The actress received a second Oscar statuette on Sunday, to replace the mini version that went missing from her home back in the late 1980s.
Originally winning the Academy Juvenile Award for her title role in the 1960 Disney film, Mills, 75, was presented with a full-size trophy this time around.
“Hayley Mills being reunited with her long lost Academy Juvenile Award (which she won for 1960’s ‘Pollyanna’) by AMPAS president David Rubin is the purest thing you’ll see all day,” the Academy tweeted Tuesday, alongside a collection of photos featuring a surprised Mills receiving her new trophy.
“Mills won the Juvenile Oscar for her performance as Pollyanna. She was the last person and one of only 12 young actors to receive this award, a group that included Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, and Mickey Rooney,” the Academy wrote in a follow-up tweet.
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Mills previously opened up to Entertainment Weekly about her first statue, telling the publication in 2018 that it had “disappeared” after she returned to London following a one-year stay in California to film Good Morning, Miss Bliss, a predecessor to Saved by the Bell.
“When I came back from that first year, my little statuette had disappeared, and I never found it,” she said. “And you know, it’s not something you can replace. They’ve broken the mold.”
“I spoke to the Academy, and I said, ‘Well, look, give me a big one then!’ They said, ‘I’m sorry, it doesn’t work like that,’ ” she added.
Mills, the daughter of British actor Sir John Mills, was only a preteen when she got swept up in the world of Hollywood. While under Walt Disney‘s wing, Mills rose to stardom with roles in classic films like Pollyanna and The Parent Trap during the 1960s.
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She went on to win multiple awards, including a Golden Globe, multiple BAFTAs and the Academy Juvenile Award. (In a June 1961 New York Times review of The Parent Trap, critic Bosley Crowther praised Mills for her “delightful insouciance, dexterity and charm.”)
The English actress spoke to PEOPLE last year amid the September release of her memoir Forever Young, noting that her “career didn’t really start until Walt Disney brought me to America for Pollyanna.”
“As a young English girl playing such an American icon, I could have been met with roars of disapproval, but I quickly discovered the nation’s generous spirit and I felt genuinely taken into the hearts of their filmgoers,” she continued. “This was the beginning of a wonderful relationship that continues to this day. It was a very different world when I first arrived in the States and so much has changed.”
Mills added, “Writing this book has been the most marvelous opportunity to go back to those early days of wonder and confusion, to remember all the rare and exceptional people that I was lucky enough to meet and to love, and at the same time, to try and fathom the strange and fortuitous events that shaped my family’s life.”