Gary Collins (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gary Collins
Collins in 1972
Gary Ennis Collins

(1938-04-30)April 30, 1938
DiedOctober 13, 2012(2012-10-13) (aged 74)
Resting place
EducationSanta Monica College
Years active1962–2011
  • Susan Lachman
    (m. 1964; div. 1967)
  • (m. 1967)

Gary Ennis Collins (April 30, 1938 – October 13, 2012) was an American actor and television host.[1] Throughout his career, he won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1984 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985.

Early life and education[edit]

Collins was born in Venice, California. He was raised there by a single mother, who was a waitress and factory worker.[2] Collins attended Venice High School and graduated with the class of 1955. After attending Santa Monica College, he went into the United States Army.[citation needed]

Early career[edit]

Collins enlisted in the Army and served in Europe, where he was a radio and television performer for the Armed Forces Network. After his return, he performed at the Barter Theatre, a year-round repertory theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, whose director Robert Porterfield provided chances for many aspiring actors.[citation needed]

Film and television[edit]

Collins made a career in television, co-starring, with Jack Warden and Mark Slade, in the 1965 series The Wackiest Ship in the Army. He co-starred, with Dale Robertson and Robert Random, in the 1966–1968 series Iron Horse. He starred in the 1972 television series The Sixth Sense, in syndication part of Rod Serling's Night Gallery, as the parapsychologist and extrasensory perception-gifted Dr. Michael Rhodes. In 1974, he starred in the series Born Free, based on the life of George Adamson, a wildlife conservationist best known for his work with lions.[3] Collins appeared in two episodes of Perry Mason: in 1965, he played assistant district attorney and defendant Larry Germaine in the 1965 episode, "The Case of the Fatal Fetish", and in 1966, he played murderer Alex Tanner in "The Case of the Crafty Kidnapper".

Collins guest-starred in dozens of television shows beginning in the 1960s, including The Virginian, The F.B.I. , Hawaii Five-O, The Six Million Dollar Man, ALF, Alice, The Love Boat, The Bionic Woman, Charlie's Angels, Roots, Gimme A Break!, Friends, Vega$, Yes, Dear, JAG, and most recently Dirty Sexy Money. Collins also appeared in an episode of Barnaby Jones titled "Deadly Reunion" (02/12/1976). He appeared in the episode "You're Not Alone" from the 1977 anthology series Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected (known in the United Kingdom as Twist in the Tale).[4] He also starred in three episodes of the British TV series Thriller; 'Only A Scream Away' (1973), 'The Double Kill' (1975) and 'Dial a Deadly Number' (1976). Collins and his wife Mary Ann Mobley played Dr and Mrs. Diller on "The Love Boat" S2 E6 "Ship of Ghouls" (1978). He is the only actor to have appeared in more than two episodes of Thriller during its three-year run.[citation needed]

Collins also had many movie roles, including The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962), Angel in My Pocket (1969) also starring Andy Griffith, the original Airport (1970), Quarantined (1970), Houston, We've Got a Problem (1974), The Night They Took Miss Beautiful (1977), the horror thriller Killer Fish (1979), starring Lee Majors, Watchers Reborn (1998), and The Jungle Book: Search for the Lost Treasure (1998). He also played an American astronaut involved in a UFO coverup in the 1980 film Hangar 18.

Collins hosted the television talk show Hour Magazine from 1980 to 1988, and co-hosted the television series The Home Show from 1989 to 1994. He was the host of the Miss America Pageant from 1982 to 1990.[3] His wife Mary Ann Mobley and he replaced Bob Barker as co-hosts of the Pillsbury Bake-Off from 1984 to 1988.


Collins was nominated for an Emmy Award six times and won in 1983 for Outstanding Talk Show Host. In 1985, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Personal life and death[edit]

Collins was first married to Susan Peterson, with whom he had two children. They divorced.

In 1967, Collins married Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America (1959). They had one child, a daughter.[2] They separated in 2010, but reconciled soon after.[5] He moved to her home state of Mississippi to be with her in 2012 while she battled breast cancer.[6]

Collins died around 1:00 am on October 13, 2012, at Biloxi Regional Medical Center in Biloxi, Mississippi, of natural causes.[3][7]

Legal issues[edit]

The final decade of Collins's life was marred by several run-ins with the law. In January 2008, Collins served four days in jail in Glendale, California, for his second DUI conviction. He was arrested a year later, on January 31, 2009, in Santa Barbara County, California, and pleaded no contest to driving a motor home while drunk. Collins was then sentenced to 120 days home detention, according to a Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office spokesperson. His blood alcohol content was measured at 0.29, more than three times the legal limit.[8]

In November 2010, Collins was charged with a misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident in Jackson, Mississippi, and fined $500. On January 5, 2011, Collins was charged with defrauding an innkeeper, a felony, in Harrison County, Mississippi, for allegedly failing to pay his bill at Jazzeppi's Restaurant, according to a statement released by the Biloxi Police Department. Collins said the restaurant was taking too long to deliver his dinner, so he left and refused to pay the bill. The restaurant owner later said the arrest was due to a misunderstanding, and the charges against Collins were dropped.[6][7]


Year Title Role Notes
1962 The Pigeon That Took Rome Major Wolff
1962 King Kong vs. Godzilla Submariner Uncredited
1962 The Longest Day Officer On Bridge Uncredited
1965 Stranded Bob
1969 Angel in My Pocket Art Shields
1970 Quarantined Dr. Larry Freeman TV movie
1970 Airport Cy Jordan
1972 Getting Away from It All Mark Selby TV movie
1974 Houston, We've Got a Problem Tim Cordell TV movie
1977 Roots Grill TV miniseries (Part III)
1977 The Night They Took Miss Beautiful Paul Fabiani TV movie
1978 The Young Runaways Lt. Ray Phillips TV movie
1978 Fantasy Island Bill Jordan TV miniseries
1979 Killer Fish Tom
1979 The Kid From Left Field Pete Sloane TV movie
1980 The Secret of Lost Valley Ned Harkness TV movie
1980 Hangar 18 Steve Bancroft
1981 Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls Kevin Gilmore TV miniseries
1986 Gimme A Break! Himself
1992 Secrets Zack Taylor TV movie
1994 Bandit Bandit Governor Denton TV movie
1998 Watchers Reborn Gus Brody
1998 The Jungle Book: Search for the Lost Treasure Professor Warren Miller
2000 Beautiful Miss American Miss Host


  1. ^ Noland, Claire (October 13, 2012). "Gary Collins, actor and TV host, dies at 74". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Gary Collins Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Gary Collins: Actor, TV host dies at 74 in Miss". The Washington Times. Associated Press. October 13, 2012. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  4. ^ "Tales of the Unexpected (1977)". Classic Television Archive. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  5. ^ "Gary Collins and Wife Separated". TMZ. September 19, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Abramovitch, Seth (October 13, 2012). "Gary Collins, Actor and Miss America Pageant Host, Dies at 74". The Hollywood Reporter.
  7. ^ a b Harris, Donna (October 13, 2012). "Actor Gary Collins dies in Biloxi". Sun Herald. Biloxi. Associated Press. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  8. ^ Lee, Ken (February 1, 2009). "Gary Collins Arrested for DUI Again". People.

External links[edit]