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To keep 18-year-old Mitchel's hectic schedule running as smoothly as possible, his mom, Kathy, 46, tries not to sweat the small stuff. "As a young actor, he's had to follow so many rules," she says, adding that they split their time between Los Angeles and their hometown of Garland, Texas. "Sometimes he just needs to be a kid."
But it's not always easy. Mitchel, who plays Miley Cyrus' best friend on Disney Channel's Hannah Montana, is also working on a new show, Pair of Kings, which will debut this fall. The talented multitasker also released his first pop-rock album last year. With all his career demands, Kathy often has to remind Mitchel to take a break and hang out with his brothers or his friends.
While Kathy and her husband, Sam, enjoy watching their son make his showbiz dreams come true, what truly gives them pleasure is seeing what kind of young man he has become. "He's so gentle with his fans," Kathy says. "When he visits children in hospitals with Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus, they talk and pray with the kids—and you can tell from their faces that it means the world to them."
But Mitchel saves plenty of sweetness for his family. "I recently recorded a song from Les Miserables just for fun," says Kathy. "He cranked up my CD, then texted me to say I had a beautiful voice."
In addition to thinking his mom is a fabulous singer, Mitchel calls her "a great cook and one of my best friends." His perfect night would be sitting down to her homemade fried chicken and okra, followed by some mother-son bonding. After all, he relies on Kathy's advice for nearly everything. "Well, except for girls," he clarifies. "That would be too weird."