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Forever Young

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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. Und 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.


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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. Und 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.

30 review for Forever Young

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Forever Young by Hayley Mills is a 2021 Grand Central Publication. Hayley Mills came from a family of actors and grew up, rubbing elbows with her parent’s friends and colleagues- like Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, for example. While her older sister did some stage acting, when Hayley was growing up, acting never really crossed her mind. In fact, she was pretty much a normal kid, doing normal kid things- and was a bit of a tomboy. In what was more a fluke, than anything else, she was cast in Forever Young by Hayley Mills is a 2021 Grand Central Publication. Hayley Mills came from a family of actors and grew up, rubbing elbows with her parent’s friends and colleagues- like Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, for example. While her older sister did some stage acting, when Hayley was growing up, acting never really crossed her mind. In fact, she was pretty much a normal kid, doing normal kid things- and was a bit of a tomboy. In what was more a fluke, than anything else, she was cast in one movie, but that appeared to be a one-off thing, which was fine with her, until she caught the eye of Walt Disney… and the rest- as they say is history. I was a huge fan of "Pollyanna". The cast was stellar and of course Hayley personified that role. I’m hazy on some of the other movies she did for Disney, except for “The Parent Trap” and her last one- ‘That Darn Cat’. I hate to admit this, but once I had outgrown Disney movies, I never thought about Hayley again until I had children of my own, and I found myself re-watching some of her Disney films. There is only one post- Disney movie that sticks in my mind now- “The Trouble with Angels”. I didn’t know one thing about her personally, except her father was in ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ and I’d seen a few of her sister’s movies over the years. In some ways, Hayley appeared to live a charmed life while growing up, but of course, there were issues. Still, she approaches the darker side of fame and her tough experiences candidly, without sounding embittered, excepting some resentful sounding passages about her alcoholic mother. Many of Hayley’s experiences sound so typical of Hollywood and the pressure that is placed on young performers, which takes its toll on their health. Hayley stayed in line a lot longer than most before finally going a little wild. A chance at playing 'Lolita', a controversial marriage to a much older man, and a religious epiphany, are among some of the surprises in the book, I knew nothing about. Her juxtapositions about losing that role, feeling pigeonholed as a Disney star, with Sue Lyons- who got the part - was interesting… and true. The book trails off when Hayley is pregnant with her first child- which might have been by design as the book’s intent was to focus on her life up until she is firmly cemented into adulthood- a plateau she struggled to obtain after her childhood was immortalized on film for many generations. Hayley’s life has encompassed so much more than what is etched in our childhood memories of her, but she is for many of us, despite all her efforts to be otherwise… Forever young.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook…read by Haley Mills …..16 hours and 16 minute TOO LONG…. This is a good time as any for me to practice writing a mini-length review…. There were plenty of parts I enjoyed in Haley’s memoir, but towards the end I was ‘spent’ (over it!) Like thousands of other nine-year-old girls of my generation…. Haley Mills was our childhood movie-star icon. I saw both ‘Pollyanna’ and ‘The Parent Trap’ a half dozen times each. Childhood- movie- star- Haley Mills had a subtle and powerful influence on man Audiobook…read by Haley Mills …..16 hours and 16 minute TOO LONG…. This is a good time as any for me to practice writing a mini-length review…. There were plenty of parts I enjoyed in Haley’s memoir, but towards the end I was ‘spent’ (over it!) Like thousands of other nine-year-old girls of my generation…. Haley Mills was our childhood movie-star icon. I saw both ‘Pollyanna’ and ‘The Parent Trap’ a half dozen times each. Childhood- movie- star- Haley Mills had a subtle and powerful influence on many of us - ‘pre-teen’ girls…including comfort from loneliness…. The 50 cents (movie-theater fee on Saturday mornings in Oakland) … was great entertainment value. I think I went about five Saturdays in a row to sit in the dark - alone - as a child to watch Haley. For that… my nine-year-old self is grateful. As an adult….listening to this audiobook- on and on — an ‘ON’ eventually just wore me down. WAY too much details about people I had zero familiarity and connection with. My ‘very’ favorite parts — were learning more about Walt Disney -himself….. and the process of making those amazing costumes for Pollyanna. As the famous saying goes….. “I liked it, but “I didn’t love it”! However, …..regardless of the length and the flaws…. this memoir resonated with my heart….. with an overall respect for Haley’s life journey, her self-reflection, and examination wholeheartedly. 3.5-3-7… rating up to 4stars of general humanitarian love!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    A solid celebrity/Hollywood memoir, if limited in scope. And it IS limited in scope--read if you're a fan of Hayley Mills' childhood/classic career and would like a view into that period of her life. From that perspective, I did enjoy it. However, the memoir cuts off at the point Hayley has her first child... which is in the late 70s! So you don't get the last 40 years of her life. Which, ya know, does she owe us every single spec of her life? No, but I was a bit surprised. I had been looking fo A solid celebrity/Hollywood memoir, if limited in scope. And it IS limited in scope--read if you're a fan of Hayley Mills' childhood/classic career and would like a view into that period of her life. From that perspective, I did enjoy it. However, the memoir cuts off at the point Hayley has her first child... which is in the late 70s! So you don't get the last 40 years of her life. Which, ya know, does she owe us every single spec of her life? No, but I was a bit surprised. I had been looking forward to that part--it sounds silly but because I was born in the 80s and came up with early Disney Channel subculture (I didn't have cable but I still knew the shows!), I was really hoping to hear about Good Morning Miss Bliss and The Parent Trap 2. Maybe even her perspective on seeing The Parent Trap remade for a new generation. That said, Mills' is a lovely writer--perhaps why I wanted to read more? No surprise her mother was a writer, and a bit of a surprise Hayley's never had a go at it before this with a novel or something. I was impressed at points, especially her journals when she was younger. Her maturity and imagination come through. And overall, it's lovely to spend time with her--she's very obviously a kind, lovely person. She has nothing but nice things to say about pretty much everyone, except for one actor she's very honest about being a misogynist. She also grew up surrounded by some seriously famous people (not just her dad) and it's kind of a trip to read her casually name-dropping "Uncle Dickie" (Richard Attenborough) or Larry and Joan--Sir Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright (and Vivien Leigh also gets a mention). She also speaks lovingly though realistically about Walt Disney--I liked how she recognized he was absolutely warm and wonderful on a personal level, but also a shrewd businessman. You also get insights into her parents and how she grew up--I wasn't super familiar with her parents, but I'm sure Brits will find it all pretty fascinating. A solid memoir to get a snippet of a bit of Old Hollywood (as it was fading in the 60s) and a childhood icon. I have a soft spot for Hayley Mills--I've always loved her! The one sadness for me is she keeps calling herself fat, and she does briefly acknowledge she had an eating disorder at the time, but like lord. She was never fat! Hayley was always gorgeous. I hate that she was made to feel that way :(

