Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘The Wonder Years’ Alley Mills Wins First Emmy Three Years After Husband’s Tragic Death

‘The Wonder Years’ Alley Mills Wins First Emmy Three Years After Husband’s Tragic Death

Alley Mills, famous for playing Norma Arnold on The Wonder Years, won her first Emmy after her husband’s tragic death three years ago. According to NPR, Mills nabbed best guest performance on a daytime drama for her role as Heather Webber in General Hospital.

In 2020, tragedy struck when her husband, character actor Orson Bean, known for his roles in Grace and Frankie and Being John Malkovich, lost his life in a devastating accident. He was fatally struck by two cars while crossing a Los Angeles street.

During her Emmy acceptance speech, Alley Mills paid tribute to her late husband.“I had just lost my beloved husband–it was pretty traumatic–and then I get asked to play a seriously traumatized person who kills a lot of people, but she’s got a heart of gold,” the 72-year-old Mills said. “And she’s barreling towards the light all the time and it gave me that ability to keep going and barrel towards the light. The world is so screwed up right now. All I can say to all of you traumatized people out there, just keep barreling towards the light.”

ABC’s long-running program General Hospital dominated the awards. It secured victories in various categories, including Mill’s win for Guest Performance in a Daytime Drama Series.

Alley Mills’s ‘General Hospital’ Roles Quite a Departure from ‘The Wonder Years’

Although she also has starred in The Bold and the Beautiful, Mills is most renowned for her role as Kevin’s mother, Norma Arnold, in The Wonder Years.

Of course, Mills’ turn as Heather Webber in General Hospital is quite a departure from Norma Arnold. Webber lacks stability and is entangled in a storyline that includes various criminal activities. It’s clear Mills loves cutting loose in the diabolical role.

According to IMDb, Mills completed her studies at Yale University in 1973. She followed that by attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In 1982, she scored a recurring role in Hill Street Blues.

Mills gained recognition six years later for her role as Norma Arnold in The Wonder Years (1988-1993). She also appeared as Marjorie Quinn on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman for the following four years. From 2001 to 2004, she portrayed the character of Jenny Ludke in the television series Yes, Dear. Two years later, she took on the role of Pamela Douglas in The Bold and the Beautiful.

The actress entered into her first marriage at the age of 41 with the actor Orson Bean. Bean himself was 64 years old at the time. Alley Mills is a mother to four children: Michele Bean Atlan, Max Bean, Susannah Bean, and Ezekial Bean