Donna Mills: A Journey Through Stardom and Motherhood

Donna Mills, born Donna Jean Miller on December 11, 1940, is a famous American actress.

She has acted in TV shows, movies, and soap operas for many years.

Mills has made a big impact on the entertainment world.

Now, let’s explore her life, accomplishments, and the interesting stories that make up her legacy.

An image of Donna Mill
Donna Mills.


Early life Of Donna Mills

An Infographic with 5 facts about Donna Mills, PHOTO CREDIT: Cnyakundi.com.


Donna Jean Miller, also known as Mills, was born in Chicago to Bernice and Ambrose.

Bernice was a homemaker, while Ambrose worked as a computer analyst for Union Oil.

Mills grew up in Norwood Park with her older brother Donald.

She attended Garvy Elementary School and later Taft High School, where she met Jim Jacobs, the co-creator of Grease.

He based the character of Sandy on her.

After high school, Mills went to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and joined the Delta Gamma sorority.

But she left after one year to pursue a dancing career.

She gained stage experience in summer stock productions and got her first professional acting role in Come Blow Your Horn at the Drury Lane Theater in Chicago.

This led to a part in a touring production of My Fair Lady, which took her to New York City.

Before landing a TV job, Mills worked as a secretary at Popular Mechanics magazine to support herself.

Donna Mills’ Net Worth

Donna Mills has an impressive net worth of $9 million.

She moved from soap operas to big Hollywood movies and also runs her makeup line called The Eyes Have It.

Her disciplined lifestyle, focus on fitness, and love for acting all helped her succeed.

Donna Mills’ Career


Mills started acting on TV in 1966, playing a singer on a show called The Secret Storm.

She then acted in a play called Don’t Drink the Water.

Her first movie part was in a movie called The Incident in 1967, which people liked.

After that, she joined another TV show until 1970, when she moved to the West Coast and was on a show called Lancer.

In 1971, Mills was in a movie called Play Misty for Me with Clint Eastwood, which people liked.

She also was in a show called The Good Life.

Mills started working with Universal Pictures in 1972 and appeared on different TV shows.

During the 1970s, she acted in many TV movies and became known for playing characters in trouble.

Some of her famous roles include Haunts of the Very Rich and Beyond the Bermuda Triangle.

In 1975, she was in a movie called Murph the Surf.

In 1979, Mills went back to acting on stage.

Even though some people wondered why she didn’t focus on movies, she said she’s happy with her TV career.

1980s: Knots Landing

In 1980, Mills got a big role in a TV show called Knots Landing.

She played a character named Abby Cunningham, who was tricky and caused a lot of drama.

Mills liked this role because it was more active than her previous ones where she always played the victim.

The creator of the show didn’t plan to have Abby at first, but he wanted a character like a famous bad guy from another show.

Some people loved to hate Abby, and a TV channel even put Mills on a list of the top ten bad characters.

They said her character was always causing trouble and making things exciting.

After being on Knots Landing for nine years, Mills decided to leave.

She wanted a break from acting and wasn’t happy with how her character was being written.

She won awards for her role as a villain on the show.

While on Knots Landing, Mills also acted in other shows.

She was in a show called Bare Essence and a movie called Alice in Wonderland.

She also had big roles in TV movies like He’s Not Your Son, Intimate Encounters, Outback Bound, and The Lady Forgets.


An Infographic with Donna Mills’s Career from the 1990s to Present, PHOTO CREDIT: Cnyakundi.


After her time on Knots Landing, Donna Mills focused on making TV movies.

She even helped produce some of them through her own company.

She returned to Knots Landing for its final episode in 1993 and again for a reunion in 1997.

During the ’90s, she had roles in other TV shows like Melrose Place and appeared in movies based on books by famous authors.

In the 2000s, she took a bit of a break but then came back to TV.

She acted in more movies and appeared as a guest in different shows.

She also joined her old Knots Landing pals for a reunion special.

In 2014, she went back to daytime soap operas for the first time in a long while, appearing in General Hospital.

She won an award for her role there.

She also starred in reality TV and films.

She’s continued acting, being in plays and movies, including a horror film in 2022 and a drama series in 2023.

She’s received awards for her work and keeps busy in the industry.

Personal life

Mills never got married.

She had an on-again, off-again relationship with Richard Holland, an advertising executive (who was once married to singer Chaka Khan) for about 20 years from 1979.

During a break from Holland, she dated Clayton Norcross, her co-star in Intimate Encounters.

In September 1994, Mills adopted a newborn daughter named Chloe.

Since 2001, she’s been with Larry Gilman, and they chose not to marry because they think it’s cleaner and better not to combine finances.

Additionally, Mills appeared on the cover of Playboy in October 1987 and November 1989 in non-nude pictorials.


Donna Mills, an American actress, has been in TV shows and movies for a long time.

She’s well-known and has made a big impact in entertainment.

From her early life in Chicago to her famous role in Knots Landing, she’s had a successful career.

Despite personal challenges, like relationships and motherhood, Mills has stayed focused on acting.

She’s loved by fans worldwide and will be remembered as a Hollywood legend.


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