John Mills excelled on camera as an appealing British everyman who often portrayed guileless, wounded war heroes.
62 Facts About John Mills
John Mills was born on 22 February 1908 in North Elmham, Norfolk, the son of Edith Mills, a theatre box office manager, and Lewis Mills, a mathematics teacher.
John Mills was born at Watts Naval School, where his father was a master.
John Mills spent his early years in the village of Belton where his father was the headmaster of the village school.
John Mills first felt the thrill of performing at a concert in the school hall when he was six years old.
John Mills then lived in a modest house on Gainsborough Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk until 1929.
In September 1939, at the start of the Second World War, John Mills enlisted in the British Army, joining the Royal Engineers.
John Mills was later commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, but in 1942 he received a medical discharge because of a stomach ulcer.
John Mills took an early interest in acting, making his professional debut at the London Hippodrome in The Five O'Clock Girl in 1929.
John Mills then got a job with a theatrical company that toured India, China and the Far East performing a number of plays.
On his return John Mills starred in The 1931 Revue, Coward's Cavalcade and the Noel Coward revue Words and Music.
John Mills made his film debut in The Midshipmaid.
John Mills appeared in The Ghost Camera with Ida Lupino and Britannia of Billingsgate.
John Mills was promoted to leading roles in A Political Party, a comedy.
John Mills was in a series of quota quickies: The River Wolves ; Those Were the Days, the first film of Will Hay; The Lash ; Blind Justice ; Doctor's Orders ; and Car of Dreams.
John Mills did Jill Darling on stage and was one of many names in Royal Cavalcade.
John Mills had the star role in an A film, Brown on Resolution.
John Mills had another excellent part in an "A", playing Lord Guildford Dudley in Tudor Rose.
John Mills starred in The Green Cockatoo directed by William Cameron Menzies.
John Mills appeared as Colley in the hugely popular 1939 film version of Goodbye, Mr Chips, opposite Robert Donat.
John Mills joined the army in 1939 but occasionally made films on leave.
John Mills went back to movies with Old Bill and Son and made Cottage to Let, a war film for Anthony Asquith.
John Mills went back to supporting Will Hay in The Black Sheep of Whitehall and he was one of many names in the war film, The Big Blockade.
John Mills was in Men in Shadow on stage, written by his wife.
John Mills achieved acclaim for his performance as an able seaman in Noel Coward's In Which We Serve, a huge hit.
John Mills had another good support role in The Young Mr Pitt playing William Wilberforce opposite Robert Donat.
John Mills was top billed in This Happy Breed, directed by David Lean and adapted from a Noel Coward play.
Also popular was Waterloo Road, from Sidney Gilliat, in which John Mills played a man who goes AWOL to retrieve his wife from a draft-dodger.
John Mills played a pilot in The Way to the Stars, directed by Asquith from a script by Terence Rattigan, and another big hit in Britain.
John Mills had his greatest success to date as Pip in Great Expectations, directed by David Lean.
John Mills played the title role in Scott of the Antarctic, a biopic of Captain Scott.
Pelisse made The Rocking Horse Winner which John Mills produced; he played a small role.
John Mills had his first hit in a number of years with Hobson's Choice, directed by Lean.
John Mills appeared in the war film The Colditz Story.
John Mills had a key support role as a peasant in War and Peace and made a cameo in Around the World in 80 Days.
John Mills went to Australia to play a cane cutter in the Hollywood financed Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.
John Mills's performance earned him a Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival.
Disney offered John Mills the lead in the adventure film Swiss Family Robinson, which was a huge hit.
John Mills did a comedy with James Mason, Tiara Tahiti.
John Mills had a support role in The Chalk Garden starring Hayley.
John Mills had a cameo in King Rat for Bryan Forbes, who then directed Mills in The Wrong Box.
John Mills played Hayley's father-in-law on screen in The Family Way.
John Mills then directed her in Sky West and Crooked from a script written by his wife.
John Mills was the subject of This Is Your Life on two occasions, firstly in 1960 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews outside Pinewood Studios, and again in 1983 when Eamonn surprised him on the stage of London's Wyndham's Theatre at the curtain call of the play Little Lies.
John Mills began to move into character roles, supporting Hugh O'Brian in Africa Texas Style and Rod Taylor in Chuka.
John Mills went to Italy for a giallo, A Black Veil for Lisa and played William Hamilton in Emma Hamilton.
John Mills went to Australia to star in a convict drama, Adam's Woman.
John Mills was in Dulcima then had support roles in Young Winston for Attenborough, Lady Caroline Lamb, and Oklahoma Crude.
John Mills had filmed supporting roles in The Big Sleep and The Thirty Nine Steps.
John Mills followed this with a sitcom in Young at Heart.
John Mills performed Goodbye Mr Chips on stage followed by Little Lies.
John Mills provided a voice for When the Wind Blows and supported Madonna in Who's That Girl.
John Mills starred as Gus: The Theatre Cat in the filmed version of the musical Cats in 1998.
In 2000, Mills released his extensive home cine-film footage in a documentary film entitled Sir John Mills's Moving Memories, with interviews with Mills, his children Hayley, Juliet and Jonathan and Richard Attenborough.
The film was produced and written by Jonathan John Mills, directed and edited by Marcus Dillistone, and features behind the scenes footage and stories from films such as Ice Cold in Alex and Dunkirk.
John Mills portrayed a charming old gent as head of an art museum in the 1997 Mr Bean.
In 1947, John Mills appeared with his daughters in the film So Well Remembered.
John Mills's grandson by Hayley, Crispian John Mills, is a musician, best known for his work with the raga rock group Kula Shaker.
John Mills wrote an autobiography entitled Up in the Clouds, Gentlemen Please, which was published in 1980 and revised in 2001.
John Mills died on 23 April 2005 in Denham, Buckinghamshire, at the age of 97, following a stroke.
John Mills was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1960.
In 1999, at 91 years of age, John Mills became the oldest joining member of the entertainment charitable fraternity, the Grand Order of Water Rats.