Knots Landing star Donna Mills talks becoming a first-time mom at 54

Knots Landing star Donna Mills, 81, talks becoming a first-time mom at 54 and taking an 18-year hiatus from acting to raise her daughter Chloe: ‘I went after it’

Donna Mills became a first-time mother at the age of 54 when she adopted her baby daughter Chloe in 1994.   

In an interview with People magazine, the 81-year-old actress, who rose to stardom when she played scheming vixen Abby Fairgate on the Dallas spinoff Knots Landing from 1980 to 1989, explained why she decided to embrace motherhood in her 50s.  

‘I was very concentrated on my career, but at a certain point, I realized there was something missing — it was a child,’ the soap opera star said.

Late start: Donna Mills became a first-time mother at the age of 54 when she adopted her baby daughter Chloe in 1994. Seen in 2021

She continued, ‘So I went after it. I adopted her when she was four days old.’

‘By that time, I was 54 and people said, ‘You’re going to be so old [to] have a little toddler running around.’ I never felt that,’ Donna said.

‘I never felt older than the other mothers who were probably in their 20s.’

Becoming a mom: In an interview with People magazine, the 81-year-old actress, who rose to stardom when she played scheming vixen Abby Fairgate on the Dallas spinoff Knots Landing, explained why she decided to embrace motherhood in her 50s

The Daytime Emmy Award winner told the media outlet that she would advise other career-minded people to defer parenthood until later in life.   

She told People, ‘If you want to give to your career, I say having a child later in life is better than having a child early.’

Donna, who appeared on television and in guest roles after her departure from Knots Landing, explained that she decided to take an 18-year hiatus from acting full-time to focus on raising Chloe.   

Priorities: Donna, who appeared on television and in guest roles after her departure from Knots Landing, explained that she decided to take an 18-year hiatus from acting full-time to focus on raising Chloe. Seen in 2005

‘I took off 18 years. I didn’t work,’ she told People. ‘Well, the first couple of years, I did work. 

She continued, ‘I did some movies for television and stuff like that, because I could take her wherever I went. 

‘But then when she started school, I wasn’t going to go out of town for two months at a time. And I didn’t become a mother to give her to a nanny.’ 

The Play Misty For Me actress said she still shares a close bond with her now 27-year-old daughter.   

Close: The Play Misty For Me actress said she still shares a close bond with her now 27-year-old daughter. Seen in 2009

Donna said, ‘We see each other at least once a week and we talk every day or text.’ 

The actress returned to daytime television in 2014 when she was cast in a recurring guest-starring role on the ABC soap General Hospital. 

She went on to win the Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series award at the 2015 Daytime Emmy Awards for her performance.

Over the past few years, Donna has continued to act in television, movies and theater.

Back then: Donna originated the role of Abby in Knots Landing and played the villainess on the hit show for nine years before leaving in 1989

The performer will next be seen this July starring alongside Keke Palmer, Daniel Kuluuya and Steven Yeun in Jordan Peele’s upcoming sci-fi horror film Nope. 

During the interview with People, the Chicago native also shared some of her tips for maintaining her ageless beauty.

‘I usually work out every day,’ the octogenarian said. ‘Having been a dancer, I have my ballet bar in a little gym upstairs, and I just got a Peloton for my birthday.’

She added, ‘I do weight training and a lot of stretching.’

Timeless: The Chicago native also shared some of her tips for maintaining her ageless beauty. Seen in 2019

As to her diet, Donna explained, ‘I’ve always been a healthy eater. I don’t eat sugar. I don’t eat pasta. I don’t do starches.’

She continued, ‘I eat mostly proteins and vegetables. I love vegetables, which I grow — kale and arugula, tomatoes. My greatest pleasure in life is eating it right off the vine. I’m not a good cook. The only thing that I make that’s good is cheesecake.’

Donna told People, ‘For skin care, the main thing is stay out of the frickin’ sun! It makes such a difference. And somebody asked me, ‘Why don’t you get [cosmetic enhancements]?’ No, because I’m not going to look like a duck. I’d rather have lines than a duck bill.”

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