'Pollyanna' Star Hayley Mills Looks Happy on 77th Birthday – She Is a Doting Granny with Her 20-Years-Younger Partner
- Hayley Mills, with her gray hair, recently marked her 77th birthday.
- Best known for her roles in "Pollyanna" and "Summer Magic," Mills now enjoys a quiet life as a devoted grandmother.
- Her partner, who is 20 years her junior, has been supportive during a private illness she experienced.
Hayley Mills, a British actress, gained recognition at an early age after starring in the highly acclaimed 1960 film "Pollyanna." In 1961, Mills further showcased her talent in "The Parent Trap," captivating audiences once more.
However, as she entered her teenage years, the actress began to fear for the longevity of her career, recognizing that her fame relied on her youthful image.
Hayley Mills in "Summer Magic,"in 1963 | Source: Getty Images
This uncertainty about her future and the pressures of growing up in the public eye contributed to her development of bulimia, a struggle that persisted for many years.
In her 2021 memoir, "Forever Young," Mills candidly shares her experiences growing up in Hollywood, including her relationship with Walt Disney, who served as a parental figure.
Hayley Mills in "Pollyanna," in 1960 | Source: Getty Images
Throughout her career, she earned a substantial income, but by the time she gained access to her accounts, the British government had seized 91% of her earnings as tax in the aftermath of World War II. She mused:
"I never saw it. I knew it was there and one day I would have it, but it was just sort of a dream, and then one day the dream was gone."
Hayley Mills circa 1965 | Source: Getty Images
Continuing to work in film and on stage, Mills overcame the challenges of being an aging child star. She built a family with her partner, Firduos Bamji, who is 22 years younger than her. Today, at 56, the actress balances her career with her role as a doting grandmother.
Hayley Mills, circa 1960 | Source: Getty Images
At 77, Hayley Mills Prioritizes Grandkids Following Challenging Motherhood Experiences
Hayley Mills, who has built a life with her partner Firduos Bamji, experienced several ups and downs in her dating history. She was previously married to film producer Ray Boulting, with whom she shares a son, Crispian Mills.
The actress was also involved with actor Leigh Lawson, and the couple had a son named Jason Lawson.
Hayley Mills on July 15, 1986 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images
As her children grew up, Mills focused on her career, and in retrospect, she has expressed regret for not spending more time with them. She advises others to prioritize family over work when faced with a choice, sharing her personal experience:
"If there's ever any doubt about taking a job or spending time with your children — do the latter. Looking back now — I didn't. I spent too much time away. They've survived, and they're both wonderful men who I'm incredibly proud of, but they didn't have an easy time."
Hayley Mills and Jason Lawson on March 17, 2011 in New York City | Source: Getty Images
Having turned 77 on April 18, Mills is grateful for the opportunity to spend her golden years with her family. She admits to being a better grandmother than she was a mother, embracing her second chance with her grandchildren. She said, "I'm a much better grandmother than I was as a mother."
Mills has three grandsons and welcomed her first granddaughter in 2018. The actress finds joy in seeing a part of her children in these new family members.
Hayley Mills and Family on October 03, 2021 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
Similar to Ricki Lake, Mills proudly sports her natural gray hair. She celebrated her birthday surrounded by loved ones and shared a glimpse of the festivities with her fans. Mills posted a photo of herself waving to the camera on Instagram, thanking everyone for their kind birthday wishes:
"Thank you all so much for your sweet and thoughtful birthday wishes! Much love, Hayley xx ❤️."
Hayley Mills' journey highlights the importance of balancing family and career, as well as the value of learning from past experiences. Her candid reflections offer insight into her personal growth and the significance of cherishing time with loved ones.
Her Partner, 20 Years Younger, Provided Support during Her Battle with Cancer
In 2008, actress Hayley Mills was diagnosed with breast cancer on her 62nd birthday while spending a peaceful day by the Hudson River. The diagnosis came as a surprise, as she had recently undergone a routine checkup without any concerns.
Firdous Bamji and Hayley Mills on September 29, 2015 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
The unexpected news interrupted her tranquil day, and a team of doctors conducted several tests to determine the extent of the cancer. It was discovered that it had affected both of her breasts, leading to immediate surgery.
Mills decided to keep her diagnosis private to avoid a media frenzy and focus on her health. She informed only her immediate family and long-time partner, Firduos Bamji, who were all extremely supportive of her decisions.
The actress later opened up about her treatments, expressing her dislike for chemotherapy, which made her feel gravely ill. She said, "I could feel it draining me and killing me. I felt I was dying." Instead, Mills chose alternative treatments.
While acknowledging that her chosen path might not be suitable for everyone, Mills was content with the results. Following a challenging battle, she was declared cancer-free, similar to actress Jaclyn Smith. She emphasized that her fight would have been much more difficult without the support of her family and Bamji.
Mills and Bamji first met while working together on "The King and I" and began their relationship in 1997. They have been together for over two decades, attributing the longevity of their partnership to "respect, being able to fight and get over it. We don't take each other for granted!"
Hayley Mills' experience highlights the importance of support and understanding when facing a severe health issue like cancer. By sharing her story, she offers insight into the challenges she faced and the choices she made during her battle, emphasizing the significance of a strong support system in overcoming such obstacles.