For the 10 years "between 'The Good Life' (1971) and 'Knots Landing' (1980), I did 21 movies for television," Donna Mills disclosed. "They don't take that long to do, and I love to work. I'm happiest when I'm real busy." On reflection, "I haven't always been a good girl. I've done some bad girls in movies for TV. In one, 'Superdome' (1978), I was a killer – you can't be much worse than that! I was hired by a gambling syndicate to kill some football players, to disable a Super Bowl team.

"I did 3 spooky thrillers in England with strange things chasing me. One was titled 'Someone at the Top of the Stairs' (1973). Another, about a haunted Rolls Royce I bought, was 'One Deadly Owner' (1974). In 'Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby' (1976) I was involved with a seemingly nice young man whose evil side took over. In 'Live Again, Die Again,' (1974) about cryogenics, I was frozen for 40 years after being a victim of rheumatic fever. When I was brought back to life my kids were older than I was."

Donna noted 'The Good Life' "pilot sold immediately. I didn't know people do 20 and never sell one. We did 15 shows and they were funny … But we were on against 'All In The Family.'" Donna had said, "Acting means always waiting for someone else and I want to be in control. In acting, I try to express the way women should be viewed." When "I was in my agent's office one day, looking through breakdowns of parts, and I saw a 2-paragraph description of Abby (on 'Knots Landing') … I said to my agent, 'I’d like that part'.

"I don't usually audition for television any more, but I asked my agent to arrange a reading. I knew I'd be up against 10-12 other actresses, and if they didn't see me they'd think of all those victims I've played. I did a scene from the script with a female casting director reading the lines for Abby's brother – that always happens, and it's always very hard – before a roomful of people, including the head of Lorimar Productions, Lee Rich. The next day I knew I had the part."

David Jacobs recounted, "When we were casting the role of Abby … we wanted her to come on as a good person and then evolve into a vixen." Donna believed, "The producers liked the idea of casting against type. They were looking for a dark, buxom woman for the role. I just kept playing victims. I think it had to do with being a blond and having blue eyes. I had an innocent, vulnerable quality. The show works if there are intriguing power plays and love stories … These were the reasons my character was thrown in."

"She was always an interesting character and I think she had more depth than the average 'bad woman' on television," Donna observed. "I tried to keep her real and the writers helped to make her unpredictable. I (Abby) come to Knots Landing and decide to stay there … It was a wonderful 9 years. I loved the part. She's fun to play because she's not a cartoon character. Her vulnerability is her 2 children. I had never even seen the show. I just knew that it was a spin-off of 'Dallas.'"

During those 9 years (1980-89), Donna shopped for Abby's clothes as each episode demanded Donna changed costumes at least 6 to 7 times. "That's too much to custom design. A lot of people tell me it must be so much fun to do that shopping. But let me tell you, it gets to be work. Abby's really particular about her clothes!"

Donna made known, "I've never been poor, but I've certainly had to watch my pennies on different occasions in my life. So I'm very conservative with money. I was brought up with that idea. No matter how much money I've ever made, I've always saved a lot of it. And my business managers are quite pleased with me because they don't have to worry about me. I don't go off spending more than I have or more than I should. Of course it's fun to have more to spend, to be able to splurge a little every now and then. But no one will ever be able to accuse me of being a spendthrift."

"Television has so much power," Donna pointed out. "My ideal is to be a role model." In 1982, the writers decided to break up Gary and Valene Ewing so Gary could marry Abby in 1983 then let Abby discovered her husband fathered his ex-wife's twins. It was understood Donna fought against Abby kidnapping Val's babies in the 1984-85 season, "I said, 'no'. Abby wouldn't do that. She's a lot of things, but she's not evil. And that's an evil thing to do. They really kicked and screamed about it, because they thought that would be peachy-keen if Abby stole those babies. I said, 'No way. I won't do it'. You get very protective of your character after a while."

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