Emmy award winning British actor Juliet Mills, the daughter of late actor Sir John Mills and sister of actress Hayley Mills, was in film for over a decade before achieving prominence on the small screen with her role as a governess on the ABC top rated, but short lived series “Nanny and the Professors” (1970-1971), from which she nabbed her first Golden Globe nomination. She took home her next Golden Globe nomination for her starring role in the motion picture “Avanti” (1972). In 1975, Mills was handed an Emmy Award after portraying Anthony Hopkins' wife in the miniseries adaptation of “QB VII” (1974). Almost thirty years later, the Tony nominated actress bounced back with her popular role of Tabitha Lenox on the television series “Passions” (1999 to 2008), where she nabbed three Soap Opera Digest nominations and a Daytime Emmy nomination. Other films in which Mills has acted in include “No My Darling Daughter” (1961), “Carry On Jack” (1963), “The Rare Breed” (1966), “Oh! What a Lovely War” (1969), “Chi sei” (1974) and “The Other Sister” (1999). She also guest starred in the TV series “Wonder Woman,” “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “Dynasty” and “Murder, She Wrote” and in 2009, appeared in eight episodes of the series “Wild at Heart” and four episodes of “Four Seasons.”
Outside the limelight, Mills has been married to actor Maxwell Caulfield since 1980 and they currently reside in Los Angeles. She is the mother of writer, director and producer Sean Alquist and actress Melissa Caulfield. Mills is the goddaughter of the deceased actress Vivien Leigh (star of the movie “Gone With The Wind”) and the late director/writer Sir Noel Coward.
Childhood and Family:
Juliet Maryon Mills was born in London, England, on November 21, 1941. She is the eldest daughter of British actor Sir John Mills (born in 1908, died in 2005) and playwright Mary Hayley Bell (born in 1911, died in 2005). Her sister is actress Hayley Mills (born in 1946) and her brother is director Jonathan Mills (born in 1949).
Juliet has been married three times. She married her first husband, American songwriter Russell Alquist Jr., on October 14, 1961, but the marriage ended in 1964 after producing a child named Sean Alquist. She next married Michael Miklenda on October 18, 1975, but they divorced in 1980. Juliet and her second husband have a daughter together named Melissa Caulfield (born in 1979), who appeared in several episodes of “Passions” during 1999 to 2005. Juliet married Scottish actor Maxwell Caulfield on December 2, 1980, who is 18 years her junior.
Nanny and the Professors
The daughter of celebrity parents, Juliet Mills received her first taste in front of the film camera when she was a baby by appearing in 1942's classic “In Which We Serve,” which starred her father and was directed by her godfather Noel Coward. As a child, she appeared with her father in the films “So Well Remembered” and “The October Man” (both 1947) and appeared in “The History of Mr. Polly” (1949) and in several London productions. In 1960, Mills enjoyed success on stage by picking up a Tony nomination for her performance in a Broadway production of “Five Finger Exercise.”
Returning to the big screen as an adult, Mills took the role of Michael Redgrave's socially awkward daughter in the British comedy “No My Darling Daughter” (1961). She went on to appear in comedies like “Nurse on Wheels” (1963) and “Carry On Jack” (1963) but did not receive notice until 1966 when she supported James Stewart and Maureen O'Hara in the western film “The Rare Breed,” where she played O’Hara’s daughter Hilary Price. Mills, who previously made her TV movie debut in 1960's “Mrs. Miniver,” turned to television where she made guest appearances in the series “Twelve O'Clock High” (1966) and “Sherlock Holmes” (1968) before returning to feature films in 1969 with “Oh! What a Lovely War,” which was directed by Richard Attenborough.
Mills’ small screen breakthrough arrived in 1970 when she won a starring role in the television series “Nanny and the Professor,” opposite Richard Long. Playing a magical governess named Phoebe Figalilly, she became popular among American sitcom fans and was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1971 for Best TV Actress-Musical/Comedy. The series was highly rated, but axed by the network after two seasons in 1971.
After the demise of “Nanny and the Professor,” Mills revisited the silver screen by starring opposite Jack Lemmon in “Avanti,” a 1972 comedy directed by Billy Walder. For her portrayal of Pamela Piggott, she received a 1973 Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy. She next participated in the Oscar nominee “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” (1973) and starred in the horror film “Beyond the Door” (1974), which was co-directed by Ovidio G. Assonitis and Robert Barrett. In the movie, she portrayed a young pregnant woman in San Francisco who becomes possessed by a demon. The movie became a major box office success, but was pulled from theaters because it resembled 1973's “The Exorcist.” In 1974, Mills was also brought back into the spotlight on television with her role of Samantha Cady, the wife of Anthony Hopkins' Adam Kelno, on the highly acclaimed miniseries adaptation of “QB VII.” The role brought the British actress an Emmy for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama Special. She next appeared with Sam Elliot in “Once an Eagle” (1976) and had recurring roles in “Fantasy Island” (1978, as Angela Anderson) and “The Love Boat” (1978). She also guest starred in a number of shows, including “Wonder Woman” (1977) and “Switch” (1978) and appeared in the TV films “Barnaby and Me” (1977) and “The Cracker Factory” (1979).
As her film career stalled after “Chi sei,” Mills appeared on the small screen throughout the 1980s. Aside from continuing her recurring gigs on “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island,” she also appeared as Rosalind Bedford in two episodes of “Dynasty” in 1984, played two different characters in two episodes of “Hotel” in 1985 and 1987, and joined the cast of the long running soap opera “All My Children” in the role of Judge Edith Hogan in 1985. After guest spots in “Murder, She Wrote” (1987) and “The Law and Harry McGraw” (1988), she closed out the decade with a part in the miniseries “Till We Meet Again” (1989). Her husband also acted in the series.
Opening the 1990s, Mills costarred with George Peppard and Michael York in the two part TV film “Night of the Fox” (1990) and appeared in an episode of “Monsters.” She then had small parts in the TV films “Columbo: No Time to Die” (1992) and “Waxwork II: Lost in Time” (1992) and supported Perry King and Lori Loughlin in “A Stranger in the Mirror” (1993). After a long break, Mills resurfaced on the big screen playing Juliette Lewis' maid in the mainstream movie “The Other Sister” (1999), which costarred Diane Keaton and Tom Skerrit and was directed by Garry Marshall. It was also in 1999 that Mills joined the cast of the day time series “Passions,” alongside Heidi Mueller, Chrystee Pharris, Lindsay Korman and Justin Carroll. She received Soap Opera Digest nominations for Outstanding Villain in 2000 and 2001 and in 2003, netted another nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress. In 2005, she was nominated for her first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for her work in the show.
Emmy: Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama Special, “QB VII” (mini), 1975