||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (April 2012)|
Collins and Speight on See It Saw It.
|Born||Natasha Louise Collins
7 July 1976
Luton, Bedfordshire, England
|Died||3 January 2008
St John's Wood, London, England
|Cause of death||Drug Overdose|
|Partner(s)||Mark Speight (2005–08; her death)|
Natasha Louise Collins (7 July 1976 – 3 January 2008) was an English actress and model, and the partner of Mark Speight. She died of a drug overdose and severe burns in January 2008. Speight later hanged himself near London Paddington station because he was unable to cope with the grief resulting from her death.
Educated at St. Michael's Catholic Grammar School in Finchley, north London, she initially worked as a model, and was still represented by Ugly Rage Models at the time of her death. Collins first appeared on TV in the Brechin Productions children's show See It, Saw It, in which she played See, one of two court jesters in the court of the King, played by Mark Speight. Trying to break into more adult television, she later appeared in Hallmark/NBC's The Tenth Kingdom and ITV1's Real Women. She also featured in a small number of episodes of the BBC emergency services programme 999 Lifesavers and one episode of the popular children's TV series Chucklevision as the Spanish Princess. She also worked in film and theatre, as well as presenting corporate videos.
In 2001 Collins was cast in a main role in the Channel 4 show Hollyoaks, but later the same day was involved in a serious car accident, which left her in a coma and hospitalised for a long period of time. The incident left her with seizures that curtailed her career. Whilst recovering she began dating Speight, and the couple became engaged in Barbados in 2005.
At 1:20 pm on 3 January 2008 police were called to the North West London home of Collins and Speight, where Collins was found dead in a bath. Speight was arrested on suspicion of murder and supplying class A drugs, and was bailed to return to the police station for questioning in early February.
The subsequent postmortem examination proved to be inconclusive, requiring additional toxicology tests. The inquest opened on 8 January 2008 heard that the death was not thought to be suspicious, but that it was "subject to further investigation". On 2 April 2008, the coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure after Collins was found with scalds covering about 60% of her body and a "'very significant' amount of cocaine in her system at the time". Speight had been arrested immediately following Collins's death, but was not charged with any offence. Mark Speight later committed suicide, and his body was found by police in the roof of MacMillan House next to London's Paddington railway station on 13 April 2008. He was said to have killed himself because he could not cope with the grief of Collins dying. She was buried at Edmonton Cemetery in Edmonton Greater London, England.
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