Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills (born April 18, 1946) is an Academy Award-winning English actress.
Mills is the younger daughter of the actor Sir John Mills and the playwright Mary Hayley Bell. She is also the younger sister of actress Juliet Mills, who appears on the U.S. soap opera Passions and played the Nanny in Nanny and the Professor.
Mills was 12 when she was discovered by J. Lee Thompson, who was looking for a boy at first to play the lead role in Tiger Bay. Walt Disney's wife, Lillian Disney saw her performance and suggested that Hayley be given the lead role in Pollyanna. That role of the "glad girl" who moves in with her aunt catapulted Mills to super-stardom in the United States and earned Mills a special Oscar.
Disney subsequently cast Mills as twins Sharon and Susan who reunite their divorced parents in The Parent Trap. In the film, Mills sings the hit song "Let's Get Together". Mills made four additional films for Disney in a four-year span, including In Search of the Castaways, Summer Magic, The Moon-Spinners, and That Darn Cat!. During her six-year run at Disney, Mills was arguably the most popular child actress of the era. Critics noted that America's favorite child star was, in fact, quite British and very lady-like. In 1998, she was awarded the prestigious Disney Legend award by The Walt Disney Company.
She was originally cast as Lolita Haze in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film version of Lolita. Walt Disney memoed to Kubrick that he felt the role was not up to Disney's wholesome standard, and the part eventually went to Sue Lyon.[dubious discuss]
After her contract with Disney expired in 1966, Mills starred in The Trouble with Angels opposite Rosalind Russell. Looking to break from her clean-cut, girl-next-door image, Mills went home to England to star in The Family Way. Though meant to be a light British comedy about a couple having difficulty consummating their marriage, a brief shot of Mills' bare bottom generated a certain amount of controversy upon first release, possibly because of her previous "family movie" background. Though harmless by today's standards, The Family Way hurt Mills' film career.
Later starring roles for Mills include the title character in Good Morning, Miss Bliss (the short-lived precursor to Saved by the Bell), and as Anna Leonowens in the Australian production of The King and I. In 1981 Mills starred in the television mini-series The Flame Trees of Thika based on Elspeth Huxley's memoir of her childhood in East Africa. She made her Off-Broadway debut in Sir Noel Coward's Suite in Two Keys in 2000 opposite American actress Judith Ivey.
In the mid-80s, Mills returned to The Parent Trap in a trio of TV-movies: The Parent Trap II, The Parent Trap III, and Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon.
Since 2007, Mills has had a prominent role in the ITV1 Sunday-night African vet drama Wild at Heart.
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