When you mention the name Donna Mills, most people think of her portrayal of scheming vixen Abby Ewing, on the prime time soap opera Knots Landing. Donna Mills, for me represents the first soap opera I ever watched the long defunct, Love is a many splendored thing.
This short lived daytime drama, (1967-1973) was loosely based on the movie of the same name which debuted in 1955. The theme song of the same title became a hit record. it can still be heard on oldies radio stations today. I began watching Love is a many splenored thing,with my great grandmother, in the summer of 72, at age 14.
Ms Mills played the character of Laura who was married to Mark Elliot portrayed by the handsome David Birney. Birney/Elliot had cheated on Laura with the town tramp, (as adulterous women were referred to in those days). The couple were separated, but in their scenes together when they were contemplating a reunion, these two attractive actors had much chemistry. I can recall being so disappointed on the days Mark and Laura were not onscreen.
I am not sure why the series was cancelled but I recall on the final episode, a couple, Betsy Chirnack and Joe, who had been living in sin, were married. It was the highlight of the show as family had been urging them into wedded bliss the entire year I viewed this soap. What a contrast to today’s world, where no one gives a second thought to couples who live together without benefit of marriage.
I believe, but am not certain, that if Mark and Laura reunited by the series end. David Birney later stared in a nighttime sitcom called Bridgette Loves Birney, with then wife Meredith Baxter Birney. Ms Mills went on to appear in numerous televisions shows and mini series. She even had a role in my all time favorite television series, the USA Networks, Psych.
Abc’s only remaining daytime drama General Hospital, just snagged Ms Mills to play the role of mother in law to Dr. Silas Clay. Her first on air scenes were Friday March 14th. Looking at her I could not tell Donna Mills was 74. Her aura was as vibrant, and those piercing blue eyes as calculating as when she was Abby Ewing. I have no doubt that her GH character will stir up much trouble.
My great grandmother who I mentioned earlier passed away at age 75. She had no wrinkles and only a wisp of gray in the hair at her temples. In her day great grandmother looked nice, but in a matronly grandmotherly sort of way. Many aging women today , retain their vim vigor and even sex appeal from decades earlier.
It has been suggested by a plastic surgeon, that Ms Mills youthful looks have been cosmetically enhanced. If true, her features in my opinion seem more natural when compared with other celebrities whose plastic surgery cause them to look, well “plastic”. Proper lighting and make up can also work wonders.
At any rate, just the mere fact that Donna Mills is still operating in her chosen craft, and looking so well doing it, gives hope for those of us who have yet to arrive at her current age. If 60 is the new 30, then Donna Mills at 74 must be the new 35.
It was once said that Hollywood did not use actresses over the age of 40. If that is accurate, it obviously does not apply to the small screen. In addition to Donna Mills, Linda Grey, also in her 70’s has resurrected her role as Sue Ellen Ewing, on the new Dallas series.