Knotts Landing star Donna Mills, 81, reveals secrets to staying fit: ‘I’m careful’

Knotts Landing veteran Donna Mills reveals how it stays in shape over the years.

Mills, 81, spoke to AARP – The Magazine about everything she prioritizes in her life, including “eating green and clean.”

“During my soap opera years, I never ate pasta, sugar, bread, ice cream, cookies or anything like that. I was drinking half a glass of wine. Now I eat, but I’m still cautious. I’m not a vegetarian, but I grow, pick and eat a lot of vegetables,” she shared with the outlet.

Mills also shared that he plans to “keep moving” in the coming years.

“I play tennis five times a week for two hours. “I’m lucky to have a cord made of clay, which makes your joints much easier than cement,” he said. “I also have a small gym at home, so I do light weights, I use Peloton, I stretch a lot on my ballet barre. And let me tell you, it’s not always fun. Like almost everyone my age, I have arthritis and it hurts sometimes. But that’s where discipline comes in. I’m not superwoman, but I always see the bigger picture.”

“In your 60s, 70s, you have more to contribute later — don’t just sit back and say, ‘I’m done,'” Mills added.

The actress also shared the outlet she received A break from Hollywood to raise her daughter Chloe. Mills became a mother at the age of 54 when she adopted her daughter in 1994.

Knots Landing star Donna Mills says she maintains a healthy lifestyle by eating clean.
Getty Images for Universal

“I was single, 54 years old, and I really wanted to be a mother. It was not a difficult decision to make,” he said. “I really needed him to come to me, he needed to be my child. I wanted him to have a normal life. So I stopped working for many years while he was in school and it was “It was the right thing. I didn’t want to part with him.”

Chloe, 28, is currently a model and manager at Soho House, an elite, private club for those involved in the arts, politics and media.

Mills says her love life didn’t blossom until she was 60, and encourages others to “open yourself up to love at any age.”

Donna Mills
Mills actively schedules tennis during the week.
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

“I met [actor and producer] Larry Gilman is 60 years old. I was lucky. Before that I went for some bad boys. But when I met him, I knew I was walking into a boy who wasn’t bad, she explained.

The General Hospital actress continued, “There’s a big hill behind our house. Larry wanted to build a vineyard there. And I thought, “No, you’re crazy, the vine will move the hill.” I was worried. It was one of the few battles we fought. He didn’t listen to me, and it’s good that he didn’t. Vineyards have fortified the hill and now we have our own commercial vineyard. And it’s just beautiful.”

Mills keeps in touch with his Knot’s Landing co-stars.

Knots Landing
Mills in the episode “Knots Landing”.
CBS via Getty Images

“Joan of Arc and Michelle Lee 40 years after we starred in Knotts Landing, they are still dear friends. Sometimes we put on an evening with the ladies of Knotts Landing for the fans. Some sport dramatic eye makeup, like my character Abby.

Speaking about the character of Abby Cunningham, Mills said that over the years she portrayed the role, some women struggled to separate her from her character.

“I have to say that during my Knotts Landing days, a lot of women were harsh on me in real life. I could not understand the reason for a long time. Then I realized that this is my character. They thought they would take her husband away,” she said.

Donna Mills
During her soap opera days, Mills kept herself on a strict diet.
Getty Images / Albert L. Ortega

The actress has been successful in Hollywood for a long time. In 1971, she co-starred with Clint Eastwood in Play Misty for Me, before playing Abbie Cunningham in 1979’s Knotts Landing.

The actress, who won an Emmy for her role on General Hospital in 2015, recently starred in Jordan Peele’s No and will star in VC Andrew Down’s Cutler, based on the writer’s books. Mills will portray Lillian Cutler in the upcoming Lifetime series in 2023.


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