'Knots Landing' star Donna Mills, 81, opens up about becoming a mother at 54
'I was very concentrated on my career, but at a certain point, I realized there was something missing — it was a child,' Donna Mills said
Donna Mills became a first-time mom when she adopted her infant daughter Chloe at the age of 54. Mills, who continued to appear on television and in guest appearances after leaving 'Knots Landing', stated that she took an 18-year break from acting full-time to focus on raising her then 4-year-old Chloe.
The 81-year-old actress, who rose to fame playing backstabbing villain Abby Cunningham on the Dallas spinoff 'Knots Landing' from 1980 to 1989, explains why she chose to become a mother in her 50s in an interview with People magazine. "I was very concentrated on my career, but at a certain point, I realized there was something missing — it was a child," Mills said.
Mills continued, "I was very concentrated on my career, but at a certain point, I realized there was something missing — it was a child. By that time, I was 54 and people said, 'You're going to be so old [to] have a little toddler running around,' I never felt that. I never felt older than the other mothers who were probably in their 20s." The Daytime Emmy Award winner would advise other career-minded adults to put off having children until later in life. She told People, "If you want to give to your career, I say having a child later in life is better than having a child early.
"I took off 18 years. I didn't work," Mills told People. "Well, the first couple of years, I did work. I did some movies for television and stuff like that, because I could take her wherever I went. But then when she started school, I wasn't going to go out of town for two months at a time. And I didn't become a mother to give her to a nanny." The actress claimed that she and her now 27-year-old daughter still share a strong relationship. Mills said, "We see each other at least once a week and we talk every day or text."
In 2014, the actress made a comeback to daytime television with a recurrent guest-starring role on the ABC series 'General Hospital'. Her performance earned her an Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series award at the 2015 Daytime Emmy Awards. Donna has continued to perform in television, movies, and theatre throughout the last few years.
The actor will next be seen in Jordan Peele's upcoming sci-fi horror movie 'Nope', opposite Keke Palmer, Daniel Kuluuya, and Steven Yeun. During her interview with People, the Chicago native also revealed some of her secrets to keeping her youthful appearance. "I usually work out every day," Mills said. "Having been a dancer, I have my ballet bar in a little gym upstairs, and I just got a Peloton for my birthday."
Mills attributes her fitness at this age to "weight training and a lot of stretching." Mills admits she's been a healthy eater all her life. She avoids eating sugar, pasta and starchy food. She eats mostly proteins and vegetables. "I love vegetables, which I grow — kale and arugula, tomatoes. My greatest pleasure in life is eating it right off the vine. I'm not a good cook. The only thing that I make that's good is cheesecake," she revealed.
Mills told People, "For skin care, the main thing is stay out of the frickin' sun! It makes such a difference. And somebody asked me, 'Why don't you get [cosmetic enhancements]?' No, because I'm not going to look like a duck. I'd rather have lines than a duck bill."