In January 2012 Hayley Mills revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer on her 62nd birthday in April 2008. Choosing to deal with her illness privately, Miss Mills secretly underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and, in 2010, was declared cancer-free.
Hayley Mills won the last Academy Award ever given for "Outstanding Juvenile Performance" for her title role in David Swift's 1960 film Pollyanna (Judy Garland and Shirley Temple were previous recipients of the award).
Even as a child, Hayley Mills called her boss, Walt Disney, "Walt."
Hayley Mills was the initial choice for the title role in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film version of Lolita. Her parents were put under a great deal of pressure to allow her to do it, even being offered a Renoir if they did so. But the role was seen as far from compatible with her Disney image and, still under contract to Walt Disney, the movie was turned down. The part eventually went to Sue Lyon.
On the day his second daughter was born, actor John Mills wrote this entry in his diary: "11:40 PM– Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills arrived, very fat, very sweet, told Mary [wife] not to put her back, the boy will have to wait."
Because Hayley Mills has never had the reputation of being punctual, on the day her father, John Mills, was to be knighted, as a safeguard her family arrived at Ms. Mills' home forty-five minutes earlier than necessary to pick her up on their way to Buckingham Palace. To their astonishment, for the first time in her life, Hayley was ready and waiting on the doorstep. Having over an hour to spare after arriving in London, the Mills family filled the time by taking a hugely pregnant (with her second child) and ravenous Ms. Mills out for a large breakfast.
In 1998, The Walt Disney Company presented Hayley Mills with the prestigious Disney Legends award, an honor recognizing those individuals whose imagination, talents and dreams have helped create the Disney magic. Recipients of the award, given annually during a ceremony at The Walt Disney Studios, are chosen by a selection committee appointed by Disney Legend Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney's nephew and Director Emeritus of The Walt Disney Company.
After her successful Walt Disney film debut in Pollyanna (1960), Hayley Mills signed a five-year contract with The Walt Disney Company. Under that agreement, Ms. Mills made five more Disney pictures, but, along with Pollyanna, receives no residuals from them.
While at a stoplight in the car she was riding in on Sunset Boulevard, teenage Hayley Mills spotted Elvis Presley lighting a cigarette in the next car. Hayley claimed "I nearly broke my nose on the window" when The King of Rock 'n Roll blew smoke in her direction.
On November 1, 2004, Hayley Mills and Tony Award-nominated American musical theater actor Brad Oscar co-hosted Only Make Believe, an annual concert to benefit the charitable organization of the same name, which enables hospital-bound children to enjoy the theater by bringing it to them. Among those featured were the talents of Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, and Bon Jovi keyboard player David Bryan.
Hayley Mills and her actor sister, Juliet Mills, appeared together on screen for the first time in a new ten-part series of the ITV African drama Wild at Heart (January 2009). Juliet and her character, Georgina, took over from Hayley, whose character, Caroline, Georgina's sister, returned to the UK between series. The Mills sisters last worked together on stage in a tour of their godfather Noel Coward's play, Fallen Angels in 1995.
Hayley Mills, along with Petula Clark, Patricia Neal, Altovise Davis (widow of Sammy Davis Jr .), Star Jones, Joy Behar, Meredith Vieira, Natalie Cole, and Donna Summer, was among seventy guests attending Liza Minnelli's wedding shower thrown by Grammy-winning songwriter Denise Rich, a friend of Minnelli's television producer fiance, David Gest. The party was held at Rich's Manhattan penthouse the Wednesday prior to the couple's March 16, 2002 weekend nuptials, those of which Ms. Mills was also in attendance.
The success of psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker's debut album, K, placed the group on Billboard's Hot 100 list in 1996, thirty four years after lead singer Crispin Mills' mother, Hayley Mills, made the chart with "Let's Get Together," from the Walt Disney film The Parent Trap.
Hayley Mills attributes her good health and mature beauty to her vegetarian diet and good exercise routines. Ms. Mills endorses the idea that physical well-being is necessary to attain emotional well-being.
Hayley Mills is an avid scuba diver, a vegetarian, and an animal rights activist.
In collaboration with rocker musician and then love interest Marcus Maclaine, Hayley Mills collected and co-edited My God: Letters from the Famous on God and the Hereafter (Pelham Books, 1988), a compilation of selected celebrities' perceptions of their Higher Power and the afterlife. Interviewees include former Beatle Paul McCartney, who is recorded as saying God is an abbreviated version of the word "good," and that "when you die, you conk out."
Although Hayley Mills claims she cannot recall the event, aspiring actor Michael Douglas took her out on a date on his sixteenth birthday.
When Elizabeth Smart, the Salt Lake City, Utah girl who was kidnapped from her bedroom on June 5, 2002, was found alive on March 12, 2003, she and her family watched her favorite movie, The Trouble with Angels (1964), on the day she was rescued and reunited with them. Out of all the films Hayley Mills made, The Trouble with Angels is also her favorite.
Hayley Mills is the sister-in-law of actor Maxwell Caulfield (Dynasty, 1981 and The Colbys, 1985), who is married to actor Juliet Mills (The Nanny and the Professor, 1970-1971).
During a lunch engagement at the farm of John Mills, director J. Lee Thompson lamented to the actor about the difficulty he was having casting the right boy for a part in his newest film, Tiger Bay. Through the farmhouse window, Thomspon saw a young girl play-acting in the yard. Sparked by her improvisations, the director decided to change the character's gender. In 1959, Hayley Mills' performance in J. Lee Thompson's thriller Tiger bay, opposite her father, John Mills, was met with rave reviews.
During the filming of Tiger Bay (1959), in which Ms. Mills made her screen debut, a then twelve-year old Hayley would throw stink bombs and itching powder from her hotel window during production breaks.
Chosen by her father Sir John Mills, screen legend Sir Laurence Olivier and revered playwright Noel Coward are Hayley Mills' godfathers.
In 1961, Hayley Mills won the Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer - Female.
Hayley Mills began her career as an actress in 1947 when she was an infant.
In the movie That Darn Cat! (1965), her habit of biting her nails precluded her from using her own hands in close-ups. A studio worker, Tricia Blain, who just happened to be hanging around the set watching the filming was selected to serve as a double in those shots that required close-ups of the actress' hands.
Hayley Mills: (on working with acting legend Alan Bates) Oh, he was lovely... I feel he was the most beautiful Jesus.
Hayley Mills: I became an actress before I even thought about what I'd be when I grew up.
Hayley Mills: I think my childhood, in a way, went on too long. It went on... it went a bit too long on film. It went on a bit too long in my own consciousness, and... that was a lot to do with the fact that I sensed people didn't particularly want me to become an adult, and that's when your sensible, steady family background comes in. But, um, it was my life, and that's the life I have. That was, that was my particular experience of, of growing up. And I am everything that I am now, and all my experiences have brought me here. And... (long pause) so, that's how it was suppose to be.
Hayley Mills: Walt Disney said to me once that what interested him most about making a movie was to show the best in the human spirit. Even though they perhaps tended to show things in a bit too rosy a light, it was a mistake, I think, to dismiss those films I did as just family movies and say, "Well, there was nothing in them that was going to upset anybody."
Hayley Mills: How has my career lasted so long, when so many others who started young have fallen by the wayside? I think that I was truly blessed with a pair of intelligent and very sensible parents. Parents who could listen, as well as talk.