Hayley Mills' upcoming memoir Forever Young will be published by Grand Central Publishing on Sept. 7

By Sam Gillette
April 29, 2021 09:57 AM
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Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills
| Credit: Bee Gilbert

Get ready Disney fans!

Hayley Mills, star of the original 1961 family classic The Parent Trap, is opening up about her time as a child actor in the 1960s — including her memories of working with Walt Disney himself.

On Thursday, the actress exclusively shared with PEOPLE that her memoir Forever Young will be published by Grand Central Publishing on Sept. 7.

"I am so happy to be working with Gretchen Young at Grand Central who has been tremendously positive and encouraging about my writing this book. I'm also extremely excited to be releasing it in North America, the land that changed my life and became my home from home," Mills, 75, explains in an exclusive statement. "I made my first film in Great Britain with my father, at the age of twelve, but my career didn't really start until Walt Disney brought me to America for Pollyanna.

"As a young English girl playing such an American icon, I could have been met with roars of disapproval, but I quickly discovered the nation's generous spirit and I felt genuinely taken into the hearts of their filmgoers," she continues. "This was the beginning of a wonderful relationship that continues to this day. It was a very different world when I first arrived in the States and so much has changed. Writing this book has been the most marvellous opportunity to go back to those early days of wonder and confusion, to remember all the rare and exceptional people that I was lucky enough to meet and to love, and at the same time, to try and fathom the strange and fortuitous events that shaped my family's life."

forever young by Hayley mills
Credit: Grand Central Publishing
Hayley Mills
The young actress as Pollyanna
| Credit: Silver Screen Collection/Getty

Mills, the daughter of British actor Sir John Mills, was only a preteen when she got swept up in the world of Hollywood. While under Walt Disney's wing, Mills rose to stardom with roles in classic films like Pollyanna and The Parent Trap during the 1960s. She went on to win multiple awards, including a Golden Globe, multiple BAFTAs and was given the Academy Juvenile Award by Shirley Temple, the award's first recipient. (In a June 1961 New York Times review of The Parent Trap, critic Bosley Crowther praised Mills for her "delightful insouciance, dexterity and charm.")

In Forever Young, Mills shares her memories of that "wild and glamorous world", her impressions of the culture-changing film producer and how her career continued to be impacted by her childhood stardom.

Hayley mills and walt disney
The young actress with Walt Disney
| Credit: Keystone/Getty
Hayley Mills
Mills in The Parent Trap
| Credit: Silver Screen Collection/Getty

"Hayley will delve intimately into her relationship with Walt Disney," reads the press release, "as well as the emotional challenges of being bound to a wholesome, youthful public image as she grew into her later teen years, and how that impacted her and her choices–including marrying a producer over 30 years her senior when she was 20!"

The description continues: "With her regrets, her joys, her difficulties, and her triumphs, this is a compelling read for any fan of classic Disney films and an inside look at a piece of real Hollywood history."

Forever Young will be published on Sept. 7.