Hayley Mills


  1. Sue Lyon, Lolita, 1960.    
    Before falling for Sue Lyon – or her breasts, very large from age 13 – director Stanley Kubrick supposedly saw 800 nymphets…   Sandra Dee, 15 (Mom said no); Jill Haworth, 15 (No said Mom and Otto Preminger,  who had her under contract); Joey Heatherton, 16 (Dad said no); Jenny Maxwell, 19 (Elvis spanked her in Blue Hawaii;  the next year); and Tuesday Weld, 17. Three  others lived the role… Beverly Aadland, at 15, was the lover of Errol Flynn at  50!  – “we’d be perfect for the film!”. Germany’s Christine Kaufman, 15 at the time, wed the 20-year-older Tony Curtis at 18. And Walt Disney’s UK moppet,  Hayley Mills, 14, was sorry to miss the film (on Dad and Walt Disney’s orders); eleven years later she married her lover-mentor- director, Roy Boulting… 33 years her senior. Author Vladimir Nabokov vetoed Brigitte Bardot, far from his ”creature”; he’d obviously never seen her at a youthful 26, opposite veteran Jean Gabin. twice her age in En cas de malheur/Love Is My Profession. 1957. (James Mason was the same age, 53, in Lolita). Instead, Nabokov voted for Louis Malle’s Zazie dans le métro, 1960, Catherine Demongeot… aged ten!  (In 1977, Malle made his own under-age sex study, Pretty Baby – Brooke Shields at 12… the age of  the book’s “Lo. Lee. Ta.“). As for Sue Lyon…  “My destruction as a person dates from that movie,” she declared in 1996.  “Lolita exposed me to temptations no girl of that age should undergo. I defy any pretty girl who is rocketed to stardom at 14 in a sex nymphet role to stay on a level path thereafter.“  She suffered decades of mental instability, five marriages and abandoned a child – though less to do with the actual film than  with Kubrick’s  producer, James B Harris (32),  making her his mistress at age 14.
  2. Lori Martin, Cape Fear, 1961.    Having made her a star inher 1959 Tiger Bay debut,UKdirector J Lee Thompson badly wanted Hayley to be Nancy, teenage daughter of Gregory Peck and Polly Bergen.She was, however, contracted to Disney. And Uncle Walt wouldn’t let her play depraved games with Robert Mitchum… and she wouldn’t have saved the thriller from flopping and ruining Peck’s Melville Productions company.
  3. Pamela Franklin, The Lion, 1962.    They should have let her read this one…
  4. Karen Dotrice,  Mary Poppins, 1963. Walt Disney spent 30 years trying to wrest tje rights to PL Travers’ books from Samuel Goldwyn and CBS. On got them, he first  decided on Broadway queen Mary Marin is the  great British nanny  and  hs  biggest star of the moment, young Hayley Mills, to be one of her charges, Jane Banks.  Then, Julie Andrews entered Disney’s  life… and the rest Is, well, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!   I still remember having to take a train and several taxis to visit actor Roy Dotrice’s home, Greystone, deep in the Warwickshire  countryside (near Shipston-on-Stout!), to interview  his daughter, Karen, about the second of her 16 films. She was all of nine years old!
  5. Merrie Spaeth, The World of Henry Orient, 1964.    Took a full year to make up her mind, hence the star role switched from Rex Harrison to Dick Van Dyke to Peter Sellers. Spaeth never made another film, moving into media and politics at the FBI and… atthe White House.
  6. Lorrraine Power, The Golden Head, US-Hungary, 1964.    The co-prod was never released in the US. Not surprising after Richard Thorpe replaced original director James Hill, Lorraine (in her only film) replaced Hayley and George Sanders  substituted Lionel Jeffries.
  7. Samantha Eggar, Doctor Dolittle, 1967.    Considering the abusive Dr Rex Harrison (called Tyrannosaurus Rex behind his back) was 58.  Fox was none too sure who should be his  romantic interest.  His pal, Maggie Smith, was 34. His My Fair Lady stage and screen co-star Julie Andrews, 32.  Barbra Streisand (who would have punched out at his anti-Semitism)  was 25. Hayley was 21. “Yes, he was unkind and vitriolic and very mean-spirited,” recalled Eggar, 28, “but he was also very funn.  Until, of course, he turned on me, too.”
  8. Katharine Ross, The Graduate, 1967.  

  9. Susan George, Straw Dogs, 1971.    
    Sweet Sue was too strong –  heroic enough to save the day for Dustin Hoffman as her milque-toast husband… but wary, like others, of  how far director Sam Peckinpah wanted to push the rape scene. Hoffman confessed to making it just for the money but still objected to his Mr Milque-toast having such a nymphettish wife. Sweet little Sue, however, was made of sterner stuff. She fought Hollywood heavyweight Peckinpah and bravely said she’d quit rather than agree to his overly explicit portrayal of her rape.  Peckinpah gave in and kept his camera on her face, not her body.  Cuts by the UK censor then made the (three minute) sequence worse by actually implying sodomy.  (Irish censors cut the entire scene and a global video release was banned until… 2002). Jacqueline Bisset, Judy Geeson Linda Hayden, Judy Huxtable, Jennie Linden, Hayley Mills, Helen Mirren, Charlotte Rampling and Carol White were, inevitably,   also in the mix for Amy – the name of Sue’s future production  company.

  10. Susan Hampshire, The Pallisers, TV, 1974.   The BBC’s 26 chapters of various Anthony Trollope books were inspired, of course, by Aunty’s Forsyte Saga triumph in 1967 – underlined by Hampshire as Glencora Palliser, just as she’d been Fleur Forstye. Actually, Mills was first choice but her doctors felt it all too strenuous after giving birth to Crispin, while Hampshire’s medics felt it was just what she needed after tragically losing her expected child. As at chez Forsytes, she was in good company: Anthony Andrews, Roland Culver, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Roger Livesey, Anna Massey, Caroline Mortimer, Barbara Murray, Peter Sallis, etc.
  11. Susan Sheridan, The Black Cauldron, 1984.     The former Disney kid star was invited back to voice the young heroine Ellonwy. Not the usual Mouse House toon feature – all swords and sorcery, evil and revenge and no songs at all! That explains Tim Burton’s participation… in his last Disney job before flying solo.
  12. Amy Poehler, Inside Out, 2014.     Pixar made it. So, obviously, Disney released it – and wanted its legendary Hayey to voice Joy – one of the five emotions struggling inside the head of young Riley.



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  11