John Mills

Last updated on the 25 June 2024 by Maeve

John Mills

Mini Biography

Born: 22 February 1908, North Elmham, Norfolk, England. 

John Mills’ extraordinary career spanned more than eight decades, leaving an indelible mark on both stage and screen. With his undeniable talent and versatility as an actor, he captivated audiences around the globe.

John Mills as Corporal Binns in Dunkirk
John Mills as Corporal Binns in Dunkirk

Growing up in a modest family, Mills discovered his love for acting at a young age. He began performing in local theater productions before catching the attention of renowned director Noel Coward. This encounter proved to be a turning point in John’s life as it led to his first major role on London’s West End stage.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Mills solidified his reputation as one of Britain’s finest actors with notable performances in films such as “In Which We Serve” (1942) and “This Happy Breed” (1944). He effortlessly portrayed characters from various walks of life with remarkable nuance and depth.

Ice Cold in Alex - Anthony Quayle, Harry Andrews, Sylvia Syms and John Mills
Ice Cold in Alex – Anthony Quayle, Harry Andrews, Sylvia Syms and John Mills

As World War II came to an end, John gained international recognition for his exceptional portrayal of Pip in David Lean’s epic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” (1946). This performance propelled him onto Hollywood’s radar and opened doors for numerous opportunities across continents.

John Mills amassed countless accolades during his illustrious career. Notably, he received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his mesmerizing performance in “Ryan’s Daughter” (1970), solidifying his status as a true master of the craft. Moreover, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of his contributions to cinema.

John Mills as Captain Scott
John Mills as Captain Scott

Outside of acting, John Mills had a rich personal life. He was married to acclaimed playwright Mary Hayley Bell, with whom he had three children – Juliet Mills, Hayley Mills and Jonathan Mills – all successful actors themselves.

John Mills had a deep sense of social responsibility and actively engaged in philanthropic endeavours throughout his life. His charitable work ranged from supporting causes related to education and healthcare to advocating for animal rights.

 

Suggested viewing

 

Quatermass (1979)

Quatermass (1979) poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.9

In a dystopian future, a jaded Professor Quatermass searches for his missing granddaughter amidst a society captivated by a mysterious cult. The group gathers at ancient sites, oblivious to the alien force manipulating them for a deadly cosmic harvest.

Top cast: John Mills, Simon MacCorkindale, Ralph Arliss, Paul Rosebury, Jane Bertish, Rebecca Saire, Toyah Willcox, Tony Sibbald.

 

Mr. Denning Drives North (1951)

Mr. Denning Drives North poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.7

A successful businessman’s attempt to protect his daughter from a shady boyfriend backfires tragically. Consumed by guilt, he tries to hide his accidental crime, but a series of unfortunate events and a nagging conscience unravel his carefully constructed cover-up.

Top cast: John Mills, Phyllis Calvert, Eileen Moore, Sam Wanamaker, Herbert Lom, Raymond Huntley, Russell Waters, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Bernard Lee.

 

Waterloo Road (1945)

Waterloo Road poster

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.5

During wartime, a soldier rushes home on leave fearing his wife’s loyalty. He finds a charming but suspicious lodger in his place, sparking a tense love triangle. Torn between duty and his crumbling marriage, the soldier must choose between fighting for his country and saving his home.

Top cast: John Mills, Stewart Granger, Joy Shelton, Alastair Sim, Alison Leggatt, Beatrice Varley, George Carney, Leslie Bradley, Jean Kent.

 

The History of Mr. Polly (1949)

The History of Mr. Polly

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 6.6

“The History of Mr. Polly” follows the life of Alfred Polly, a timid man trapped in a monotonous existence. After an unexpected turn of events, he escapes his mundane routine and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Through humour and introspection, he learns to embrace life’s uncertainties and find happiness on his own terms.

Top cast: John Mills, Betty Ann Davies, Megs Jenkins, Finlay Currie, Gladys Henson, Diana Churchill, Shelagh Fraser, Edward Chapman, Dandy Nicholas, Sally Ann Howes, Juliet Mills.

 

The Rocking Horse Winner (1949)

The Rocking Horse Winner

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 7.3

A young boy named Paul, driven by his mother’s obsession with money, discovers an uncanny ability to predict racehorse winners on his rocking horse. As he becomes more entangled in the dangerous world of gambling, he risks losing himself and those around him in a desperate pursuit for wealth and love.

Top cast: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, John Howard Davies, Ronald Squire, Charles Goldner, Susan Richards, Hugh Sinclair, Cyril Smith.

 

This Happy Breed (1944)

This Happy Breed

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.3

“This Happy Breed” follows the lives of the Gibbons family in post-World War I England. Spanning two decades, it explores their triumphs and tribulations as they journey through changes in society, relationships, and personal growth. Through joy and heartbreak, they showcase resilience and the enduring spirit of an ordinary yet remarkable British family.

