The daughter of legendary British actor John Mills and novelist Mary Hayley Bell (as well as the sister of actress Juliet Mills), young Hayley Mills broke the surface of fame at the tender age of 12, starring opposite her father in the thriller Tiger Bay. That film, along with a Berlin Film Festival award, was enough to attract the attention of Walt Disney, who promptly signed her to a five-year contract and put her in the starring role of Pollyanna. After wringing hearts and nabbing a special Oscar, Mills segued into the comedy thing--for double the fun--in The Parent Trap, the 1961 farce in which she played twins, separated at birth, who scheme to reunite their biological parents (Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith, both surprisingly sexy for a Disney movie). On the brink of adolescence, Mills was a saucy role model for children of the Kennedy era: cute, endearing and, above all, wholesome despite her sneaky ways--everyone's meddlesome sister. Easily stepping into the Disney child-star gap as the original Mouseketeers were (literally) outgrowing their uniforms, Mills was the studio's live-action bread and butter for a brief moment in time, and The Parent Trap still remains her best vehicle, a classic now to adults who came of age during the early '60s. It also pioneered the processed split-screen technique, which while not seamless was revolutionary and exciting enough that, upon seeing the initial results, Uncle Walt asked the filmmakers to shoot more scenes in which Mills played opposite herself. --Mark Englehart

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