This fan card, featuring Hayley Mills as she appeared in the 1965 film That Darn Cat!, was sent in response to fan letters directed to the actress and received by the Walt Disney Studios.
The London-born Mills was raised in a show-business family, making her film debut at the age of thirteen in 1959’s Tiger Bay, acting alongside her father, Sir John Mills. Walt Disney, impressed by the young actress’s talent, signed her to a five-year contract, during which she starred in the following films: Pollyanna (her American film debut), The Parent Trap (a role which earned her a special Academy Award), In Search of the Castaways, Summer Magic, The Moon-Spinners, and That Darn Cat!. Disney would call Mills the “greatest movie find in twenty-five years,” and the young actress who rose to stardom through her string of hits for the studio would go on to a successful acting career that spanned several more decades. In the 80s, she returned to Disney, contributing to three Parent Trap sequels, as well as various Disney Channel projects. In 1998, she was honored with the Disney Legend award.
The black-and-white photo that fronts the fan card shows an eighteen-year-old Mills, in the style of her character in the film, Patti Randall, along with the following hand-written facsimile message: “Best Wishes, Sincerely, Hayley Mills.”
The film would be released a year after the issuance of this fan card (December 2, 1965), which features the following pre-printed message on the reverse side:
I want to thank you very much for your kind letter and hope this photo will please you.
THAT DARN CAT will be my next picture for Walt Disney, and it will be a very exciting and amusing film so I hope you will see it and enjoy it.
Thank you again,
This studio fan card, dating to the release of the well-loved comedy, That Darn Cat!, represents a very successful period for Walt Disney Pictures, as well as one of their brightest stars, who lent her talent to some of the studio’s biggest hits.