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jim Dooley

    The primary understanding that the Reader must have before beginning this book is that it does not contain everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Hayley Mills. There are gaps … sometimes significant gaps. Possibly the most notable example of this is when she leaves her husband to form a new life, and a second child appears. Who is the father of the child? Who did she meet? There is no mention within the main body of the book. Her film work after leaving her husband is curiously absent. So, The primary understanding that the Reader must have before beginning this book is that it does not contain everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Hayley Mills. There are gaps … sometimes significant gaps. Possibly the most notable example of this is when she leaves her husband to form a new life, and a second child appears. Who is the father of the child? Who did she meet? There is no mention within the main body of the book. Her film work after leaving her husband is curiously absent. So, if you are curious about her return to Disney (for THE PARENT TRAP revisits) or the popular mini-series, THE FLAME TREES OF THIKA, you’ll need to hope for further memoirs. (I was immensely curious as to what prompted her to agree to appear topless in DEADLY STRANGERS. This film was made during the period covered in the book, but it isn’t referenced at all. Of course, from her other comments throughout the book, it is fairly easy to piece the answer together.) Virtually the first two-thirds of FOREVER YOUNG: A MEMOIR covers her childhood through her teenage years. This includes her association with the famous Disney films. If this had been any other collection of memoirs, spending so much time on such an early period of life would be met with resentment. But, let’s face it. The Disney years were the ones that introduced most of us to Hayley Mills and kindled our fascination and affection for her. Among the strengths of the book are her details about what was going through her mind as she was growing up before our eyes, and delightful peeks “on the set” of many of these films. It is an “insider story” that only she could tell with excerpts from a journal she kept, along with granted access to the Disney archives (providing her with “behind-the-scenes” information she hadn’t previously known). All of this is told in an easy conversational style that makes the narrative flow. I can honestly say that I looked forward to each new reading session and my next “visit” with her. In addition, she had close associations with many famous and noteworthy people. (Her “date” with George Harrison during the height of The Beatles craze was quite a trip!) Walt Disney, Vivian Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Richard Attenborough and, naturally, John Mills are just a sampling of the luminaries presented in these pages. There are also the jaw-dropping revelations. I’ll save the bulk of them for future Readers. But, I can’t help revealing that she had been sought-after for the title role in Stanley Kubrick’s LOLITA. Now, there is a “What if?” that boggles the mind! And there are the “minor” revelations that I greatly appreciated, such as the one early on that Hayley is actually “a boy’s name.” A generous collection of photographs is also provided. It was quite a treat to wander through them. FOREVER YOUNG: A MEMOIR left me wanting more, yet grateful for what had been shared. I do think it will be much more appreciated by her fans (and fans of Walt Disney) than by the casual Reader who is experiencing a first encounter with Hayley Mills. If she writes another set of memoirs, I’ll be there for those, too.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    I love celebrity memoirs and The Parent Trap was one of my favorite movies to watch as a kid. So it was basically a no brainer I would pick up Hayley Mills' book detailing her life as a child star. It turned out to be a pretty interesting read and I'm relieved she comes across as humble and down to earth. Hayley is the daughter of the late actor, John Mills, and the younger sister of actress Juliet Mills. She attended boarding schools and interacted with her parents' famous friends but despite t I love celebrity memoirs and The Parent Trap was one of my favorite movies to watch as a kid. So it was basically a no brainer I would pick up Hayley Mills' book detailing her life as a child star. It turned out to be a pretty interesting read and I'm relieved she comes across as humble and down to earth. Hayley is the daughter of the late actor, John Mills, and the younger sister of actress Juliet Mills. She attended boarding schools and interacted with her parents' famous friends but despite that she doesn't have a sense of entitlement. Not even after she shot to fame when she starred in a bunch of Disney films like Pollyanna and In Search of the Castaways. Her life hasn't been all sunshine and roses though. Her mother was an alcoholic back in a time when such matters weren't really talked about much. Haley also endured a lengthy court battle to retain the earnings she made as a child actress. I enjoyed learning about her family life as well as her career. My only gripe about the book is the last 40 some years of her life barely gets a mention in her memoir. The book pretty much ends once she becomes a mother. A huge portion of her life isn't really covered and that was disappointing. Overall, it still is a good read and I would recommend it to fans of the actress.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ❀⊱RoryReads⊰❀

