Alley Mills — A Biography
Alley Mills was born on May 9, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents were TV executive Don Mills and American Heritage magazine editor Joan Kerr. Although she graduated from Yale in 1973, Mills went on to study acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
She was still in college when she landed her first film role in the film Diary of a Mad Housewife in 1970.
Alley found steady and diverse work in television working on such shows as Barefoot in the Park, The Waltons, Hill Street Blues, Dr. Quinn; Medicine Woman, Lou Grant, Touched by an Angel, Profiler, and Newhart, but it was her work as Norma Arnold on The Wonder Years that made her a household name.
Mills has a passion for Theatre and fits in stage work as often as she can.
Her late husband Orson Bean shared her love of the arts and the two starred in several productions together, such as Candida, There’s One In Every Marriage, Hogan’s Goat, and Alright Then. The talented couple were members of the Pacific Resident Theater in Venice, CA. Orson passed away in 2020.
Follow her on Instagram @alley_mills.
- May 9, 1951 — Birthdate
- Two Siblings
- Made TV debut on The Patti Page Show in 1959
- Performed as a child at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.
- Practiced Buddhism before becoming a Christian.
- Along with her husband, is a collector of Americana folk art; classic restaurant and retail signs decorate the couple’s backyard.
- Was one of the first female undergraduates at Yale University, and while studying there, she once found a lost painting by Frederick Church in a school cellar. The artwork sold for $1.5 million.