Hollywood starlet Donna Mills, as a single mother, uprooted her daughter Chloe Mills when she was only a child in Los Angeles. But Donna did not remain single for long. Though she has never been married, she has been with her lover for over a decade.
Actress Donna Mills was born in December 1940 in Chicago, Illinois. Donna began her acting career in television and gained recognition with her stints on "The Secret Storm" and the Broadway show "Don't Drink the Water" that same year.
The "False Arrest" star made her film debut in 1967 when she starred in the thriller movie "The Incident," playing Alice Keenan.
Donna Mills and Richard Holland during 1986 Femme Awards at Mortimer's Restaurant in New York City, New York. / Source: Getty Images
Donna's most notable role is Abby Fairgate from the 80s primetime soap opera "Knots Landing." She has bagged the Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Villainess for the role in 1986, '88, and '89.
The blonde beauty played Fairgate for nine years, left the show to pursue other interests, and went to star in television films, such as "Outback Bound" and "Runaway Father."
DONNA'S LIFE AS A 'ONE-MAN WOMAN'
When speaking about her memorable character of Abby Fairgate, Donna revealed that the steamy love scenes she did were ruining her love life. Her boyfriend Richard Holland got jealous, but she swore to be a "one-man woman."
Donna's lover Holland is a successful producer and singer Chaka Khan's former husband. He produced films such as "Cong" and "Licence to Kill." Donna confessed how the romantic scenes she portrayed affected her real-life relationship with him:
"He is kind of jealous. He doesn't like to watch me do love scenes. He realizes that it's all playacting, but he doesn't like to watch it. He says that it puts an image in his mind that he doesn't like."
Donna Mills and Richard Holland during The 44th Annual Golden Globe Awards at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. / Source: Getty Images
The challenging time she had explaining her work to Holland made her realize that her acting career would be disastrous to her love life, making marriage nearly impossible.
Donna said performers have difficulty staying married because of their demanding careers, including her on the list. She stated an actress's biggest obstacle is finding a man who could handle the long periods of separation and time demands:
"Men get so possessive of me which is unfortunate. But I guess this business makes them insecure. It's difficult to find somebody who will put up with it all."
BECOMING A SINGLE MOM AT 54
Though Donna found fulfillment in her career, she took an 18-year hiatus to find an even greater purpose and became a mom. In People's May 2022 issue, the "Fire!" star openly talked about motherhood in her 50s after adopting her daughter Chloe Mills.
"I was very concentrated on my career, but I realized something was missing at a certain point – it was a child. So, I went after it. I adopted her when she was four days old," Donna revealed, adding:
"By that time, I was 54, and people said, 'You're going to be so old to have a little toddler running around.' I never felt it, I never felt older than the other mothers who were probably in their 20s."
Donna recommends having kids later in life instead of earlier to be fully invested in their careers through the early stages of their lives. As a first-time mom, she partly worked for the first couple of years and took Chloe wherever she went.
However, when Chloe started school, she decided to give her full attention and stopped working altogether. Donna said there was no way she would go out of town for two months with an infant while emphasizing that she did not become a mom only to give her away to a nanny.
MEETING LOVE AT 61
Years later, Donna met someone whom she pursued a romantic relationship with. During an appearance on "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" The mother of one admitted that rich men do not appeal to her.
The reason is that they would want power, which she would wish to have as well. So, she finally found a man named Larry Gilman, who gave her power without his being taken away.
Donna has been in a long-term relationship with Gilman since 2001. He is a New York native, born in April 1950. Like his significant other, Gilman is also a veteran actor and a producer.
Gilman has starred in TV shows such as "The Texas Ranger" and "Secrets." Including movies such as "The Woman in Red" and "Cool Runnings."
He resides with Donna in Beverly Hills, California, in what she deems her "forever home." Donna met Gilman two years after relocating to Los Angeles with her then-six-year-old child.
INSIDE DONNA'S FOREVER HOME
Donna Mills' English-style cottage house, pictured here is her dining room. / Source: YouTube/@LosAngelesTimes
The "Play Misty for Me" star moved into an English-style cottage in the Brentwood neighborhood, built-in 1928. "The canyon used to be a botanical garden. There's something peaceful about it that I love," Donnaexplained
to Closer Weekly in May 2015.
When the television star and her adopted daughter Chloe moved in 14 years ago, "I said, 'This is my forever house,'" Donna stated. In July 2017, she invited the Los Angeles Times into her abode and talked about her favorite space, the gold-painted dining room.
An up-close of Donna Mills' chandelier in her gold-painted dining room. / Source: YouTube/@LosAngelesTimes
Pictured is Donna Mills' credenza showcasing her antique collection. / Source: YouTube/@LosAngelesTimes
A wooden cabinet in Donna Mills' dining room hosting her antique plates. / Source: YouTube/@LosAngelesTimes
Donna said she loves hosting friends in the space and enjoys the candlelight at night because it makes the room glow and brings out the warmth.
When asked about the effect of the lights in the evenings, she said, "In candlelight – magical. We don't need to put the lights on unless we want to see our food better." Donna talked about her wooden table when pointing out interesting pieces in the dining room.
"The table is from Mulligans in Los Angeles. It used to be the kitchen table at my old house. I've had it for almost 30 years. It has a special coating on the surface so you can place anything on it, and it won't stain. I want to put it on everything, but they won't tell me what's in it," she explained.
Donna also touched on the feeding bin in the room, sharing, "It was my boyfriend's and is what they use on farms to feed the animals. I use it as a serving table."
When asked if she mainly utilizes the space for entertaining, the "Turnover" star divulged: "We've done Thanksgiving here with 20 people. I love setting a beautiful table. It's like art. I have, I don't know how many sets of dishes."
Her dining room has a rectangular wooden table with dining chairs covered in off-white covers. Donna and Gilman's home consists of four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. The property features a pool and a tennis court.
Next to the window in her dining space is a wooden console that hosts her candlelights and above the dining table is a chandelier. Donna also has a freestanding console that places her antiques and candles.
Against the wall is her wooden credenza, where she has all her antique plates on display. The dining room consists of wooden floors.
Donna has a small gym room painted with a brown color where she rides her Peloton bike. She placed all her family portraits around the walls.
In the lounge area of her home is a brown carpet with a matching U-shaped couch. It's an open space where her pet dogs can comfortably take a nap throughout the day too.
DONNA HAS THE SWEETEST RELATIONSHIP WITH HER PARTNER AND DAUGHTER
In September 2015, Donna revealed to Closer Weekly that Gilman had made a romantic gesture for her in their home. The media trainer made his beloved a vineyard.
"Larry planted a vineyard for me last year. He's really such a good guy," she gushed. Of their vineyard, Donna mentioned that it was only a year old and that while they had grapes, they did not have wine grapes yet. She also disclosed that they planned on making wine in the future made from their California grapes.
Moreover, Donna said Chloe is the best daughter a mother could ever ask for. The Hollywood star posted a photo of them embracing and captioned the post: "It's National Daughters Day! I love you to the moon and back, my bunny." Donna shared that she and her child are still close, stating:
"We see each other at least once a week, and we talk every day or text."
On Mother's Day in May 2021, the "General Hospital" alum posted a video of her and Chloe dancing. The proud mom said that her daughter was her favorite dance partner and the reason why she got to celebrate the special day.
Chloe was born in September 1994 and is now a model and influencer based on her social media activity. She boasts 14.5k followers on Instagram and is a member of the Soho House in Malibu, California. Chloe is currently dating musician Bailey Joshua.