    4 Stars Hayley Mills has been a favorite since I was a little girl watching her films on The Wonderful World of Disney TV show in the late 1970s. It makes me happy to know that, after some struggles, she was happy in her life and didn't end up destroyed like so many other child stars. There are some great stories here about her life in Hollywood and London and I loved her encounters with famous people of the day. 4 Stars Hayley Mills has been a favorite since I was a little girl watching her films on The Wonderful World of Disney TV show in the late 1970s. It makes me happy to know that, after some struggles, she was happy in her life and didn't end up destroyed like so many other child stars. There are some great stories here about her life in Hollywood and London and I loved her encounters with famous people of the day.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    Childhood wouldn’t have been so golden without such films as Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, and That Darn Cat and then there was that clever, atmospheric Endless Night that gave me some good chills as a teen. So, when I spotted the memoir of the sunny-faced actress that made these and other gems possible, I was jazzed to pick it up and delve right in. Hayley Mills came of an acting father and a script-writing mother, a thespian older sister, film-making younger brother, and surrounded by daddy and m Childhood wouldn’t have been so golden without such films as Pollyanna, The Parent Trap, and That Darn Cat and then there was that clever, atmospheric Endless Night that gave me some good chills as a teen. So, when I spotted the memoir of the sunny-faced actress that made these and other gems possible, I was jazzed to pick it up and delve right in. Hayley Mills came of an acting father and a script-writing mother, a thespian older sister, film-making younger brother, and surrounded by daddy and mummy’s close friends in the trade. Unlike her sister, Juliet, Hayley hadn’t had any particular plans to get into acting until one of her father’s acquaintances spotted her and decided she was perfect for the main child actor part in British film, Tiger Bay. Even then she thought it was simply a lark and went back boarding school and life on the family farm without a backward glance. Hayley is the middle child and happy to let life happen around her. Her parents gave her and her siblings a stable, loving childhood though Hayley points out that their relationship and their work were priorities that she registered even as a young child. Tiger Bay was well received and was the vehicle that got her in Walt Disney’s eye. Disney wanted her for Pollyanna, but insisted on signing her to a six-film contract over the next seven years. Her parents were ambivalent about that on her behalf because it would lock her into a career that would take up the rest of her childhood, but they consulted Hayley after making it clear what would be involved. Eventually, she was making movie magic, dealing with adolescence, the woes of fitting school around an acting career, fame, and how it affected family life especially with her dad’s film career tugging the family in two different directions. Hayley grew up on and off screen, but found that living up to peoples’ ideals and her own made for a big challenge and finding her feet as an adult and an acting career as well as adult relationships would be hardest of all. This memoir hit the spot for me. Mostly, this is because I went in wanting the life of a child actress with enough personal and family background to set it in context. I didn’t read it to get a deep dive into another person’s life. Hayley was forthright about her family, her personality, her struggles, and her own choices that sometimes led to mistakes, but the memoir winds up when the child actress feels that she has finally finished with childhood and has a strong foothold on the path of adulthood with a relationship and a child as well as an adult career. Some might want to know what happened in the intervening years to the present, but that was not addressed and, I honestly didn’t expect it based on the title and blurb, but I thought I should mention it in case other’s do. It was enough to learn what such a life was like: behind the scenes on some films including her Disney ones, the rarified atmosphere she was in when she thought of Lawrence Olivier and Vivian Leigh as Uncle Larry and Aunt Vivian, when she was friendly with the Beatles including a date with George and went to the same parties as The Rat Pack, and some of her struggles that she had to overcome like feeling less educated than others since she never finished school, weight struggles, shyness and inadequacy, a mother’s depression and alcoholism, loss of her childhood earnings, and struggles of failed relationships. The author’s writing style took just the right tone. It was engaging and in balance with her personality and her experiences. There was some fun, some sad, and much in between. The end wrapped up swiftly, but in a logical place. I felt I learned a lot about Hayley Mills as a person and an actress so I was well-pleased with this memoir and would definitely recommend it to those who enjoy memoires of entertainment personalities or simply want to read about Hailey Mills growing up. I rec’d an e-ARC of this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    I enjoyed reading this Memoir – to a point – Ms. Mills seems to have left the reader somewhere in the middle of her life in the 1970’s. Ms. Mills began her acting career with Walt Disney before she was even a teenager. While she has only fond memories of Walt Disney the book shows how confusing and debilitating it is for a pre-teen to be thrust into the spotlight. It’s all rather sad and no wonder so many of them end up in such a bad way seemingly unable to cope with the realities of a real life I enjoyed reading this Memoir – to a point – Ms. Mills seems to have left the reader somewhere in the middle of her life in the 1970’s. Ms. Mills began her acting career with Walt Disney before she was even a teenager. While she has only fond memories of Walt Disney the book shows how confusing and debilitating it is for a pre-teen to be thrust into the spotlight. It’s all rather sad and no wonder so many of them end up in such a bad way seemingly unable to cope with the realities of a real life. Hayley Mills will forever be “Pollyanna” in my mind and it would seem the Pollyanna theme has stuck with her throughout her entire ‘real’ life. It amuses me to find reviewers of theatrical memoirs complain about ‘name dropping’. Hayley Mills is an actor (as was her father) and has been her entire life. Who did you think she was going to talk about? However, if you’re looking for nasty Hollywood gossip you won’t find it here.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I remember playing my VHS tape of Pollyanna, then rewinding and beginning again, over and over and over. Imagine my excitement to see a biography of this talented actress coming across my radar! Unfortunately, the pace of the book was plodding, filled with list of films and theatre performances and endless but brief comments about co-stars and co-workers that did not lend to the development of the story. What began as what I had hoped would be an introspection, ended as a dry retelling. I'm disa I remember playing my VHS tape of Pollyanna, then rewinding and beginning again, over and over and over. Imagine my excitement to see a biography of this talented actress coming across my radar! Unfortunately, the pace of the book was plodding, filled with list of films and theatre performances and endless but brief comments about co-stars and co-workers that did not lend to the development of the story. What began as what I had hoped would be an introspection, ended as a dry retelling. I'm disappointed that this didn't live up to they hype I had in my head. Thank you to Net Galley and Grand Central Publishing for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. #ForeverYoung #NetGalley

