From 1935 to 1961, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded performers under the age of eighteen the Academy Juvenile Award for their outstanding contribution to screen entertainment.
The award was non-competitive, with the Academy’s Board of Governors deciding each year’s recipient. Most winners were not given the award for a specific film but their work throughout the previous specific year.
Recipients include Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, and Bobby Driscoll (the original voice of Disney’s Peter Pan).
The final Juvenile Award was handed to Hayley Mills in 1960 for her work in Disney’s Pollyanna. Mills could not attend the ceremony due to her school commitments, but former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello accepted on her behalf.
The Special OSCAR would sit on Mills’ drawing room mantle for the next 25 years until it was stolen in the mid-’80s while she was working on Saved By the Bell: The Junior High Years (originally titled Good Morning, Miss Bliss).
Mills did ask the Academy for a replacement, but they could not accommodate her request because her original award was a smaller-scale version of the traditional 13½ inches.
I’m terribly embarrassed to say this, because it looks so careless, but it has disappeared. In the late ’80s, I came to California to do a television series [Good Morning, Miss Bliss]. When I came back from that first year, my little statuette had disappeared, and I never found it. 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!” [Laughs] They said, “I’m sorry, it doesn’t work like that.” But I’d say for 25 years it was on the mantelpiece in my drawing room, and I was always very proud of it.Hayley Mills speaking to Shirley Li (Entertainment Weekly) in 2018.
But it seems that the Academy has had a change of heart because it was announced on Twitter last night that Hayley Mills has finally received a replacement for her missing OSCAR.
Presented to her by AMPAS president David Rubin, Mills was gifted an OSCAR that isn’t just brand new, but a traditional full-size statue!
Be sure to check our interview with the Academy Award-winning Hayley Mills right here!
Mills can most recently be seen in 2021’s Last Train to Christmas, and you can watch Pollyanna on Disney+ in all regions right now!