logo
Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Donna Mills Paused Career for 18 Years to Raise Child Alone despite Being Criticized for Becoming a Mom at 54

Oyin Balogun
Jul 26, 2022
11:10 A.M.
Share this pen
FacebookFacebookTwitterTwitterLinkedInLinkedInEmailEmail

All the money and fame were not enough compensation for Donna Mills when she fell in love with motherhood. Despite being in her fifties, the actress determinedly pursued her hopes of becoming a mother, giving up her career to focus on parenting.

Advertisement

Donna Mills found fame early in life. Her acting career received a fillip after she starred in "Knots Landing." Simultaneously, her love life was eye-catching. Although she was never married, Mills became committed to long-term relationships and only dated twice.

Her first high-profile romance was with Chaka Khan's former husband, Richard Holland. Holland, a screenwriter and advertising exec was six years her junior, but the couple remained inseparable for five years.

Studio portrait Donna Mills stars as Abby Cunningham, in the CBS television series "Knots Landing." | Source: Getty Images

Studio portrait Donna Mills stars as Abby Cunningham, in the CBS television series "Knots Landing." | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

They lived together mostly and sometimes returned to their homes, but according to Holland, there was no commitment to marriage.

Mills did not seem bothered with such a topic at the time, and she firmly established her reason. "I don't see any more security in being married than in not being married," she said.

After their relationship failed, Mills became romantically involved with Larry Gilman, and as expected, the actress maintained the same mindset towards marriage.

Donna Mills on November 04, 2021 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

Donna Mills on November 04, 2021 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Interestingly, the pair have been together since 2001, despite never being engaged or married. This unique love story is between a one-time famous blonde star and a veteran actor/producer.

Like his beau, Gilman has a well-padded resumé as a Hollywood star. He is notable for featuring in numerous on-screen productions, including series and films.

Donna Mills and Larry Gilman attend the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix's "The Unforgivable" at DGA Theater Complex on November 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Donna Mills and Larry Gilman attend the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix's "The Unforgivable" at DGA Theater Complex on November 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Fortunately, Mills had a good relationship and prosperous career, but the actress spent most of her life building her success story that she forgot about motherhood.

When she realized that there was a missing piece in her life, Mills was already fifty-four. Still, she courageously opted to be a mother to an adorable daughter.

MILLS BECOMES A MOTHER AGAINST CRITICISMS

Advertisement

The "Knots Landing" star was engrossed in her achievements, but even with the fame and fairytale romance, Mills was convinced that she needed to have something. Once the actress narrowed it down to motherhood, she gave it her all, unrelentingly, until she became a mother. Mills admitted:

"I was very concentrated on my career, but at a certain point, I realized there was something missing — it was a child."

Advertisement

During her process of motherhood, many naysayers discouraged the then 54-year-old. They criticized her decision, adding that she was too old to care for a baby.

Despite the discouragement, Mills was determined to become a mom, which resonated with her mind. "I never felt older than the other mothers who were probably in their 20s," she recalled.

MILLS'S SACRIFICES TO RAISE A CHILD

Actress Donna Mills and adopted daughter Chloe pose for a picture during "Merv Griffins 7th Annual Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony and Live Auction of Trees" December 12, 2000 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

Actress Donna Mills and adopted daughter Chloe pose for a picture during "Merv Griffins 7th Annual Christmas Tree Lane Lighting Ceremony and Live Auction of Trees" December 12, 2000 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Eventually, Mills adopted a girl whom she cared for and nurtured ceaselessly. During the first few years, she juggled motherhood and her career. However, when her child started school, the actress excused herself from the film industry for nearly two decades.

Mills was more concerned about being present for the young girl instead of chasing after recognition or money. She was also conscious of raising her offspring without the intrusion of a nanny. The "Knots Landing" star admitted:

"I took off 18 years. I didn't work. And I didn't become a mother to give her to a nanny."

Actress Donna Mills and daughter Chloe Mills arrive at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards held at Gibson Amphitheater on April 19, 2009 in Universal City, California | Source: Getty Images

Actress Donna Mills and daughter Chloe Mills arrive at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards held at Gibson Amphitheater on April 19, 2009 in Universal City, California | Source: Getty Images

Advertisement

Despite parting with what seemed like her first love— acting, Mills was not bothered. She preferred being a stay-at-home mom at the time it happened.

The actress revealed that the timing was perfect, even though she was more advanced in age. She also advised women who would prefer to build their careers, to have a child "later in life" because it is "better than having a child early."

Advertisement

Amid the criticisms, what mattered most to Mills was her connection to her daughter, Chloe. Being a mother was to share experiences with her younger versions, and it remains the best gift she got out of life. In her words:

"I became a mom because I wanted to be with her. I wanted to experience all the things you do with a child, having her was the joy of my life. I feel like it's the best thing I ever did"

Advertisement

In the same interview, Chloe nodded to her mom's parenting skills. The younger Mills mentioned that she never felt her mom's absence as a child. The "Knots Landing" star was always present in every activity, including shows and tennis matches involving her mini-me.

MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOND

Advertisement

Mills's adopted child was only four days old when she got her; since then, they have grown inseparable. The duo acts like best friends, spending time together, and even have matching heart tattoos.

Back in their home, they lived with their adopted German shepherd, who keyed into the women's bond. Today, the 81-year-old enjoys her privacy with her dog, who is also an integral part of the family.

Advertisement

Although Chloe is now an adult and lives away from her mother, the duo are still extremely close. They schedule to see each other once a week and stay connected through text and phone calls.

Chloe is also making her mom proud by following her dreams. Although the younger Mills is not a blonde on-screen star like her mother, neither did she ever consider acting; she is a model and has another job.

Advertisement

The 27-year-old is an exec at the members-only Soho House in Malibu that receives high-profile celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Kendall Jenner. She said she loves meeting and helping people when asked about her job.

Based on her ability to raise a successful child and enjoy her company in old age, Mills explained that motherhood taught her an important lesson: patience!

Advertisement

Single-handedly, Mills raised her baby, who turned out to be everything she had hoped. The actress is delighted to see her daughter building a career, even though it is not in the film industry.

Consequently, Chloe is also pleased with having such a celebrity mom who paused her life aspirations to fulfill her motherhood journey, displaying the perfect example of genuine love and care any birth mother would possess.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

Who Is Veronica Gutierrez? Everything about Devin Booker’s Mother

July 23, 2022

Cameron Diaz Enjoys Retirement after Becoming a Mom at 47: 'Now I Have to Live to 107'

July 03, 2022

Susan Sarandon Is Happy Mother of 3 Kids Who She Welcomed after 39 despite Being Called 'Crazy'

July 04, 2022

Cameron Diaz Prioritizes Family & Being a Mom over Beauty & Fame: 'I Don't Care What I Look Like'

April 28, 2022