Donna Mills returned to Hollywood at 82 after an 18-year disappearance.
The “Knots Landing” star raised an interracial girl alone that she adopted at 54.
Before becoming a single mother, Donna was “happily unmarried” with a longtime partner for years.
In February 2023, Donna Mills was 82 and back on screen after an 18-year break with a camera in the film “Nope.” She would also be in a leading role in the first series of television films based on the Cutler Family novels.
The star lived in Brentwood, Los Angeles, where she maintained good looks. Donna still had her iconic blond hair, still lush and complete, and although she didn’t opt much for cosmetic enhancement, she did use fillers.
The star said she used them because she didn’t want to “look like a duck.” Her grown-up daughter, Chloe Mills, then 28, was living with the legendary actress while working as a model, and in February 2023, Donna shared the latest photo of herself.
In an Instagram post, the actress shared an image of her alongside her daughter and another of her alone. The star revealed in the caption that she and her daughter, whom she called “bunny,” were in the Daily Mail, adding:
“She’s the best decision I’ve ever made… now that she’s all grown up, I couldn’t be happier to be back in-front of the camera.”
Fans were thrilled to see the actress’ latest image and her daughter. One person was surprised to see Donna’s photo and wanted to know if the pictures were taken 20 years before because the star hadn’t “changed a bit!!”
Someone else thought the mother-daughter pair were both “just stunning.” A third person believed Donna and Chloe were “blessed to have each other” because there was “no greater love than that,” while another fan thought the duo was “beautiful ladies” before noting how the actress had raised a “wonderful and talented lady.”
Did Donna Raise Chloe with a Man?
According to her IMDb account, Donna once had a long-term relationship with Richard Holland. An October 1986 magazine article revealed that the actress was “happily unmarried” by age 41 and was dating Holland.
The star and the writer-producer had been in a relationship for several years. In 1983, Donna, then 37, confessed that she always had a relationship, but during the past five years, she had been dating one person – Holland, then 31.
Hollan was an advertising executive and a screenwriter, and he was once a rock guitarist. Although the pair had been together for a long time, they lived in their two-bedroom houses, with the actress’s one in Beverly Hills.
Her home even had a terraced outdoor swimming pool, while Holland’s home was near Studio City and featured a hot tub. The “Knots Landing” star once revealed that there was a point where she and her boyfriend were “practically living together.”
However, it didn’t seem far on Holland when she was shooting shows and would get 5 a.m. wake-up calls. The couple then decided they’d stay together only on weekends, but the screenwriter said they didn’t live together because they weren’t married.
Donna wasn’t rushing into marriage, and she and her boyfriend had their own homes to escape to whenever needed. The actress explained that she didn’t see getting married as giving “more security” than one who wasn’t in a union.
Despite them not being married, the star admitted that Holland was the change she wanted. The relationship fizzled out, with the pair never having children together, and Donna had her daughter alone.
Why Did Donna Decide to Adopt Alone at 54 and Disappear from the Public?
Before Donna adopted Chloe, she was focused on her career. In 2022, the actress confessed that she realized something – a child- was missing at a certain point and decided to go after it, adopting her daughter when she was four.
Donna was 54 when she got Chloe and recalled people saying she was too old to have a baby, but she never felt the same. The star said she never felt older than other mothers in their 20s and took an 18-year break from her career to be home with her daughter.
Throughout those years, Chloe’s mother didn’t work except for the first few years. Donna did some television movies and other things that allowed her to take her daughter with her wherever but when Chloe started school, her mother couldn’t leave town for two months at a time, with her admitting:
“I didn’t become a mother to give her to a nanny.”
Chloe’s mother was described as an ambitious person who “concentrated” on her career as an actress or a film production company owner. Donna was already well-known on television when she gave up her career to become a single parent.
The star wanted children even though it hadn’t been the most important thing in her life. In 1989, she left “Knots Landing” but had minor roles and her company to fall back on but wanted something more and noticed she felt jealous when she saw children running to their mothers.
The actress felt discontent and realized she wanted to be a mother and had something to give a child. It took a Los Angeles adoption agency nine months to find a baby for Donna, who “fell in love” with Chloe the moment she set her eyes on her.
The actress’s only child [Chloe Mills] wanted it to be the two of them, and Donna [Mills] was fine with that.
The star felt her new baby was hers and believed the right child who was meant for her came. She did some films in the first year or two because she could take her daughter along, but she stopped when the child started school.
If Donna had lived in the UK, adoption might’ve been hard for her as a single woman in her mid-50s. However, in the US, private agencies arranged most of the adoptions, and it was a different process, but the actress said it hadn’t crossed her mind, although it should’ve.
California didn’t have any marriage requirements or upper age limit for adoption, but the adopter had to see a psychiatrist before the adoption. However, no one in the adoption process mentioned Donna’s age to her, but some outsiders weren’t pleased, with her recalling:
“People would sometimes say: ‘You’re going to have a toddler running around when you’re 60 —that’s going to be terrible!’”
Chloe’s mother never felt older than the 30 years younger mothers in the playgroup with her, and she was even friends with some of them today. People she knew never commented on the fact that she adopted an interracial child.
However, Donna still joined an organization that specialized in interracial adoptions because she felt there might be issues she’d need to address. The organization had classes and summer camp where the actress learned things she wasn’t aware of, like buying certain hair care products for her daughter.
At age three, the star asked her daughter if she’d like a sister or brother, and the child agreed. Donna then told the child that she’d have to hold the baby sometimes, and Chloe hilariously changed her mind about having a sibling, and the discussion was put to rest!
The actress’s only child wanted it to be the two of them, and Donna was okay with that. Taking on parenthood as a single mother was a rare route, but the star could devote herself to motherhood entirely because she’d made money throughout her career.