Family & Companions
The middle child of actor John Mills and writer Mary Hayley Bell, blonde, blue-eyed Hayley Mills became the epitome of English wholesomeness in the early 1960s in a series of Disney films. She first came to attention with a highly-praised turn as a pre-teen murder witness in "Tiger Bay" (1959), opposite her father. Based on this strong debut, Walt Disney signed Mills to a five-year contract, putting her in a series of sweet, ingratiating innocents ranging from "Pollyanna" (1960), for which she earned a special juvenile Academy Award to a dual role of twins trying to reunite their divorced parents in "The Parent Trap" (1961). She also co-starred as one of three children who discover an escaped convict and believe he is Jesus Christ in Bryan Forbes' "Whistle Down the Wind" (1961), adapted from a novel by her mother. After playing a perturbing student at a convent school who reforms in "The Trouble With Angels" (1966), directed by Ida Lupino, Mills shocked the Establishment and shed her pure image with a celebrated nude scene in "The Family Way" (also 1966). That she also married a man three-decades her senior, producer-director Roy Boulting, changed the direction of her career.
By the early 70s, her film career was petering out, but she found renewed success as a stage actress, appearing in the title role of "Peter Pan" (1969-70) and Chekhov's "Three Sisters" (1970). After giving birth to her first child, she returned to the stage in "A Touch of Spring" (1975-76), which introduced her to Leigh Lawson, with whom she had a romantic relationship and a second son. For much of the next two decades, Mills concentrated on stage work winning praise for her work in "Talley's Folly" (1982) and "Toys in the Attic" (1985). She continued to make appearances in small screen productions, notably as the wife and mother of a family growing coffee in Kenya in the acclaimed BBC miniseries "The Flame Trees of Thika" (shown in the USA on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre" in 1982) as well as guest appearances on such fodder as "The Love Boat" and "Murder, She Wrote." The 90s brought her to Australia, first as Anna in a restaging of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The King and I" (1991) and then opposite her older sister Juliet in a production of Noel Coward's "Fallen Angels" (1992). More recently, Mills traveled across North America headlining a national tour of "The King and I."
Cast (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Feature film debut, "Tiger Bay"
First Disney film "Pollyanna"; received juvenile Academy Award
Starred in "Whistle Down the Wind," adapted from a novel by her mother Mary Hayley Bell
Played a dual role as twins in "The Parent Trap"
Starred in the hit family film "That Darn Cat!"
Filmed first nude scene in "The Family Way"
Stage acting debut in the title role of "Peter Pan" in London
Last feature for 16 years, "Endless Nights"
Starred in acclaimed British series "The Flame Trees of Thika" (aired in U.S. on PBS in 1982)
Starred in the London production of "Talley's Folly"
Reprised her childhood dual role of twins in the Disney Channel TV-movie "The Parent Trap II"
Starred in the Disney Channel series "Good Morning, Miss Bliss"
Returned to features in the ensemble cast of "Appointment With Death"
Again reprised her dual role as twins in "Parent Trap III" and "Parent Trap Hawaiian Honeymoon" (both NBC)
Toured Australia playing Anna in "The King and I"
Appeared with sister Juliet in "Fallen Angels" by Noel Coward; toured Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K.
Provided a character voice for the animated film "A Troll in Central Park"
Made off-Broadway debut in Noel Coward's "A Suite in Two Keys"
Cast in "2BPerfectlyHonest" opposite Andrew McCarthy and John Turturro
Joined the cast of British drama series "Wild at Heart" (ITV)
Landed supporting role in the family film "Foster"