Main content

Sir John Mills

Sue Lawley's castaway is actor Sir John Mills.

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is Sir John Mills. He was only six when he decided he wanted to be an actor. And now after seventy years in show business he is still touring the world with his one man show. It was the war which made him a star and the films he made then eventually led to Hollywood. There he made friends with Laurence Olivier, Rex Harrison and Noel Coward, to whom he says he owes a great debt.

He won an Oscar for his performance in Ryan's Daughter, but one of his favourite films remains Ice Cold in Alex. In it, he got to kiss Sylvia Sims, a scene which was later cut by the censor for showing too much of her cleavage and which had to be reshot with only three buttons undone instead of four.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: All the Things You Are by Chick Henderson
Book: The Warden by Anthony Trollope
Luxury: His piano

Available now

45 minutes

Music Played

  • Noël Coward

    Some Day I'll Find You

    • I’ll See You.
    • Philips.
  • Binnie Hale

    Spread a Little Happiness

    • Spread a Little happiness.
    • Conifer.
  • Fred Astaire

    Night and Day

    • The Gay Divorcee.
    • Verve.
  • Nicholas Brodzsky

    The Way To The Stars

    Orchestra: Two Cities Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Charles Williams

    • British Film Music from the 1940s & 1950s.
    • EMI.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Chick Henderson

      All the Things You Are

      • Blue Orchids.
      • Memoir.
  • Arthur Askey

    Adolf

    • Bandwaggon.
    • Flapper.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor

    Soloist: Andrew Watts

    • Rachmaninov Piano Ctd.
    • Sony Music.
  • Sir John Mills

    Ever the Best of Friends

    • From the musical Great Expectations 1975 - SUNG AND PLAYED BY CASTAWAY.
  • Book Choice

    • The Warden - Anthony Trollope

  • Luxury Choice

    • His piano

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest John Mills

Broadcasts

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes

Articles

Articles

Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?

Podcast