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Hayley Mills movies have been my comfort watch for many years. Pollyanna, Parent Trap, The Moonspinners, and Summer Magic. The Truth About Spring and The Castaways were favorites of my childhood as well. I think of her with a great deal of fondness. Even gratitude. This book did not change my feelings. When I was over halfway through the book, I couldn’t help it. I paused in my reading and looked at both The Moonspinners and Pollyanna. Because John Mills and his wife were so popular and respecte Hayley Mills movies have been my comfort watch for many years. Pollyanna, Parent Trap, The Moonspinners, and Summer Magic. The Truth About Spring and The Castaways were favorites of my childhood as well. I think of her with a great deal of fondness. Even gratitude. This book did not change my feelings. When I was over halfway through the book, I couldn’t help it. I paused in my reading and looked at both The Moonspinners and Pollyanna. Because John Mills and his wife were so popular and respected among their peers, the book is chock-full of references about the leading lights of British Stage and film. Many many were not just casual acquaintances but good friends. And because their family was so solid, Hayley was right there. We kids lived in the shadow of their great romance. It was the bedrock and stability of our life. We were molded to fit in with their lives, not the other way around. The other way around was unthinkable! Absurd! And yet that is precisely what was in the cards. If their twelve-year-old daughter was going off to make movies in “Horrorwood,” as Mummy called it, she would have to travel with me—and this would split them up. I felt a little surge of excitement as I leafed through the crisp pages [of Pollyanna], imagining the scenes on the big screen. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed my father had opened his script too—“Swiss Family Robinson.” It felt good, knowing we all had a job with Disney. Daddy was always happiest when he was working. And if he was happy, then Mummy was happy. If they were happy, I was happy. That was my logic anyway. Her films, even the later non-Disney ones, were full of the famous and revered. Famous not to everyone, but to those of my age who love classic films and are familiar with British cinema, I should say. Lots of Lords and Ladies! Even though she adored her parents, her brother, and especially her sister, Juliet, there was darkness as well. Her mother was a life-long alcoholic and prone to depression. She was high-functioning, usually, but not always. Hayley struggled with adolescent angst, identity, and body image but of course, it was magnified by her fame and profession. All of her Disney money, which would have given her more freedom in her work-life balance was lost to the rapacious British tax system. Her marriage to Roy Boulting proved harmful to her career and less than ideal, to say the least. She does talk about some controlling behavior, but she has a lot of good to say as well. There are a lot of encounters and anecdotes both great and small. Most are good-humored and all are written with the perspective of age and wisdom. Between the lines, though, a little sadness and regret do creep in from time to time. Roles not taken, love not pursued, her father’s lack of action in a few issues, being sent away for school. And especially her lawyer and family friend, who did not protect her trust. But she is always fair. and one senses that much is omitted that might not reflect too kindly on others. What shines through is that she seemingly was and is just as beloved by her friends and family as she was by her fans. Her childhood friends are still friends. Has anyone heard a bad word about Hayley Mills? Most of the book, and of the most interest to me, is about her Disney years. After that the book kind of flagged a bit. For me, it ended how and when it should have. In her '70s (!), she is in a good place now, and that makes me happy. When it comes to being parents, I hope my boys learn from my mistakes. But did I learn from my parents? My mother battled with alcohol her whole life. She never really got the better of it and she paid the price. My father never stopped loving her, nor she him, but their struggle served as a warning. Not necessarily of the perils of drink, but the dangers of failing to face one’s demons. So perhaps her battle had a positive outcome after all. Maybe that sounds a bit Pollyanna… There’s no doubt that playing that character at such an early age had a lasting influence on me. It made me aware of the importance of seeing the positive. But her son Crispian writes that the role of Pollyanna was perfectly cast....I think people will now realize that there is an element of Pollyanna in her that is very real. That was truth coming across on screen.” **4 1/2 stars** https://rebekahsreadingsandwatchings....

