AKA Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills
Birthplace: London, England
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor, Singer
Executive summary: The Parent Trap
1960s teen star Hayley Mills was a child of celebrity. Her father, Sir John Mills, played Pip in David Lean's Great Expectations, the village idiot in Ryan's Daughter, Gus the theater cat in T. S. Eliot's Cats, and appeared with his daughter in most of her best early films. Her mother, Mary Hayley Bell, authored Whistle Down the Wind, Sky West and Crooked, and The Winged Boy. Her sister, actress Juliet Mills, played the enchanted caretaker in the sitcom Nanny and the Professor with Richard Long, and more recently appeared on the steamy soap Passions. Mills' had two godfathers, Laurence Olivier and Noel Coward.
She made her film debut in diapers, playing an infant in her father's So Well Remembered with Trevor Howard. At 13 she had a pivotal role as the young witness to murder in the thriller Tiger Bay, earning accolades and the eye of Walt Disney, who offered her a contract and made her a star.
For Disney, she starred as the ever-optimistic Pollyanna with Jane Wyman, winning an Oscar for Best Juvenile Performance, but Mills was better as twins in the original The Parent Trap with Maureen O'Hara. She made three other Disney films, most memorably That Darn Cat with Dean Jones. Her father, though, had insisted that her contract allow her to work beyond Disney's constraints, so she also had a more seriously respected career, with several films in her teens and early twenties that cannot be dismissed as simple 1960s kid stuff.
In Whistle Down the Wind, young Mills discovers accused killer Alan Bates in the family barn, but mistakes him for Jesus Christ. In The Chalk Garden, she delivered a believable portrait of a spoiled upper-class teenager who discovers that new nanny Deborah Kerr is a murderer. In The Trouble with Angels, Mills was the incorrigible Catholic schoolgirl making life miserable for Mother Superior Rosalind Russell. In The Family Way, she played her first adult role (and a towel-wrapped but clearly nude scene) as a newlywed forced by finances to move with her husband into her in-laws' flat, where the thin walls rendered their love life moot.
In an early example of corporate cross-promotion, Mills had a hit in 1961 singing "Let's Get Together," the theme from The Parent Trap, which rose to #8 on the pop charts. Recording for Disney's Buena Vista label, she also made the charts singing "Johnny Jingo," "Ding Ding Ding," and a duet with Maurice Chevalier, "Let's Climb."
Mills has continued to work in film, television, and on stage, but her grown-up performances, while competent, lack the spunk and sparkle she exhibited as a young woman. Among her few noteworthy roles since the 1970s, she starred in a British miniseries The Flame Trees of Thika in 1981, sailed on The Love Boat four times, and has appeared in three made-for-TV Parent Trap sequels.
Five years after making The Family Way, she married that film's director, Roy Boulting. He was 33 years older than she, nearing the end of a long, successful career making droll British comedies. Their son, Crispian Mills, is the lead singer of the psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker. After divorcing Boulting, she had a long affair and fathered a son with actor Leigh Lawson, who married Twiggy after leaving Mills. She also had a mid-1990s affair with her Marcus Maclaine, a musician whose brother, Maxwell Caulfield, is her sister Juliet's husband. More recently she has been linked with Indian-American actor Firdous Bamji, who starred in the 2005 terror thriller The War Within.
Father: John Mills (English actor, b. 22-Feb-1908, d. 23-Apr-2005)
Mother: Mary Hayley Bell (novelist and playwright, b. 1911)
Sister: Juliet Mills (actress, b. 21-Nov-1941)
Brother: Jonathan Mills (b. 3-Dec-1949)
Husband: Roy Boulting (film director, m. 1971, separated 1974, div. 1976, d. 2001 cancer)
Son: Crispian Boulting Mills (musician, lead singer of Kula Shaker)
Boyfriend: Leigh Lawson (actor, cohabited 1976-84)
Son: Jason Lawson ("Ace")
Boyfriend: Marcus Maclaine (rock musician, brother of Maxwell Caulfield, together 1990s)
Boyfriend: Firdous Bamji (actor, together early 2000s)
Risk Factors: Smoking
Good Morning, Miss Bliss Miss Carrie Bliss (1987-89)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story (24-Apr-2009) · Herself
2B Perfectly Honest (2-May-2004)
A Troll in Central Park (7-Oct-1994) · Hilary [VOICE]
Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon (19-Nov-1989)
Parent Trap III (9-Apr-1989)
Appointment with Death (15-Apr-1988)
Parent Trap II (26-Jul-1986)
The Flame Trees of Thika (1-Sep-1981)
Diamond Hunters (30-Jun-1975)
Deadly Strangers (1974)
The Bananas Boat (1974)
Endless Night (Sep-1972)
Cry of the Penguins (1971)
Take a Girl Like You (16-Dec-1970)
Twisted Nerve (Dec-1968)
Pretty Polly (19-Oct-1967)
The Family Way (18-Dec-1966) · Jenny Piper
The Daydreamer (Jun-1966) [VOICE]
The Trouble with Angels (30-Mar-1966) · Mary Clancy
Sky West and Crooked (Jan-1966)
That Darn Cat! (2-Dec-1965)
The Moon-Spinners (2-Jul-1964)
The Chalk Garden (21-May-1964) · Laurel
The Truth About Spring (1964) · Spring Tyler
Summer Magic (7-Jul-1963)
In Search of the Castaways (19-Dec-1962)
Whistle Down the Wind (Jul-1961)
The Parent Trap (12-Jun-1961)
Tiger Bay (Mar-1959)
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