‘I’ve been away too much time’: Hayley Mills, 76, admits she should have been more focused on her kids

‘I’ve been away too much time’: Hayley Mills, 76, admits she should have been more focused on her kids

‘I’ve been away too much time’: Hayley Mills, 76, admits she should have been more focused on her kids and less on her career

Former child star Hayley Mills has offered some wise advice to other parents, albeit with hindsight: Don’t neglect your children.

The 76-year-old Oscar winner has two sons, filmmaker Jason Lawson from ex-actor Leigh Lawson and Crispian Mills, the 49-year-old Kula Shaker frontman whose father was Brighton Rock producer Roy Boulting.

But while she’s not always around, Sir John Mills’ daughter Hayley is delighted that her boys have followed in her creative footsteps.

Speaking of which, former child star Hayley Mills gave other parents some wise advice, albeit with hindsight: Don’t neglect your kids.

The mother-of-two told the Chron’s Richard Eden: “If there’s ever any doubt about taking a job or spending time with your children – do the latter.

“Looking back now, I didn’t. I’ve spent too much time away.

“They survived and they are both wonderful men of whom I am incredibly proud, but it has not been easy for them.”

Family: The Pollyanna Oscar winner, 76, has two sons, filmmaker Jason Lawson by ex-actor Leigh Lawson and Crispian Mills (pictured right), the 49-year-old frontman of Kula Shaker whose father was Brighton Rock producer Roy boulting

Family: The Pollyanna Oscar winner, 76, has two sons, filmmaker Jason Lawson by ex-actor Leigh Lawson and Crispian Mills (pictured right), the 49-year-old frontman of Kula Shaker whose father was Brighton Rock producer Roy boulting

A Disney child star since she was 13, Hayley has directed popular family films such as Pollyanna and The Parent Trap.

She has also starred in the ITV1 drama Wild At Heart as Amanda Holden’s mother.

Hayley received her first Oscar at age 14 for Pollyanna – while she had a long and distinguished career as a film star, her father John was never awarded one.

The film became so iconic that a remake was released in 1961 starring Lindsay Lohan, both of whom played twins.

Hayley previously revealed how she secretly battled breast cancer after being diagnosed with the disease on her 62nd birthday in April 2008.

She underwent surgery and chemotherapy until doctors told her in 2010 that the cancer was gone. She kept her illness a secret and only family members knew until years later.

She told the Chron at the time: “They found cancer in both breasts and I had surgery very quickly. For me it helped to keep the news to myself. That’s the kind of person I am.

“I know people who have had to tell all their friends, but for me it was a private matter and it has helped me to continue living as normally as possible.

“I have shared it with very few people. My family and partner were just wonderful from the start. It’s so hard for the people close to you to deal with these things.’

Star: Hayley has been a Disney child star since she was 13, directing popular family films like Pollyanna and The Parent Trap.  (Pictured: Hayley Mills in a promotional shot for the film Pollyanna)

Star: Hayley has been a Disney child star since she was 13, directing popular family films like Pollyanna and The Parent Trap. (Pictured: Hayley Mills in a promotional shot for the film Pollyanna)