  11. 5 out of 5

    Therese

    Hayley Mills was not an ill-used child star. She was not an unhappy child. She was not sexualized prematurely. She wasn't #metoo'd be anyone. It's a rather nice story to hear nowadays. Protected by Walt Disney, who kinda owned her but ehhh...it was a different time, and living in England (not Hollywood) where her father was a respected actor, she had a humble life with very little scandal. She holds no ill-will toward anyone. Well...maybe Britain's Homeland Revenue that taxed her acting trust at Hayley Mills was not an ill-used child star. She was not an unhappy child. She was not sexualized prematurely. She wasn't #metoo'd be anyone. It's a rather nice story to hear nowadays. Protected by Walt Disney, who kinda owned her but ehhh...it was a different time, and living in England (not Hollywood) where her father was a respected actor, she had a humble life with very little scandal. She holds no ill-will toward anyone. Well...maybe Britain's Homeland Revenue that taxed her acting trust at...92%? I think? (The government took almost every dime she made from age 13-18, her most prolific years). That's just about the only villainy in her story. She's not even upset at that burglar who kept breaking into the house in her teens and stealing her underpants. She certainly holds no ill will against a slightly self-involved mother and father. She's mildly irritated at the man 30 years her senior that she married, but not any more than she's irritated at herself for marrying him. She narrates her stumble into super-stardom with such passivity. Acting? Yes all right I'll do that. No, whatever you wish to cast me in, I shan't make a fuss. All's well. Chin up and all that. We fell in love with her as a kid cuz she was so genuine...and ironically, I don't think it was an act. (Which may be why her talents didn't translate so well to adulthood and the self-awareness that comes with it). This isn't a story of struggle and passion. Tut-tut no. Let's not get all dramatic about things! The 70+ lady telling us about growing up between boarding school, fancy dinner parties for her parent's erudite contemporaries, and a few fun run-ins with the Beatles (but not Elvis...she's still sore about that...her double on Parent Trap actually DATED Elvis and all Hayley got was a stupid Star of Fame on Hollywood Blvd. ELVIS!) is just as gentle and cheerful as Pollyanna ever was.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gary Shapiro

    A wonderful book! Stories about Disney, The Beatles, Judy Garland, Maurice Chevalier and some great films are threaded through this coming of age memoir. Highly recommended!

