American actress Donna Mills spoke about her experience in motherhood at the height of her success in the entertainment world.

In the most recent interview with PEOPLE, the actress discussed how she forged her own way in Hollywood, as well as a fulfilling life off-screen, which includes becoming a mother in her 50s.

Mills, now 81, claims she had been fully focused on her acting profession up until that moment, but things changed when she adopted daughter Chloe, who is now 27.

“I was very concentrated on my career, but at a certain point, I realized there was something missing — it was a child,” the actress says. “So I went after it. I adopted her when she was four days old.”

“By that time, I was 54 and people said, ‘You’re going to be so old [to] have a little toddler running around.’ I never felt that. I never felt older than the other mothers who were probably in their 20s.”

It came at the ideal time for Mills, who encourages others to do the same.

“If you want to give to your career, I say having a child later in life is better than having a child early,” she says.

Mills says she and her daughter are still close after all these years, “We see each other at least once a week and we talk every day or text.”

Mills also took an 18-year hiatus from the industry to raise her kid.

“I took off 18 years. I didn’t work,” she explains. “Well, the first couple of years, I did work. I did some movies for television and stuff like that, because I could take her wherever I went. But then when she started school, I wasn’t going to go out of town for two months at a time. And I didn’t become a mother to give her to a nanny.”

Who is Donna Mills’ Partner Larry Gilman? 

Larry Gilman was born in New York City on April 3, 1950. The 72-year-old is a veteran actor and producer who has worked in several TV shows and films.

Gilman has been in films such as The Terror Within II, Columbo: Murder With Too Many Notes, Cool Runnings, and The Woman in Red, in addition to popular television series such as The Texas Ranger and Secrets.

On top of that, Larry works full-time for CommCore Inc. as a communications consultant for Fortune 500 companies and startups. He has 27 years of experience and has instructed over 10,000 people in over 800 courses.

Gilman also has extensive experience working with hospitals, managing care organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and biotechnology companies.

Adding more to his experiences, Larry has also involved himself in technology In addition to technology, he has worked in telecommunications, public relations, public affairs, venture capital, and entertainment.

Larry Gilman has prepared clients (CEOs and senior management) for IPOs, media appearances, and analyst/investor presentations. His clients include the United States government, General Motors, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Qualcomm, Pfizer, eBay, Coca-Cola, Nokia, Chiron Pharmaceuticals, UPS, Zurich, and a number of government agencies.

Gilman is also a member of The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He is one of the founding members of the Los Angeles Actors Institute.

Gilman is also the owner of Homeward Productions, a company dedicated to producing works of art in the fields of theatre, education, television, and film. Its goal is to encourage people to participate in society, extend their horizons, and improve their humanity.