to Mills sometimes appear in fiction and music. The 1985 song 'Goodbye Lucille' by the British band Prefab Sprout refers in passing to Mills.



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 AKA Angel in the House 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 Susan Evers / Sharon Grand Movie
1989 Parent Trap: 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
2015 Legends! Leatrice Monsee With Juliet Mills

Awards and nominations

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
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Categories: 1946 births,20th-century English actresses,21st-century English actresses,Academy Juvenile Award winners,Actresses from London,BAFTA winners (people),Booker authors' division,Breast cancer survivors,Disney people,English child actresses,English child singers,English Christians,English female dancers,English female singers,English film actresses,English musical theatre actresses,English stage actresses,English television actresses,New Star of the Year (Actress) ,Golden Globe winners,People from Marylebone,People educated at the Elmhurst School for Dance,Theatre World Award winners,British expatriate actresses in the United States

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