When I was a pre-teen and a young teen I so wanted to be Hayley Mills. I wanted her name - Hayley - so different and desirable, her British accent - so much better than a garden variety Lawng Island one, and her hair - so perfectly blonde and sun-kissed.
I tried to acquire every teen magazine that mentioned her and posted photos of her on my wall. She was the pink of perfection.
When she bobbed her hair for "The Truth About Spring", I wanted that same do.
But, moving past the do, check out that attitude. Hayley was confident, Hayley was cheeky, Hayley was bold. She sailed forth into the world and expected nothing less than happiness, love and adventure.
As "Pollyanna" she mended hearts and climbed trees.
As Sharon/Susan in "The Parent Trap" she outsmarted her elders and made sure everything turned out as planned.
In "In Search of the Castaways" she is all in for adventure.
In "The Moon-Spinners" (a personal favorite of favorites), love and adventure are at her command.
In "That Darn Cat" she teams with a feline and yet again foils the bad guys.
In "The Trouble With Angels" she's a rebel who eventually finds "the call" (but somehow, I don't think it sticks).
I loved her then because she is everything I wanted to be. I love her even more now because I realize that she was a true depiction of the adolescent girl, that brave, darling fearless girl who still lives inside the me of now. She's in there, sometimes struggling to get out, but still strong and full of sass.
You made me smile, and cheer, and even shed a couple of nostalgic tears.
Long live Hayley, and the Hayley in all of us.
CW - you said it. That kid is in there somewhere!
Your post is touching and inspiring. I wanted to be Hayley Mills when I saw her films on The Wonderful World of Disney (Sunday evenings at 6:00) and, darn it, I STILL want to be her!
Thank you, Ruth. She was such an inspiration to us girls.
We think much alike, you and I. I too adored her in my youth, and still admire her to this day. “The Moon Spinners” was my favorite, also and I also think she figured out that she was looking for a family, not a calling in “The Trouble with Angels” I had the opportunity to see her off Broadway last year. She is still wonderful and I still have a bit of a girl crush on her.
Hayley Mills has become one of my favorite actresses of the 1960s. Her Disney films, such as POLLYANNA and THE PARENT TRAP, are delightful even today. But her best work of that period was in two superb dramas: WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND and THE CHALK GARDEN.
Patricia - I saw her in "Party Face," too. It was so amazing just being that close to her.
HI Rick - I loved her in The Chalk Garden, but I certainly did NOT want to be her in that film!
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