American actress and producer, Donna Mills has often made it to the list of “10 Primetime Stars We Love to Hate.” Donna, who dropped out of college to pursue a dancing career got her first professional acting role in Drury Lane Theater’s production of Come Blow Your Horn.
Her participation in touring production of a musical, My Fair Lady brought her to New York City, where she began her acting career with CBS daytime soap opera The Secret Storm. She made her feature film debut in 1967’s The Incident, where she starred alongside Martin Sheen, Beau Bridges, Ed McMahon, and Thelma Ritter.
Abby Cunningham in Knots Landing
From 1967 to 1970, she appeared as ex-nun Laura Donnelly in the soap opera, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, which was followed by The Good Life. In 1980, she landed her most prominent role of Abby Cunningham, a scheming, manipulative vixen in Knot’s Landing.
Prior to Knot’s Landing, she mostly played "damsel in distress" archetype in both the movies and TV shows. She said about getting Abby’s role,
“I got tired of playing the victim. It's a more active role. Abby keeps things stirred up, and I like that.”
After nine years in the hit primetime soap opera and taking home three Soap Opera Digest Awards, she decided to take a break from acting for a while.
“I'm tired of the show. It's been too long. I'm not particularly happy with the way they've been writing Abby lately. She's too soft. I'd like Abby to get back to her old self.”
Later, she started producing TV films. Some of them are The World's Oldest Living Bridesmaid, Runaway Father, In My Daughter's Name (1992), and My Name Is Kate. After appearing in various TV movies and shows, she returned to soap opera in 2014, with a recurring role of Madeline Reeves in General Hospital.
She won Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her role in General Hospital.
The actress has never married. She has a daughter, Chloe, whom she adopted in late 1994 just four days after her birth. She has been dating an actor, director and environmentalist, Larry Gilman for nearly 2 decades. They own Mandeville Vineyards LA’s Brentwood neighborhood since 2013.
Apart from acting, Donna is also recognized for her ageless beauty. In 1886, she released The Eyes Have It, an instructional video for achieving different make-up looks. Later, she started her own line of cosmetics of the same name. She often reunites with her Knot’s Landing co-stars. In one of the reunions with Joan Van Ark and Michele Lee, she said,
“I'm still doing it. I'm not slowing down. I'm not stopping. And that kind of what that says is you don't have to!”
Net Worth 2019
Even at the age of 78, she is still active. In 2019, she is set to play the role of Pat in the upcoming movie, Turnover. She says that a positive attitude is a key to aging gracefully.
“If you tell yourself, 'I'm older now, and I can't do as much,' then you are going to decline. I say, 'I'm older now, but so what?' I still have a ton of things that I want to do. My dad lived to be 95, and I never remember him saying, 'I'm getting old.’”
To stay fit and healthy, she still plays tennis, works out at her home gym, practices ballet moves and most importantly, eats right. Throughout the years, she has collected a net worth of approx. $9 million.