Iconic actress Hayley Mills shares personal memories from her storied childhood, growing up in a famous acting family and becoming a Disney child star, trying to grow up in a world that wanted her to stay forever young.
The daughter of acclaimed British actor Sir John Mills was still a preteen when she began her acting career and was quickly thrust into the spotlight. Under the wing of Walt Disney himself, Hayley Mills was transformed into one of the biggest child starlets of the 1960s through her iconic roles in Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, and many more. She became one of only twelve actors in history to be bestowed with the Academy Juvenile Award, presented at the Oscars by its first recipient, Shirley Temple, and went on to win a number of awards including a Golden Globe, multiple BAFTAs, and a Disney Legacy Award.
Now, in her charming and forthright memoir, she provides a unique window into when Hollywood was still 'Tinseltown' and the great Walt Disney was at his zenith, ruling over what was (at least in his own head) still a family business. This behind-the-scenes look at the drama of having a sky-rocketing career as a young teen in an esteemed acting family will offer both her childhood impressions of the wild and glamorous world she was swept into, and the wisdom and broader knowledge that time has given her. Hayley will delve intimately into her relationship with Walt Disney, as well as the emotional challenges of being bound to a wholesome, youthful public image as she grew into her later teen years, and how that impacted her and her choices--including marrying a producer over 30 years her senior when she was 20! With her regrets, her joys, her difficulties, and her triumphs, this is a compelling read for any fan of classic Disney films and an inside look at a piece of real Hollywood history.
Golden Globe Award-winning actor Mills debuts with a mesmerizing look at her "golden years" as a child star in the 1960s. The middle child of British actor Sir John Mills and playwright Mary Hayley Bell, Mills enjoyed an ordinary childhood until she was chosen at age 12 to star in family friend and director J. Lee Thompson's 1959 thriller Tiger Bay. That same year, Hayley signed a seven-picture deal with Walt Disney. Shuttling back and forth between boarding school and film sets and playing the leads in, among other movies, Pollyanna (1960) and The Parent Trap (1961) Mills rose to international fame by age 16, receiving an Honorary Oscar in 1961. "For better or for worse," she writes, "I'd literally grown up in Disneyland." With a novelistic eye for detail and a disarming sense of humor, Mills illuminates her extraordinary past while evoking the lost empire of mid-20th-century Hollywood. Along the way, she underscores how there was a price to be paid in family tensions; public growing pains; missed opportunities including the title role in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita ("to be a Disney Star meant being family friendly") and fraught relationships, such as her romance with the much older producer-director Roy Boulting. The result is a luminous work commensurate with the unforgettable movies that made Mills an icon.
I am loving listening to Ms. Mills book
it’s a virtual history of film making with lots of interesting facts about a whole lot of actors ,directors and film production ,intertwined with her own ups and downs of being a child actor and how that whole scene affected a young girl as she struggled through adolescence and insecurity to reach adulthood to come into her own . .
i enjoyed Haley’s films and try to catch them as they come up again and again . Thank you Ms. Mills for this delightful and poignant listen .
Could have been more interesting
There’s virtually nothing about what I hoping to read like actual experiences working on Pollyanna, parent trap and the chalk garden. There’s way too much about her father ‘s career which is pretty boring.