  13. 4 out of 5

    SundayAtDusk

    Hayley Mills was in two of my favorite movies, The Trouble With Angels and The Parent Trap, and I'm sure I've seen all of her Disney movies. That must be why whenever I hear or read her name, I think: Wow! Hayley Mills!. Hence, I was obviously excited to see she wrote a memoir, and tried to get an ARC, but failed. That's okay, though, I got the book on Kindle the day it was released, and got the library to order a copy for other readers. It's an intelligent and interesting memoir about her life f Hayley Mills was in two of my favorite movies, The Trouble With Angels and The Parent Trap, and I'm sure I've seen all of her Disney movies. That must be why whenever I hear or read her name, I think: Wow! Hayley Mills!. Hence, I was obviously excited to see she wrote a memoir, and tried to get an ARC, but failed. That's okay, though, I got the book on Kindle the day it was released, and got the library to order a copy for other readers. It's an intelligent and interesting memoir about her life from her birth until she had her first son in 1973. (For those readers who want dirt and intimate details, look elsewhere.) Her father was the famous actor John Mills, her mother was writer Mary Hayley Bell. Miss Mills was supposed to be a boy, one who reminded her mother of her beloved father, but she still got the chosen name even though she was a girl. Much of the book is about family life and I kept thinking for a while that her parents would end up divorced, solely because they were an acting family. It was nice to see that never happened. As a child, Hayley Mills became a Disney superstar, and all the observations about Walt Disney were interesting, to say the least. He was like a father figure, although she did not need another father, and a keen businessman, who wanted to make sure she did not make bad choices in picking non-Disney movies. Her parents, too, were super cautious about what roles she would accept, and turned down the offer to have her play the lead role in Lolita(1962). She says she regrets that, although I'm not sure why, since Sue Lyon, who got the role, told her how badly it left her stereotyped. Miss Mills personal love life was mostly fantasy until she married a man old enough to be her father when she was 20. No, once again, she did not need another father, but probably found most guys her own age too unworldly, considering all that she had done and seen as a child and teenager. The marriage did not last, as all predicted, but did provide her with a cherished son. Those readers who are solely interested in her personal life, however, probably will be disappointed . . . or bored . . . that much of the book describes all the movies and plays she did. I found most of that information captivating enough, although at times I did skim some play parts. There's lots of famous and not so famous people mentioned, and none of it was name-dropping, in my opinion. Will Hayley Mills be writing another memoir covering the rest of her life? Who knows? I will definitely read it, though, if she does. This is certainly a classy memoir; with enough but not too much personal information; that provided an unassuming look at the life of a very famous British child actress, in a very famous family; who worked for a very famous American who made movies so many of us will never forget. Plus, personally, I thought The Trouble With Angels was one of the most perfect movies ever made. Wow! Hayley Mills!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan Chapek

    I enjoyed every page. Hayley Mills was an icon to me--and if you're reading this, Ms Mills, Chalk Garden is far and away my favorite--hang the critics. But I do wish you'd given your memoir a subtitle--to clue me in that you'd only really be covering your younger years. I'd still have read it, of course! I enjoyed every page. Hayley Mills was an icon to me--and if you're reading this, Ms Mills, Chalk Garden is far and away my favorite--hang the critics. But I do wish you'd given your memoir a subtitle--to clue me in that you'd only really be covering your younger years. I'd still have read it, of course!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Josh Emmett

    I'm being nice at two stars. I was excited to see this autobio (she is exactly one month older than me) and pre-ordered it on Amazon for $40 for the CDs because she was reading them. Reading them is right...a little acting would have helped. She sounds as boring as the book. Life is a lemon and I want my money back! I see they were selling it for $26 the other day. You can do shots for every time she mentions her father but you would be drunk very soon. She adored him. The movies they did togethe I'm being nice at two stars. I was excited to see this autobio (she is exactly one month older than me) and pre-ordered it on Amazon for $40 for the CDs because she was reading them. Reading them is right...a little acting would have helped. She sounds as boring as the book. Life is a lemon and I want my money back! I see they were selling it for $26 the other day. You can do shots for every time she mentions her father but you would be drunk very soon. She adored him. The movies they did together really didn't do well. She thinks they were better than her other movies. She complains about Walt Disney and then mourns his death as she was her second father. She mispronounced Peter McEnery's last name several times, is angry with him because he was a real actor and blamed him for the bad kiss in The Moon-spinners. She is positive Ian McShane wanted to "get into her pants for another notch on his belt." I doubt it. All she remembers about Trouble with Angels, a very fav of mine, is that it was about a bunch of young girls who were novices trying to be nuns. Hmmm...NOT! She quits the book in 1971! That's it, other than mentioning that as a grandmother you can feed sweets to your grandchildren until they get sick and then send them home with their parents. Ewww. She did have two children, but as to when or with whom she had the second one, eh. Quotes from Amazon are running from 'where is the rest of the book?' to 'you can find out more about Hayley Mills from Wikipedia or Google.' The main complaint is name-dropping. However, the only people she is gaga over are male and female actors who are...her father's age. Oh, and her mother was an alcoholic, but that's okay. And her parents had bad management, so she did too, and the gov't bilked her out of her money at 18 and the manager bilked her out of the rest through lawyers. She is STILL B-I-T-T-E-R. Suck it up, buttercup, you are 75! Not even a mention of Saved by the Bell...probably because it was originally titled Good Morning, Miss Bliss and was cancelled after 13 episodes. Of course, Saved by the Bell is still around and a cult classic. It was her so-called acting. Yes, like Carly Simon, Hayley is another spoiled rich girl who never grew up. //I bought and owned the CD version of this book but have passed it on, free, for others to listen to. At least they don't have to pay for it. Ok...now I am B-I-T-T-E-R about my $40!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I loved Hayley Mills as a child and saw all her movies. This book concentrates on her life growing up with her famous parents, John Mills, and actor and his wife Mary, a screen writer. Her parents knew all the famous actors and actresses in England and were friends with many, including Lawrence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. In her first movie, Tiger Bay, she was cast because of a family connection and she had no acting experience. Walt Disney saw this movie and flew to London to cast her in Pollyana I loved Hayley Mills as a child and saw all her movies. This book concentrates on her life growing up with her famous parents, John Mills, and actor and his wife Mary, a screen writer. Her parents knew all the famous actors and actresses in England and were friends with many, including Lawrence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. In her first movie, Tiger Bay, she was cast because of a family connection and she had no acting experience. Walt Disney saw this movie and flew to London to cast her in Pollyana, and the rest is history. She received an honorary Oscar for Pollyanna, but she was asleep in bed--her parents didn't let her know at the age of 14. I am hoping she writes another book as this one leaves off 40 ago with the birth of her first child.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    A must read for film buffs and Disney fans alike! This book gives you not only an intimate look into the adolescence and early film career of Hayley Mills (sorry to other fellow Saved by the Bell fans--no Miss Bliss in this book!), but also into the careers, characters and realities behind many of the era's stars and films. Mills' stories on Walt Disney, Rex Harrison and even a date with a Beatle are highlights that support the reader through a heartfelt early memoir. I say early memoir because t A must read for film buffs and Disney fans alike! This book gives you not only an intimate look into the adolescence and early film career of Hayley Mills (sorry to other fellow Saved by the Bell fans--no Miss Bliss in this book!), but also into the careers, characters and realities behind many of the era's stars and films. Mills' stories on Walt Disney, Rex Harrison and even a date with a Beatle are highlights that support the reader through a heartfelt early memoir. I say early memoir because this does not go into Mills' life beyond having her children. A wonderful ending point for this book, but left me wanting more, as Hayley Mills' is as gifted as a writer as she is on the screen. This memoir includes journal entries from Mills' youth, which are eloquently written, making me astonished that we have not seen writing from Hayley Mills sooner. Her writing is simply superb. Some of my favorite scenes dealt with the realizations only discovered by having access to the Disney archives later in life. I also enjoyed how this seemed to be a child star up-bringing where the parents (also in the industry) truly attempted to do the very best they could for their family and for their child star daughter. I walk away from this read loving Hayley Mills more than I already did. I am ready to put Pollyanna on the TV, but more than anything, ready for Book 2!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Gareis

