Juliet Mills: Back to Nannying, With a Twist
BY Trudy Ring
March 10 2014 9:00 AM ET
Acting has brought Mills into contact with many other greats, such as Wilder, who directed her and Lemmon (left) in the 1972 comedy Avanti! “Billy Wilder was a genius and one of the funniest, wittiest men I’ve ever met,” and Lemmon was “a great actor,” she says. “It was an amazing experience working with them.”
She also has good things to say about Richard Long, her Nanny and the Professor costar. “We were very, very close,” she says. “He was a wonderful actor, a wonderful comedian.” The series “was a very happy time for me,” she says.
Mills has been a frequent guest star on episodic TV, with credits including Wonder Woman, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Dynasty, and Murder, She Wrote, among many others. She also had a long stint on the soap opera Passions and in recent years has had a recurring role on Hot in Cleveland.
She remains close with sister Hayley, the two seeing each other as much as possible although Juliet lives in California and Hayley in England. Juliet spent a season acting in Hayley’s popular British TV series Wild at Heart, about a veterinarian working in Africa, and “it was lovely,” Juliet says. The sisters have worked together on the stage as well. They appeared in Noël Coward’s Fallen Angels in Australia and New Zealand a few years back, and they may do the play Ladies in Lavender in Australia in the near future.
Of all the mediums in which she’s worked, the theater is Mills’s favorite. “I love that exchange with the audience,” she says. The theater also introduced her to her husband, actor Maxwell Caulfield. They met in 1980 when they starred in the U.S. national tour of The Elephant Man, and they married that year. “We’re soulmates,” Mills says, explaining the marriage’s longevity. “I believe in past lives. Instantly, when we met, it was like we’d known each other forever.” They also enjoy working together, having performed in such plays as Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce and Charles Busch’s The Divine Sister, and they plan to do Equus on Cape Cod next year.
Mills also hopes another season of From Here on Out is in her future. She came to the series through her friendship with director Sam Irvin, who has worked with Caulfield, and “happily, he’s always wanted to work with me,” she says. Irvin brought the project to her, and “her arm’s probably still bruised from the twisting,” he jokes, adding, “It’s just wonderful to have someone with Juliet’s standing to lead the troops.”
Mills notes that she and Caulfield have had a long and warm relationship with gay friends and fans. “They’ve always been wonderful,” she says. “I feel close to the gay community.”
From Here on Out will undoubtedly win Mills even more gay fans. She promises that the series will provide “a lot of laughs, entertainment, and some eye candy.” It’s available now on Here TV’s YouTube premium channel and will make its broadcast premiere March 28, exclusively on Here TV. Watch a trailer below.
Mills with Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman