She Played Abby Cunningham on "Knots Landing." See Donna Mills Now at 81.
The actor just appeared in one of this year's most talked-about movies.
Fans of Knots Landing will remember the character of Abby Cunningham well. The new woman in town-turned-villain appeared on the 1980s soap from the second season through the tenth, and was known for her many marriages—Because of that, Cunningham wasn't the only last name she used on the show—she was also Fairgate, Ewing, and Sumner. The character was played by Donna Mills, who got her start as an actor in the '60s, well before Knots Landing, and has carried on her career long after the show.
Now 81, she just appeared in one of the most anticipated movies of 2022. Read on to find out more about Mills' career and personal life today.
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She's been acting for decades.
Mills is best remembered for Knots Landing, but she's been in popular movies and TV shows in addition to the nighttime soap. Prior to the Dallas spinoff,, she starred in the show Love Is a Many Splendored Thing and made appearances on Gunsmoke, The Six Million Dollar Man, Police Woman, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and more. She also co-starred with Clint Eastwood in the 1971 movie Play Misty for Me.
In recent years, Mills has appeared in Joy, Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens, and a couple of Christmas movies for the Hallmark Channel. Since 2014, she has been playing the recurring character Madeline Reeves on General Hospital. In 2015, she won a Daytime Emmy Award for the role.
She was in one of this summer's biggest blockbusters.
Mills is in the cast of the sci-fi movie, Nope, which premiered in July 2022. She played Bonnie Clayton, an actor shooting a commercial within the film.
"I'd signed an NDA, and I couldn't tell anybody [about it]," Mills told the New York Post of working on the secretive film from Get Out director Jordan Peele. "I mean, I literally couldn't tell my daughter. It was hard because everybody wanted to know, 'What is it really about?' People asked, and I said, 'I'm really sorry, but nope!'"
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She's a mom.
Speaking of her daughter, Mills is the mother to 28-year-old Chloe Mills. In a May interview with People, the actor talked about adopting her daughter when she was 54.
"I was very concentrated on my career, but at a certain point, I realized there was something missing—it was a child," she said. "So I went after it. I adopted her when she was four days old." She continued, "By that time, I was 54 and people said, 'You're going to be so old [to] have a little toddler running around.' I never felt that. I never felt older than the other mothers who were probably in their 20s."
In September, Mills posted a sweet birthday message for Chloe on Instagram. "I hope you know how my heart fills with love and pride whenever I see you. You have made my life complete," she wrote. "The 28 years that we have spent together are the most meaningful and precious of my life. And you have grown into the most beautiful and spectacular young woman with the brightest future ahead of you. You are my everything and I love you to the moon and back."
She's in a long-term relationship.
Mills has been with her partner, Larry Gilman, since 2001. The two run a vineyard, Mandeville Vineyards, out of their backyard.
"Well, it was my boyfriend who decided. He looked at the hill behind the house and said, 'Why couldn't that be a vineyard?' and I went, 'What are you, crazy?'" Mills told Hallmark's Home & Family in 2019. "But he did it. He made it happen. He put everything in—he had a crew working with him. He didn't do it all by himself … This was about five or six years ago, but we are now producing wine."
She also said that she actively works in the vineyard. "I'm up there clipping the vines, fertilizing, doing all the stuff that you do," Mills explained.
She's still friends with her Knots Landing co-stars.
In her New York Post interview, Mills shared that she is still friends with a couple of her Knots Landing co-stars, and they've appeared at events together for fans of the show.
"Joan [Van Ark] and Michele [Lee] and I are actually really good friends," she said. Van Ark played Val Ewing while Lee played Karen MacKenzie. "It's turned into a real deep friendship for all of us now."