    Five things about Forever Young by Hayley Mills 5/5⭐️s 1. Heartfelt 2. Honest 3. Interesting 4. Gracious 5. I loved this simple recounting of Mills’s life and career. She was a beloved resident of my childhood imagination and now, as an adult, I adore how dynamic and fleshed out and human this memoir has made her for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hailey Hudson

    “I felt life waiting, like a huge map laid out before me without any roads or tracks on it… There was so much out there, so many dreams to follow and adventures to be had.”

  20. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I really enjoyed listening to Hayley read this, but I was disappointed that she really only covered the first 30 years of her life. She made it up to the birth of her first child and the end of her first marriage but then nothing much after that. I would have loved to have heard about her time with all three Parent Trap sequels, her time on Good Morning Miss Bliss, and her other stage work, but alas nothing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Estelle

    I absolutely loved this memoir. Highly recommend the audio, which is read by Hayley. As a major Disney fan, very cool to wear some new Walt stories and hear his letters. I had no idea how involved he was in Hayley's career. It's also hard for me to wrap my head around Hayley being seen as a Lindsay Lohan or a Britney Spears of the 50s/60s but it's absolutely the truth as she grows up in the public eye. I hope there is a part two. As a note, I do work for the company that published this memoir and I absolutely loved this memoir. Highly recommend the audio, which is read by Hayley. As a major Disney fan, very cool to wear some new Walt stories and hear his letters. I had no idea how involved he was in Hayley's career. It's also hard for me to wrap my head around Hayley being seen as a Lindsay Lohan or a Britney Spears of the 50s/60s but it's absolutely the truth as she grows up in the public eye. I hope there is a part two. As a note, I do work for the company that published this memoir and received a complimentary code to listen.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zibby Owens

    Hayley Mills is one of the biggest Hollywood legends from the 1960s. She was born into a famous entertainment family and eventually became a prominent child star at Disney Studios. This memoir gives us a glimpse into that life as a child star. The author talks about the pressure of remaining “forever young” (hence the title) and the complexities she faced from a show business family. At the age of 14, Hayley received the last special Oscar for child actors. But when her career peaked at 28, she Hayley Mills is one of the biggest Hollywood legends from the 1960s. She was born into a famous entertainment family and eventually became a prominent child star at Disney Studios. This memoir gives us a glimpse into that life as a child star. The author talks about the pressure of remaining “forever young” (hence the title) and the complexities she faced from a show business family. At the age of 14, Hayley received the last special Oscar for child actors. But when her career peaked at 28, she started an entirely new life as a wife and mother. One of the things that I thought was strong in this book was how the author created detailed scenes and a true sense of place, especially around Walt Disney's studio and The Dorchester Penthouse. The author did a fantastic job of inserting us into every unique moment, whether she's dating George Harrison, going to school, or with her sister. It was as if we experienced her life along with her. A beautiful quote from the book is when the author wrote, "To say I went through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole would be putting it mildly. At the age of twelve, my life was tipped on its head, and I was plunged, literally, into Wonderland, often feeling very much like Lewis Carroll's bewildered Alice. Perhaps that's just how it is to grow up. One minute, you're free and innocent, full of the joys of life, and then suddenly, you're struggling to make sense of anything. I had some amazing luck and good fortune, but it all came at a price. The sole purpose of every young girl should be to become a happy, strong, and well-adjusted woman, but growing up is tough at the best of times, let alone when a multimillion-dollar career depends on you remaining a child. Writing about it sixty years on, I wonder whether this book is perhaps my first real chance to understand and take ownership of the strange and remarkable things that happened to me and to that young girl who went through the looking glass." To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/hay...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hailey

