Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


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John Mills

John Mills

A council member of RADA, he was also a life patron of the Variety Club.

Although his eyesight failed almost completely in 1990, he continued to act, playing both blind and seeing characters.

At age 92, he and wife Mary, age 89, renewed their marriage vows at St. Mary's Church, next to their home, Hills House, in Denham, England. When they had wed 60 years earlier, he was denied a church service because he was serving in the Army during World War II. [January 2001]

Despite being two of Britain's most distinguished actors of their generation, he appeared in only two films with Alec Guinness: Great Expectations (1946) and Tunes of Glory (1960).

Died seven days after his In Which We Serve (1942), The October Man (1947), This Happy Breed (1944) and Tunes of Glory (1960) co-star, Kay Walsh.



Enlisted in the Royal Engineers in 1940 but received a medical discharge after a year and a half due to a duodenal ulcer.

Father of actresses Juliet Mills, Hayley Mills and writer/producer Jonathan Mills.

Father-in-law of Maxwell Caulfield.

Grandfather of Crispian Mills, lead singer of Kula Shaker and Melissa Caulfield.

He always maintained his favorite movie was Tunes of Glory (1960), in which he co-starred with Alec Guinness.

He and his first wife Aileen Raymond both died in April 2005, approximately 78 years after they were married.

He is credited with playing more military roles than any other star. In 31 of his movies, almost a third of his whole cinematic output, he portrayed soldiers, usually officers.

He was a close friend of Stephen Fry.

He was a close friend of the English actor/director Richard Attenborough, who read the eulogy at his funeral.

He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1960 and awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in 1976 for his services to drama.

He was educated at Norwich Grammar School for Boys.

He was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film culture.

He was voted ninth in the 2001 Orange Film Survey of greatest British actors.

His first wife, Aileen Raymond, survived him by five days and she was the mother of the actor Ian Ogilvy.

His wife of 64 years, Mary Hayley Bell, suffered from Alzheimer's disease for many years. Due to the advanced stage of her illness, she was unable to attend his funeral on April 27, 2005.

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