Alley Mills has a knack for playing slightly off-kilter characters. The beloved actress, who portrays the bipolar character of Pam Douglas on The Bold and the Beautiful, shared a story about working with legendary actresses Susan Flannery and Betty White, who played her sister and mother, respectively and playing out White’s character’s death onscreen.
Alley Mills: Sharing Screentime With Legends
At a Coastal Entertainment Zoom gathering for General Hospital fans, where Mills had recently wrapped up a Daytime Emmy-nominated run as Heather Webber, Mills revealed how her role on B&B came about and what it was like working with Flannery and White. It was a Daytime Emmy-winning storyline that found the two sisters saying goodbye to their mother, filmed on location at Flannery’s Malibu home.
“That one was a weird surprise, too,” she explained. “I went in to do 10 days. They brought in the lead actress on The Bold and Beautiful, who is a great actor. Her name is Susan Flannery. She’s not there anymore. They’ve created the show for her. She’s a powerhouse. She’s so awesome.”
The ever-engaging actress schooled GH fans on Susan Flannery’s history as Stephanie Forrester on the show. “They created a backstory to explain to the audience why she’s such a bitch because she pushes people over balconies. I don’t know if anyone’s ever seen that joke, but I mean, that’s why they love her. She’s a real Telemundo actress, you know, like bam, bam — and she’s a matriarch of a huge fashion company. Rich.
“She’s a great character, and they decided that she had been molested by her dad as a kid,” Mills explained. She described how her character was brought in. “They brought back Betty White as her mother [Ann] and me, as her sister [Pam] living in Chicago. I would have been living with Betty White my whole life.”
She revealed the details behind Pam’s own history. “I was like 40, you know, like this…with this horrible helmet hair to this rich girl in Chicago stuck in an apartment with Betty White for my whole life. And so I was bipolar and wacky in a completely different way [from GH’s Heather]. I was…crazy, you know, on medication.”
Working with the late Betty White, who passed away in 2021, was a dream. “It was incredible. That’s why I stayed for 13 years instead of 10 days. We had this chemistry, the three of us…Betty stayed for, I think…six months to a year or something. She came out to Beverly Hills.”
B&B: Saying Goodbye To Ann Douglas
Some of the scenes leading up to Ann’s final death scene were filmed on location at Susan Flannery’s home in Beverly Hills. “I came out to Beverly Hills…to where Susan lived, and we helped her [Ann] die. She wanted to die on the beach in a chair. Her death scene was the show that won a [Daytime] Emmy. It was the three of us.”
Of course, whenever her character’s involved, things don’t always go as planned. “She was dying in the apartment, and I made a vow to everybody that I wouldn’t call the ambulance or whatever. But I was too weak because poor Pam…she’s very sweet.”
Mills shared how Flannery’s intensity brought out real emotions in her. “I flipped out, and I called an ambulance, and Susan came back and screamed at me. She scared me so much that I don’t normally cry. I’m not a big crier like [some] soap opera actresses, but Susan made me cry.
“And so we get to the hospital,” Mills continued. “And Betty White looked at me like, ‘You called the ambulance?’” The actress recounted the final scenes. “So I got her out of the hospital and took her up to Pepperdine, to the beach in Malibu. It was great and fantastic.” There probably isn’t an avid Bold and Beautiful fan who could forget White’s emotional goodbye, and it was certainly a career highlight that Alley Mills will always remember.