Pauline Collins in November 2012
3 September 1940 |
Exmouth, Devon, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||John Alderton (1969-present)|
Pauline Collins, OBE (born 3 September 1940) is an English actress of the stage, television, and film. She first came to prominence portraying Sarah Moffat in Upstairs, Downstairs and its spin-off Thomas & Sarah during the 1970s. She later drew acclaim for playing the title role in the play Shirley Valentine for which she received Laurence Olivier, Tony, and Drama Desk awards. She reprised the role in a 1989 film adaptation, winning a BAFTA and garnering Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.
Early life and career 
Collins was born in Exmouth, Devon, the daughter of Mary Honora (née Callanan), a schoolteacher, and William Henry Collins. She is of Irish extraction, and was brought up as a Roman Catholic near Liverpool. Collins was educated at Sacred Heart High School. Collins studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Before turning to acting, she worked as a teacher until 1962. She made her stage debut at Windsor in A Gazelle in Park Lane in 1962 and her West End debut in Passion Flower Hotel in 1965, (during this run, very hurriedly, her first film Secrets of a Windmill Girl -1966). More stage roles followed, so many very distinguished.
Collins first became well known for her role as the maid Sarah in the 1970s ITV drama series Upstairs, Downstairs. The character appeared regularly throughout the first two series, the second of which also starred her actor husband, John Alderton, with whom she later starred in a spin-off, Thomas & Sarah (1979), and the sitcom No, Honestly written by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham, as well as in a series of short story adaptations called Wodehouse Playhouse (1975–78). She co-narrated the animated British children's TV series Little Miss with husband John Alderton in 1983.
In connection with her Upstairs, Downstairs role, Collins recorded a 1973 single for Decca: What Are We Going to Do with Uncle Arthur? (performed by her character several times during the series) b/w With Every Passing Day (a vocal version of the show's theme).
Shirley Valentine and recent years 
In 1988, Collins starred in the one-woman play Shirley Valentine in London, reprising the role on Broadway in 1989 and in the 1989 film version. The film won a number of awards, which are outlined below.
After Shirley Valentine, Collins again starred alongside her husband in the popular ITV drama series Forever Green created and written by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham in which the fictitious couple escape the city with their children to start a new life in the country. It ran from 1989 to 1992 over 18 episodes.
Collins' film credits include City of Joy (1992, co-starring Patrick Swayze), My Mother's Courage (1995 in Germany as Mutters Courage, released in the USA in 1997), Paradise Road (1997, with Glenn Close and Cate Blanchett), and Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War (2002), another appearance with Alderton. In 1999 and 2000, Collins starred as Harriet Smith in the BBC television drama Ambassador, where she played the lead role of the British ambassador to Ireland. Other television credits include The Saint, The Wednesday Play, Armchair Theatre, Play for Today, Tales of the Unexpected, Country Matters and The Black Tower.
Later in 2006, she appeared in Extinct, a programme where eight celebrities campaigned on behalf of an animal to save it from extinction. Collins campaigned to save the Bengal tiger and won the public vote.
Collins was awarded the OBE in 2001.
Personal life 
She married actor John Alderton in 1969 and lives in Hampstead, London, with her husband and their three children, Nicholas, Kate and Richard. She also has an older daughter with actor Tony Rohr, Louise, whom she gave up for adoption. They were reunited when Louise was 22 years old, and Collins wrote a book, Letter to Louise, about her experiences.
|Doctor Who||1967||Samantha Briggs||
|The Liver Birds||1969||Dawn|
|Upstairs, Downstairs||1971||Sarah Moffat|
|No, Honestly||1974||Clara Danby|
|Thomas & Sarah||1979||Sarah Moffat|
|Tales of the Unexpected||1980||Pat Lewis||
|Tales of the Unexpected||1988||Eve K. Hamilton-Peregrine||
|Forever Green||1989||Harriet Boult|
|Shirley Valentine||1989||Shirley Valentine-Bradshaw||
|City of Joy||1992||Joan Bethel|
|Paradise Road||1997||Daisy 'Margaret' Drummond|
|Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War||2002||Thelma Calicot|
|Bleak House||2005||Maud Havisham Flite||
|Doctor Who||2006||Queen Victoria||
|From Time to Time||2009||Mrs. Tweedie|
|Agatha Christie's Marple||2010||Thyrza Grey||
|Albert Nobbs||2011||Mrs. Baker|
Awards and nominations 
- Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress (winner)
- Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (winner)
- Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut (winner)
- Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play (winner)
- Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (winner)
- Academy Award for Best Actress (nominee)
- Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, Comedy or Musical (nominee)
- BAFTA for Best Film Actress (winner)
- Pauline, Collins. (28 March 1999). "Pauline Collins - My secret for a good marriage? Give", Interviewed by Sharon Feinstein, Sunday Mirror. Retrieved on 13 May 2010. "But I was very worried about taking it on because I'm not Jewish. I'm a Liverpool Irish Catholic and this role was such a responsibility because it involved a huge and emotive part of the history of the Jewish race."
- http://movies.nytimes.com/person/694000/Pauline-Collins/biography Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- "Merlin - Alice played by Pauline Collins", BBC, Retrieved 6 November 2010
- Pauline Collins at the Internet Broadway Database
- Pauline Collins at the Internet Movie Database
- Pauline Collins at Yahoo! Movies
- Pauline Collins images
- Biography of Collins
- Profile of Collins
- 2001 profile
- Article about Collins' receipt of the OBE