Hayley Mills is the younger daughter of
late actor Sir John Mills,
and the late playwright Mary Hayley Bell, who
suffered from Alzheimer's disease. She is the sister of
actress Juliet Mills,
who appears on the U.S. soap opera Passions,
and of director Jonathan Mills.
Mills was 12 when she was discovered
by J. Lee Thompson, who was looking for a boy
to play the lead role in Tiger Bay.
She went on to take the lead in several
other films, notably Whistle Down the Wind (1961).
Hayley starred in the Disney classic
Pollyanna, a story about a young girl who moves in with her aunt.
Walt Disney's wife, Lillian Disney, loved her acting, and
so she was contacted to participate in the Disney
film The Parent Trap. She played
a pair of twins who reunite their
parents after a long time,
and her acting earned her
a special Oscar. Other Disney
films in which she appeared included
In Search of the Castaways, Summer Magic
and That Darn Cat!. In 1998 she was awarded
the prestigious Disney Legend
award by The Walt Disney Company.
In 1971, when she was 25, she married Roy Boulting,
then 58, who was 33 years her senior.
They had one child, Crispian. Hayley and Roy
divorced in 1977, when she was 31 and he 64.
Crispian later became a singer known as Crispian Mills.
He was the lead guitarist for the defunct band
Kula Shaker (but who are rumoured to be reuniting in 2006). He is now front man for
Her second son, Jason Lawson, is the product of a 1970s relationship with British actor Leigh Lawson.
Mills has starred in many shows and plays since,
more notably as the title character in Good Morning, Miss
Bliss (the short-lived precursor to Saved by the Bell),
and as Anna Leonowens in the
British production of The King and I.
She made her Off-Broadway debut in Sir Noel Coward's
Suite in Two Keys in 2000 opposite
American actress Judith Ivey.