"The Bold and the Beautiful" bb alley mills pam jp
Credit: John Paschal/JPI

Alley Mills has found a “new insight into suffering.”

Put yourself in the shoes of Alley Mills for even a second, and you’re likely to want to step back. In early 2020, she lost Orson Bean, her husband of 27 years, in a horrific accident. But, as crushing as it was, the tragedy didn’t break the Bold & Beautiful actress, it opened her eyes to a new perspective, one that she shared as 2021 was heading for the exit.

“This is for any of you out there who have lost loved ones in these past years of COVID and are feeling tremendous loss and not sure how to find the courage to move on or past those feelings of loss,” she told SoapCentral. “What I feel was the most helpful thing I was able to focus on amidst all my grief and missing my husband more than I thought I could bear at New Year’s was just how grateful I am for having had him all these years and for, as weird as this may sound, the new insight into suffering that losing him gave me towards other people in the same ditch.

“I saw the world as having this great gash through it, like a giant river of suffering,” she continued, “and there I was, floating on it with so many thousands of others just like me.”

Alley Mills, Orson Bean in attendance for The 18th Annual Movieguide Awards Gala, Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA February 23, 2010. Photo By: Michael Germana/Everett Collection

That sense allowed Mills, who first played Pam back in 2006, to gaze in wonder through new eyes. “There’s just an odd beauty to that,” she said, “to be able to hold out a hand to another floating and find solace and love and a strange kind of purpose in sharing your loss and your love.”

Before you move on to read another story, reflect on the year gone by with our photo gallery that revisits 2021’s highs, lows and everything in between on The Bold and the Beautiful.