Donna Mills (born December 11, 1940) is an American actress and producer, most well known for her role as Abby Cunningham on the prime time soap opera Knots Landing.

Life and careerEdit

[edit]Early life and careerEdit

Born as Donna Jean Miller in ChicagoIllinois, she attended Garvey Elementary School and Taft High school. After being double-promoted at Garvey, she graduated from Taft at an early age. From there, Mills attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1964 where she was a member of Delta Gamma sorority. She completed one year of course work and left to pursue an acting career. She gained some early stage experience in 1959.


Donna Jean Miller

December 11, 1940 (age 73)

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.


Los Angeles, California, U.S.


Taft High School

Alma mater

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



Years active


Home town

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.


Chloe Mills (adopted)

Mills began her acting career on television with a guest role on The Steve Lawrence Show in 1965 as Hazel and then the CBS daytime soap opera The Secret Storm in 1966. Following this she gained a regular role as ex-nun Laura Donnelly on the soap Love is a Many Splendored Thing, which she played from 1967 to 1969. Mills appeared on Broadway in Woody Allen's comedy, Don't Drink the Water, as the Sultan of Bashir's wife in 1969.

[edit]Television stardomEdit

In 1971, Mills co-starred with Jessica Walter and Clint Eastwood  in the thriller Play Misty for Me, which has remained her most prominent movie role to date.

In 1971-2 she starred in the short-lived sitcom The Good Life with Larry Hagman who later guest-starred on Knots Landing as the iconic J. R. Ewing from their companion series Dallas. Prior to signing up a contract for Universal Studios in 1972 (much like her future Knots Landing co-stars Joan Van Ark and Kevin Dobson did at the same time), Mills spent much of the 1970s appearing as a guest on television shows such as The Six Million Dollar ManHawaii Five-OThe Love BoatCHiPsThe Oregon TrailQuincy, M.E., Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law, Police Story, the UK's Thriller series playing a Canadian woman named Chrissie, an English model Helen Cook in the episode One Deadly Owner in 1974 and finally in 1975 in A Killer with Two Faces as an American estate agent Patty Heron alongside playing super heroic police officer Tracy Fleming in the 1971 TV film The Bait, Police Woman and Fantasy Island, as well as several made-for-TV movies and has become of US TV's Superstars.

In 1980, Mills landed her most prominent role — that of the unmasked villain Abby Cunningham on the long-running primetime soap opera Knots Landing, a role she played until 1989. She had a villainous role before in the 1978 film Superdome. After leaving the series, Mills concentrated on television movies, several of which she co-produced like In My Daughter's Name (1992) and My Name Is Kate (1994).. Mills returned to Knots Landing for its final episode in 1993, and again for the reunion miniseries Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-De-Sac in 1997. In between, she had a brief recurring guest role as Josie Bissett's mother on the popular 1990s primetime soap opera Melrose Place.

Outside of acting, in 1986 Mills released "The Eyes Have It", an instructional video for achieving several different make-up looks. She went on to release her own line of cosmetics of the same name.

[edit]Later yearsEdit

In 2012, she guest-starred on ABC comedy series GCB as Amy 'Bitsy' Lourd, Annie Potts's character old rival.In 2005, she reunited with the Knots Landing cast for the reunion, Knots Landing: Together Again, in which the stars reminisced about the show. In more recent years, Mills has continued to make television movies as well as guest appearances in series such as Cold Case (season 4, episode 13 "Blackout") and Nip/Tuck (in which she guest-starred with fellow Knots Landing star Joan Van Ark).

Personal lifeEdit

Mills has never married. She has one adopted daughter, Chloe (born 1995). She currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

Mills appeared in pictorial for the October 1987 edition of Playboy Magazine. Mills appeared in a cover-featured (non-nude) pictorial for the November 1989 edition of Playboy Magazine. Her hobbies are tennis and field hockey when it was once believed that she numerous field hockey games in goal without a mask, faceguard or a helmet between 1971 and 1992. She now plays as goal defender in field hockey as believed without a protective mask


Film and Television
Year Title Role Notes


The Steve Lawrence Show

The Secret Storm





Love Is a Many Splendored Thing

The Incident

Laura Donnelly Elliott

Alice Keenan

1969 Love, American Style Ellie 1 episode
1971 Play Misty for Me

The Bait


Dan August

The F.B.I.

Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law


Tracy Fleming



Mary Collins

Nancy Danziger

1 episode

1971-1972 The Good Life Jane Miller 15 episodes
1972 Haunts of the Very Rich Laurie
Rolling Man Bebe Lotter
Night of Terror

The Bold Ones: The New Doctors

The F.B.I.

Linda Daniel

Valerie DeMarco

Bernice Rawson

1 episode

1973 Gunsmoke



Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law

Cora Sanderson

Trina King


Kit Howell

2 episodes

Episode: Someone at the Top of the Stairs

1974 Live Again, Die Again Caroline Carmichael
Marcus Welby, M.D. Bea Averton 1 episode
McMillan & Wife


Police Story

Laura Rainey

Helen Cook


Episode: One Deadly Owner
1975 The Six Million Dollar Man Liza Leitman 1 episode
Who Is the Black Dahlia? Susan Winters
Murph the Surf Ginny Eaton
Hawaii Five-O Marcia Bissell 1 episode
Beyond the Bermuda Triangle

The Rookies

Medical Center


Medical Story

Barnaby Jones


Police Story


Gwen DeWitt

Donna Guthrie

Lena Michaels


Abby Reinhart

Patty Heron

Betty Johnson

1976 Police Woman Tamee Swanson 1 episode
Quincy, M.E. Roberta Rhodes 1 episode
Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby Ellen
Smash-Up on Interstate 5


City of Angels


Lauren Brooks


1977 Bunco Frankie
Fire! Harriett Malone
Curse of the Black Widow Leigh Lockwood
The Hunted Lady

The Oregon Trail

The Love Boat

Susan Reilly


Lila Barton

1978 Superdome Lainie Wiley
Doctors' Private Lives Dr. Beth Demery
The Love Boat Jeannie Carter 3 episodes
1979 Hanging by a Thread Ellen Craig
Fantasy Island Cindy Carter 1 episode
Young Maverick Lila Gates 2 episodes
1980 Waikiki Cassie Howard
1980 - 1989, 1993 Knots Landing Abby Fairgate Cunningham Ewing Sumner 236 episodes
1981 Insight Jackie Bliss
1982 Bare Essence Barbara Fisher
1983 Salute Herself
1984 He's Not Your Son Kathy Saunders
1985 Alice in Wonderland The Rose
1986 The Eyes Have It Herself Video release
1987 Intimate Encounters Julie Atkins
1988 Outback Bound Samantha 'Sam' Hollings
1989 The Lady Forgets Rebecca Simms/Julie Black
1990 The World's Oldest Living Bridesmaid Brenda Morgan
1991 Runaway Father Pat Bennett
False Arrest Joyce Lukezic
1992 In My Daughter's Name Laura Elias
The President's Child Elizabeth Hemming
1993 Remember

The John Larroquette Show

Nicky Wells


1994 My Name Is Kate

Dream On



1995 Dangerous Intentions Beth Williamson
An Element of Truth

High Society

Vanessa Graves

Jacelyn Seymore Winters/Lucinda

1996 The Stepford Husbands Jodi Davison
1996-1997 Melrose Place Sherry Doucette 4 episodes
1997 Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac Abby Fairgate Cunningham Ewing Sumner TV miniseries






Moonlight Becomes You

Twice in a Lifetime

Rude Awakening

E! Mysteries and Scandals

The Rosie O' Donnell Show

CBS at 75

Maggie Holloway

Linda MacCullen/Lana Kasalas







A Very Cool Christmas

TV Movie Superstars: Women You Love

Mrs. Jo Claus


2006 Jane Doe: Yes, I Remember It Well Polly Jameson
2007 Cold Case Lauren Williams 1 episode
Love Is a Four Letter Word Margot Harper
2008 Ladies of the House Elizabeth



Dirty Sexy Money

79th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade



1 episode




The Doctors

Lulu Grandiron









Pioneers of Television

General Hospital

Deadly Revenge

When Life Keeps Getting in the Way

Queens of Drama

Amy 'Bitsy' Lourd


Madeline Reeves


Dr. Kirsty Goldstein


Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.