Donna Mills

Donna Mills (born Donna Jean Miller on December 11 1940 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American actress, perhaps best known for her role as Abby Fairgate Cunningham Ewing Sumner on the primetime soap opera Knots Landing.

Early years

Donna Mills attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and then gained some stage experience in the late 1950s.


Donna Mills began her acting career on television with a guest role on the CBS daytime soap opera The Secret Storm in 1966. Following this she gained a regular role as ex-nun Laura Donnelly on the daytime soap opera Love is a Many Splendored Thing, a role she played from 1967 to 1970.

In 1971, Mills co-starred with Clint Eastwood in the thriller Play Misty For Me, which has remained her most prominent movie role to date. Mills then spent much of the 1970s appearing as a guest star on a variety of television shows such as The Six Million Dollar Man, The Love Boat, CHiPs, Quincy, M.E., Thriller, Police Woman, and Fantasy Island, as well as several made-for TV movies.

In 1980, she landed her most prominent role - that of scheming homewrecker Abby Fairgate Cunningham Ewing Sumner on the long-running primetime soap opera Knots Landing, a role she played from 1980 to 1989. After leaving the series, Mills concentrated on made-for-TV movies, several of which she co-produced herself. She returned to Knots Landing for its final episode in 1993, and again for the reunion mini-series Knots Landing: Back To The Cul-De-Sac in 1997. In between these appearances, she also had a recurring guest role as Josie Bissett's mother on the popular 1990s soap opera Melrose Place.

In more recent years, Mills has continued to make made-for-TV movies as well as making guest appearances in series such as Cold Case and Nip/Tuck (in which she guest-starred with fellow Knots Landing star Joan Van Ark). In 2005 she reunited with the rest of the Knots Landing cast for the reunion, Knots Landing: Together Again, in which the series' co-stars reminisced about the series.

Other achievements

In 1986, already widely considered one of the most beautiful women on television, Mills released "The Eyes Have It", an instructional video for achieving several different make-up looks. She went on to release her own line of cosmetics of the same name.

Mills also capitalized on her sexy image cultivated on Knots Landing when she appeared on the cover and corresponding (non-nude) pictorial for the November 1989 edition of Playboy Magazine.

Mills appeared on Broadway in Woody Allen's comedy, Don't Drink the Water, as the Sultan of Bashir's wife.

Grease speculation

In November 2002, feminist writer Camille Paglia asserted in an Interview magazine interview that the character of "Sandy" in Grease was based on Mills' experiences as a Chicago-area teen in the 1950s, even though no interview questions covered the subject. There is no corroboration of this. Jim Jacobs, one of the two authors of Grease, attended Taft High School in Chicago, as did Mills, but graduated in 1960 - two years after Mills did. He has since denied that Mills was the inspiration for the character of "Sandy".

Personal life

Never married, Donna Mills has an adopted daughter, Chloe.

Partial filmography


External links

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