Most well known as the choreographer of numerous Broadway musicals, she worked on the original productions of Oklahoma!, Carousel, Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, and 110 in the Shade, creating innovative dance numbers that advanced each show's characterizations and plot.
After earning a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, she began training with Marie Rambert's and Anthony Tudor's London-based ballet companies. She began her work with the American Ballet Theatre in the late 1930s.
One of the ballets de Mille choreographed, Fall River Legend, tells the life story of the infamous accused murderer Lizzie Borden. She also choreographed for the American Ballet Theatre and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
The niece of prominent Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille and the daughter of screenwriter and director William C. DeMille, she grew up in New York City. She and her husband, Walter Prude, married in 1943 and welcomed a son, Jonathan, in 1946.
Early in her career, de Mille choreographed Rodeo, a 1942 ballet composed by Aaron Copland.