See Former Disney Child Star Hayley Mills Now at 75
"I don’t think I’ll ever retire," says the longtime actor.
Hayley Mills will always be remembered for the roles she played as a young girl, so it's definitely fitting that she titled her memoir Forever Young. In the '60s, Mills starred in six Disney movies, including The Parent Trap, Pollyanna, and That Darn Cat!. But as she grew up, it became harder for Mills to find her place in Hollywood.
"Becoming a young adult, I subconsciously realized that what people liked about me was the child that was disappearing, and I didn't know what was taking its place," she told Closer Weekly in 2018. "So I didn't know what to do or what parts to play."
Despite the tough transition from being a child star to taking on adult roles, Mills' acting career marched on, and she's still working today. She's also a grandmother of four and a published author. Read on to learn more about her life at 75.
She's never stopped acting
Mills' career was so active throughout the '60s that it did slow down as the years went on—but that's not saying much. Some of her roles as an adult have included the '80s TV series Good Morning, Miss Bliss (which later was reworked into Saved by the Bell), three Parent Trap movie sequels, and appearances on The Love Boat and Murder, She Wrote. More recently, she starred in the series Wild at Heart from 2007 to 2012. In 2014, she appeared in Midsomer Murders. Last year, she was in the British movie Last Train to Christmas.
"I don't think I'll ever retire," Mills told the Mirror in 2019. "For me, the need to work is constantly there."
She published her memoir last year.
In 2021, Mills published her memoir, Forever Young. The book covers her experience as a child star, including losing a large portion of the money she made as a child due to a tax law in England at the time. She also shares details about relationships, including her marriage to filmmaker Roy Boulting and a date she went on with the Beatles' George Harrison.
"The Hollywood that I knew has gone, so I really enjoyed going back and visiting those places in my memory," she told The Hollywood Reporter of writing the book. "It was sort of agony and ecstasy."
She's a breast cancer survivor.
Mills was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and has been in remission for many years.
"I felt like I was in a surreal painting," Mills told Closer of being diagnosed. "My reaction was: This is the biggest challenge I've ever had. I'm going to find out what I'm made of, and I probably need this because I'm going to learn a lot. You want to make it as easy as you can for the people you love, and that helps you deal with it."
Asked if she was in remission, she responded, "Absolutely. Remission sounds like, 'Oh well, it can come back.' No. It's over."
She's a grandmother.
Mills has four grandchildren through her two sons: Crispian Mills, who she shares with Boulting, and Jason Lawson, who she welcomed during her relationship with actor Leigh Lawson.
"I'm so lucky in that they all live less than an hour away from us," Mills told the Mirror of her family. "They are such a joy, and I take complete advantage of being a grandmother, and spoil them."
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She's in a long-term relationship.
Mills has been with her partner, actor Firdous Bamji, since 1997. When the Mirror asked why they never married, she responded, "If it ain't broken, why fix it? We are as good as married and feel as married as we could ever be."
She remains proud of her Disney days.
In 2020, Mills spoke with Disney's D23 about being named an official Disney Legend.
"It means a lot," she said, "because Disney means a lot. Walt [Disney] means a lot. My years working with Disney on the lot or other places in the world were wonderful experiences. It represents formative years of my life, and it's deeply embedded in my heart. I was so fortunate to have that start with this wonderful man and his wonderful studio, so it means a great deal."