Top cast: Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, Stanley Holloway, John Mills, Alison Leggatt, Kay Walsh, John Blythe, Eileen Erskine.

 

Dunkirk (1958)

Dunkirk poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.1

“Dunkirk 1958” chronicles the harrowing evacuation of Allied soldiers from Dunkirk during World War II. Through multiple perspectives, it depicts the bravery and sacrifice of ordinary men in the face of overwhelming odds. As chaos ensues on land, sea and air, their resilience and determination become a symbol of hope amidst despair.

Top cast: John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Bernard Lee, Robert Urquhart, Ray Jackson, Sean Barrett, Victor Maddern, Maxine Audley.

Alternative version

Dunkirk poster

 

In Which We Serve (1942)

In Which We Serve poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.2

In the midst of World War II, the crew of HMS Torrin, led by Captain Kinross, face relentless enemy attacks. As their ship sinks, they reflect on their lives and relationships through a series of flashbacks. Through resilience and camaraderie, they find strength to endure in this gripping tale of war and survival.

Top cast: Noël Coward, John Mills, Bernard Miles, Celia Johnson, Kay Walsh, Joyce Carey, Michael Wilding, Derek Elphinstone.

 

Scott of the Antarctic (1948)

Scott of the Antarctic

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.0

“Scott of the Antarctic”, a British explorer, leads an ill-fated expedition to reach the South Pole in 1912. Battling extreme weather and dwindling supplies, Scott’s team faces treacherous conditions that lead to their tragic demise. Their courageous efforts, however, become a testament to human endurance and the pursuit of scientific discovery.

Top cast: John Mills, Derek Bond, Harold Warrender, Diana Churchill, Anne Firth, Reginald Beckwith, James Robertson Justice, Kenneth More.

 

Hobson’s Choice (1953)

Hobson's Choice poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.7

Henry Hobson, a tyrannical widower and owner of a successful Victorian boot maker’s shop in Salford, England, exploits his three daughters as cheap labour. When he selfishly declares “no marriages” to avoid the expense of dowries at £500 each, his eldest daughter Maggie rebels against his oppressive rule.

Top cast: Charles Laughton, Brenda De Banzie, John Mills, Daphne Anderson, Prunella Scales, Richard Wattis, Joseph Tomelty, Derek Blomfield.

 

Ice Cold in Alex (1958)

Ice Cold in Alex poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.7

In the heat of World War II, a British army captain leads a group of soldiers and nurses across the treacherous North African desert to safety in Alexandria. As they face enemy attacks, dwindling resources and personal conflicts, their resilience is tested in this gripping tale of survival and redemption.

Top cast: John Mills, Sylvia Syms, Anthony Quayle, Harry Andrews, Diane Clare, Richard Leech, Liam Redmond, Allan Cuthbertson.

 

Ryan’s Daughter (1970)

Ryan's Daughter poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.4

In a small Irish village during World War I, Rosy Ryan, the young wife of a mild-mannered schoolteacher, embarks on a passionate affair with a British officer. As their secret relationship unfolds amidst societal tensions and political turmoil, it brings about unforeseen consequences that forever change the lives of those involved.

Top cast: Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard, Christopher Jones, John Mills, Leo McKern, Sarah Miles, Barry Foster, Marie Kean.

 

Great Expectations (1946)

Great Expectations poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.8

Orphan Pip encounters an escaped convict who changes his life forever. As he grows up, Pip falls in love with the unattainable Estella, navigates mysterious benefactors and learns valuable lessons about love, wealth and identity. A captivating tale of ambition, betrayal and redemption unfolds against the backdrop of Victorian England.

Top cast: john Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager, Jean Simmons, Bernard Miles, Francis L. Sullivan, Finlay Currie, Martita Hunt.

Alternative versions

Great Expectations poster     Great Expectations poster     Great Expectations, Holliday Grainger poste

 

 

John Mills full filmography @ Wikipedia
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Maeve
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Maeve
20 days ago

Last edited 20 days ago by Maeve
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20 days ago

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Maeve
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Maeve
20 days ago

FULL FILM

Maeve
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Maeve
20 days ago

FULL FILM

Maeve
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Maeve
20 days ago

FULL FILM

Maeve
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20 days ago

Maeve
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Maeve
20 days ago

FULL FILM

Maeve
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Maeve
20 days ago

Maeve
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Maeve
20 days ago

FULL FILM

Maeve
Admin
Maeve
20 days ago

Last edited 20 days ago by Maeve
Maeve
Admin
Maeve
20 days ago

FULL FILM