Page 14 - Senior Scene April 2018
P. 14

Senior Scene® | April Issue
Tinseltown Talks
by Nick  omas
As one of the best-known child actors from the 1960s, Hay- ley Mills starred in a half-dozen Disney  lms including box-of ce hits “Pollyanna” and “The Parent Trap.” Now in her early 70’s, Mills continues to perform with a pref- erence for theater work.
“In January, I opened at the New York City Center on Stage II in the lovely Irish play called ‘Par- ty Face’ by Isobel Mahon,” Mills
explained recently while preparing for an evening performance. “It’s a sweet, funny, touching play. I knew immediately I wanted to do it when I read the script.”
Featuring an all-fe- male cast, “Party Face” is
set during a housewarming party where hilarity and personal con icts intertwine and ends in April (see www.
nycitycenter.org).
While her appearances in  lm and on television have
been rarer in recent years, Mills doesn’t rule out a return. “As an actor, you just don’t know what you’ll be doing next,” she noted. “But now I have 4 grandchildren and we
all live within an hour of each other, so I enjoy spending a lot
Hayley Mills puts on
her ‘Party Face’
of time with them.”
Reunions with her siblings are rarer.
“My brother Jonathan and his wife live in Tasmania
and run a fabulous Bed & Breakfast called Harpers on the Beach,” said Mills (see www.harpersonthebeach.com). “It’s just heaven there, but such a long way so I don’t get down often enough.”
Older sister Juliet Mills is also an accomplished  lm, television, and theater actress. “Juliet lives in California and I live in London, but we’ve toured together on the stage over the years.”
Both sisters began their careers as children, but were they rivals competing for the same roles?
“No, we never were,” said Mills. “She moved to Amer- ica as a teenager and theater became a big part of her career whereas I focused on  lm. So our careers took us on different trajectories.”
Despite the dominant family acting genes – their father was beloved British actor John Mills – Hayley says her father never pushed her into acting. When director J. Lee Thomp- son visited the family farm in Sussex to talk with Mills about his role in 1959’s “Tiger Bay,” Thompson was impressed by Hayley as she played in the garden.
“I was messing around pretending to do television commercials. At lunch, he suggested using me in the  lm, so I did a screen test.”
Barely a teen, her career took off after Tiger Bay’s suc- cess. Recognizing her talent, Walt Disney signed Hayley to a
MILLS continued on page 41
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