The Academy gifted former child star Hayley Mills a replacement for her stolen Oscar
Hayley Mills has now won an Oscar, lost an Oscar, and received another Oscar — all for the same performance.
Well, sort of. On Sunday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Mills, a former child star who appeared in a string of 1960s Disney films including The Parent Trap, with a replacement for the Academy Juvenile Award she won in 1961. Her original, miniature Oscar was apparently stolen from her London home in the late 1980s and has never been recovered.
Mills won the Juvenile Award for her performance in Disney's Pollyanna, receiving a half-size Oscar statuette from the Academy. She was the last person and one of only 12 young actors to receive the Juvenile Award, a group that also includes Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, and Mickey Rooney.
"In the late '80s, I came to California to do a television series [Good Morning, Miss Bliss]," Mills told EW in 2018. "When I came back from that first year, my little statuette had disappeared, and I never found it. And you know, it's not something you can replace. They've broken the mold. I spoke to the Academy, and I said, 'Well, look, give me a big one then!' They said, 'I'm sorry, it doesn't work like that.'"
Apparently, it does now work like that, as Academy president David Rubin presented Mills with a full-sized trophy during a visit by the actress to the group's Beverly Hills headquarters. (An Academy representative confirmed to EW that the organization indeed no longer has the mold for the miniature Oscar and therefore can't make new ones.)
When Mills spoke to EW in 2018, she also reflected on winning the Oscar, which she didn't realize she had won until it turned up on her doorstep in England. (She was at boarding school and did not attend the 1961 ceremony.) "I didn't know very much about the Oscars," Mills recalled. "I didn't know very much about anything, really. So it was all a big surprise… I was told, 'Well, this is a very special award,' but it was quite a few years before I began to appreciate what I had."
Mills' new memoir Forever Young is now available from Grand Central Publishing.