Creator / Hayley Mills
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Chances are if you were a child in the 1960s, you saw Hayley Mills everywhere.

Born on 18th April 1946, the daughter of famed actors John Mills and Mary Hayley Bell, she followed in her parents' footsteps and took to the stage at a young age. Her film debut was at the age of eleven in the British crime drama Tiger Bay. It was in that where she was discovered by Walt Disney, who was desperately looking for an actress to play the lead role in Pollyanna. She got the part and, although the film was not a great Box Office success, she was signed to a six film contract with Disney. It was with Uncle Walt that she made another of her most famous films - playing both Susan and Sharon in The Parent Trap.

As is the case with many child actresses, Hayley tried to distance herself from her Disney roots as she got older. Roles such as a mentally-challenged teen in Sky West & Crooked, a virgin trying to consummate her marriage in The Family Way and the object of a stalker's lust in the horror film Twisted Nerve. She dropped out of the industry for a few years, before re-emerging in the 80s, once again working with Disney - filming three sequels to The Parent Trap. She was given a Disney Legends Award in 1998.

She's still acting on the stage to this day. She was also the final recipient of the Academy Juvenile Award in 1960, for her performance in Pollyanna.

Selected Filmography:

  • Tiger Bay (1959)
  • Pollyanna (1960) - Pollyanna Whittier
  • The Parent Trap (1961) - Susan Evers/Sharon Mc Kendrick
    • The Parent Trap II (1986)
    • Parent Trap III (1989)
    • Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon (1989)
  • Whistle Down the Wind (1961) - Kathy Bostock
  • In Search of the Castaways (1962) - Mary Grant
  • Summer Magic (1963) - Nancy Carey
  • The Chalk Garden (1964) - Laurel
  • That Darn Cat! (1965) - Patti Randall (final film for Disney)
  • The Moon Spinners (1965) - Nikky Ferris
  • The Truth About Spring (1965) - Spring Tyler
  • The Family Way (1966) - Jenny Fitton
  • Twisted Nerve (1968) - Susan Harper
  • Deadly Strangers (1976) - Belle Adams
  • Murder, She Wrote (1986) - Cynthia Tate
  • Good Morning Miss Bliss (1987-1989) - Miss Carrie Bliss
  • A Troll in Central Park (1994) - Hillary (voice)
  • Wild at Heart (2007-2012) - Caroline Du Plessis
  • Midsomer Murders (2014) - Lizzy Thornfield

Tropes relating to her work:

  • Ability over Appearance: invoked
    • The character 'Gillie' in Tiger Bay was meant to be a boy, but changed to a girl to accommodate Hayley.
    • Walt Disney likewise wanted an American girl to play Pollyanna. After screen testing hundreds of girls, his wife saw convinced him to fly out to London to meet Hayley. Pollyanna was then rewritten to be half British.
  • Contractual Purity: invoked Her contract with Disney was why she couldn't play the title role in Lolita. She also sought to shake this off by appearing nude from behind in The Family Way and topless in Deadly Strangers.
  • Fake American: invoked Half of her roles in America, varying in whether she's bothering with the accent or not.
  • Former Child Star: Subverted. For a while she was best known as Pollyanna and Susan & Sharon, but she has kept working in adulthood and carved out a respectable stage career.
  • It Runs in the Family: The Mills family is an acting one. Hayley and John were even the first father and daughter to win Oscars.
  • Playing Their Own Twin: invoked Famously for The Parent Trap. Walt Disney wanted two girls in the roles but was eventually persuaded to have Hayley play both.
  • Real-Life Relative: invoked She did Tiger Bay and The Family Way with her father John Mills.
  • What Could Have Been: invoked
    • Stanley Kubrick wanted her to play Dolores in Lolita but she couldn't accept it because she was under contract to Disney. Years later, she admitted she wished she had taken it anyway.
    • She was set to voice Princess Eilonwy in The Black Cauldron but Susan Sheridan ended up with the part.
    • A piece of concept art for Joy from Inside Out implies that she was designed with Mills in mind.