    Wow a delightful read! I've always had an immense amount of respect for Hayley, and now the level of respect I have for her is off the charts! I loved learning more about her childhood and what it was like being a Disney star. I'll admit when I think of her, I picture her in Pollyanna. It's true the audience wanted her to be a child forever but that's not how things go! Overall this is a thorough and enjoyable read! I really loved the audio, narrated by Hayley Mills herself! Wow a delightful read! I've always had an immense amount of respect for Hayley, and now the level of respect I have for her is off the charts! I loved learning more about her childhood and what it was like being a Disney star. I'll admit when I think of her, I picture her in Pollyanna. It's true the audience wanted her to be a child forever but that's not how things go! Overall this is a thorough and enjoyable read! I really loved the audio, narrated by Hayley Mills herself!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Hayley Mills, born into a famous acting family, shares memories from her early career working for Walt Disney to her transition into adult roles. It was interesting to find out more about this iconic performer whose life was not always sunshine and roses. A marriage to a controlling abusive man much older than her nearly destroyed her career, the joys of motherhood to her two sons and her recollections of the famous people she worked with or encountered made this a very heartwarming and enjoyabl Hayley Mills, born into a famous acting family, shares memories from her early career working for Walt Disney to her transition into adult roles. It was interesting to find out more about this iconic performer whose life was not always sunshine and roses. A marriage to a controlling abusive man much older than her nearly destroyed her career, the joys of motherhood to her two sons and her recollections of the famous people she worked with or encountered made this a very heartwarming and enjoyable memoir.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anabella Shay

    A well written memoir. It was really good. I’ve always loved Hayley Mills.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Debra Belmudes

    3 1/2 stars

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Ward

    I found this book to be interesting, and certainly informative about the author's life. But I found all the name dropping a little tedious, and the ending rather disappointing - what about her life up to now? It was a quick summary, rather than a more interesting story of that. But she certainly had an interesting childhood. I'd recommend it for anyone who remembers her movies, especially the Disney ones. I think I might go hunt for a couple of them on the Disney Channel... I found this book to be interesting, and certainly informative about the author's life. But I found all the name dropping a little tedious, and the ending rather disappointing - what about her life up to now? It was a quick summary, rather than a more interesting story of that. But she certainly had an interesting childhood. I'd recommend it for anyone who remembers her movies, especially the Disney ones. I think I might go hunt for a couple of them on the Disney Channel...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    This is a long, yet interesting memoir about the early life of Hayley Mills. I listened to it, which was written and read beautifully by Hayley herself. Obviously from a privileged upbringing, we learn about her childhood film roles and her love of Walt Disney. If you don’t like name dropping this isn’t for you but I loved hearing about the famous people she mixed/worked with. Names like George Harrison, Vivien Leigh, Tony Curtis, Ian McShane, Oliver Reed to name but a few. She is honest about h This is a long, yet interesting memoir about the early life of Hayley Mills. I listened to it, which was written and read beautifully by Hayley herself. Obviously from a privileged upbringing, we learn about her childhood film roles and her love of Walt Disney. If you don’t like name dropping this isn’t for you but I loved hearing about the famous people she mixed/worked with. Names like George Harrison, Vivien Leigh, Tony Curtis, Ian McShane, Oliver Reed to name but a few. She is honest about her closeness to her parents and her love of her job and she feels guilty about how easy things came to her at times. This ends when she has her first baby so there is a lot missing but that didn’t bother me. I really enjoyed listening to her.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Childhood Movie Star Haley Mills writes a very sweet book about her life from childhood to 1978. She is the daughter of two great actors and an acting sister. Her invitation to join Disney studios makes her a child star. Very nice. Autobiography.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    With the revelations about her upbringing, I’m surprised that Hayley Mills thinks she had a normal childhood. I certainly didn’t see it as normal. This autobiography has lots of information about other actors and actresses, and it is opinionated, but it’s still slightly interesting because it features a well-known actress and her views at several stages of her life. I felt somewhat sorry that her preteen and teenage years were not happy when she wasn’t acting.

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