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Sir John Mills (1908 - 2005)

A Vision of Albion
Cecil Hepworth 1874-1953
Rescued By Rover (1905)
Through Ealing's Eyes. I
Sir Michael Balcon
Through Ealing's Eyes.II
"Just Room For One Inside Sir..."
Other Eyes, Other Visions
British Film At War
A Canterbury Tale (1944)
The Post-War Years
Brighton Rock (1947)
London Belongs To Me (1948)
Scott of The Antarctic (1948)
Tiger Bay (1959)
Whistle down the Wind (1961)
Sir John Mills (1908 - 2005)

"Maybe what attracts people is that exuberant
spiritual quality that they recognize is still present,"
-Hayley Mills, describing her father, Sir John Mills

 Sir John Mills (1908 - 2005)
He was one of Britain's best known and best loved actors, and he died  on Saturday, 23 April, 2005  aged 97  after a short illness

Sir John Mills,February 24 2002

Veteran British actor Sir John Mills, one of the country's most beloved and best-known screen stars, died, Saturday, 23 April, 2005 at 6:30am (12:30 a.m. CDT) aged 97 after a short illness, a member of his staff said. The former song-and-dance man, who appeared in more than 100 films in a 70-plus year career, was among the most notable of British film stars, winning a best supporting actor Oscar in 1971 for"Ryan's Daughter".

"Sir John Mills died peacefully at home after a short illness," a member of his staff said.

The actor's family was travelling to Britain from the United States and was expected to arrive by Monday, the BBC reported

Mills, whose daughter Hayley has also had a highly successful acting career, was born on Feb. 22, 1908 in Felixstowe, eastern England, John Lewis Mills started in the theater at the age of 19, helped in part by his friendship with Noel Coward.  His output in the 1940s and 1950s was prolific. During his long career he appeared in more than 100 films

Mills made his name in patriotic films during and after World War II including "The October Man," "Scott of the Antarctic," "Dunkirk" and "Ice Cold in Alex."

Handsome and dapper, he embodied to many the archetypal British war hero, either as the cool-headed gentleman officer or the resigned working class soldier.

His first big break came in 1946, when he played Pip in a film version of Charles Dickens' novel "Great Expectations."

He always maintained his favorite movie was the 1960 production "Tunes of Glory," in which he co-starred with Alec Guinness as a highly-strung English officer given the job of leading a hostile Scottish army battalion.

He won the best actor award at the Venice Festival for the film and went on to take an Oscar as best supporting actor a decade later for "Ryan's Daughter," directed by David Lean.

A versatile actor, Mills had a minor role in the 1987 film "Who's that Girl?" and made his final film appearance in 2003 in "Bright Young Things," directed by British comedian Stephen Fry. In it, at the age of 95, he had a cameo role as a man snorting cocaine at a party.

He fathered one of Britain's leading theatrical families. Both his daughters, Juliet and Hayley, are successful actresses who found their stage feet at an early age in some of their father's productions. Sir John starred with Hayley in the 1959 film Tiger Bay.

Mills, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1977, was divorced from his first wife, the actress Aileen Raymond, in 1940 after nine years of marriage. He is survived by his second wife, Mary Hayley Bell, his daughters Juliet and Hayley, and his son Jonathan.

starring John Mills and Valerie Hobson
Great Expectations 1946

Great Expectations (1946, A Cineguild Production for J. Arthur Rank) Producer: Ronald Neame. Executive Producer: Anthony Havelock-Allan. Screenplay: David Lean, Ronald Neame, Anthony Havelock-Allan with Kay Walsh and Cecil McGivern, based on the novel by Charles Dickens. Director of Photography: Guy Green. Production Designer: John Bryan. Music: Walter Goehr and [uncredited] Kenneth Pakeman. Editor: Jack Harris. Cast: John Mills ("Pip"), Valerie Hobson (Estella), Bernard Miles (Joe Gargery), Francis L. Sullivan (Jaggers), Finlay Currie (Magwitch), Martita Hunt (Miss Havisham), Anthony Wager ("Pip" as a boy), Jean Simmons (Estella as a girl), Alec Guinness (Herbert
Pocket), Ivor Barnard (Wemmick), Freda Jackson (Mrs. Joe Gargery), Torin Thatcher (Bentley Drummle). Running time: 118 minutes. Distribution: General Film Distributors (G.B.); Universal-International (U.S.). Released December 26, 1946 (G.B.); April 24, 1947 (U.S.). Filmed from September, 1945 to April, 1946 at Denham Studios and on location around London (Rochester and the Thames Estuary) at a cost of 385,000. Academy Awards for black and white Cinematography and Art Direction; nominations for Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay.

Sir John Mills

BBC Links

Sir John Mills, one of Britain's
best-loved actors and the
 star of over 100 films, has
died at the age of 97.

Lord Richard Attenborough has
led tributes to his close
friend, Sir John Mills

For nearly 70 years, Sir John Mills
enjoyed a reputation as one
of Britain's finest actors. Building on
a catalogue of mild-mannered
but iron-willed film characters in
his youth, he made his name
both on stage and television. 
Sir John Mills always conveyed
the heroism and humility
of a very English hero. 

  a very English actor, who made
his name in a string of patriotic war films.
an article by Nick Higham, BBC News

Actor Sir John Mills has been given
a special honour by the
British Academy of Film and Television Arts
(Bafta) to mark his contribution
to cinema during a career spanning
more than 60 years.

BBC Breakfast with Frost
15 September 2002

Actor Sir John Mills launched
a documentary, written and
produced by his son, charting
25 years of his life.
article dated
Tuesday, 21 November, 2000

Actor Sir John Mills and his wife Mary
 have renewed their wedding vows
at their local church, 60 years
after they first wed.
article dated,
Tuesday, 16 January, 2001

John Mills married Mary Bell in 1941
John Mills married Mary Bell at Marylebone Registery Office in 1941

an article at the reliable
Star Archives website

Film & TV credits
from screenonline
at the British Film Institute

Sir John Mills' life told through his
own colour home movies!

renewed wedding vows 2001
They renewed their wedding vows in church in 2001

 The It Is Forever England Website
and Cinema Show 
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