Jose Collins

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Jose Collins
Jose Collins 1910s3.jpg
Born Charlotte Josephine Collins (later Charlotte Josephine Cooney)
(1887-05-23)23 May 1887
London, England, U.K.
Died 6 December 1958(1958-12-06) (aged 71)
Epping, Essex, England[1]
Nationality British
Occupation Music hall artist, singer, actress
Spouse(s) Leslie Chatfield (m. 1911)[2]
Lord Robert Edward Innes-Ker (m. 1920 – div. 1935)
Gerald B. Kirkland (m. 1939) (d. 1959)
Parent(s) Stephen Patrick Cooney and Lottie Collins[3]
Collins in 1914
Jose Collins' blue plaque, High Road, Loughton

Jose Collins (sometimes styled José Collins, 23 May 1887 – 6 December 1958) was an English actress and singer celebrated for her performances in musical comedies and early motion pictures.

Life and career[edit]

Charlotte Josephine Collins was born in London in 1887 to her mother, music hall performer and comedian Lottie Collins, who popularized the song "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay!", and her mother's music coach, Stephen Patrick Cooney,.[3] They later married and Lottie took the name Charlotte Josephine Cooney.

Collins got her start as a child performer, and by the age of 17 she had appeared in both pantomime and music hall as a singer and actress. She made her West End debut in a principal role in The Antelope (1908). On Broadway, she appeared in Vera Violetta (1911), The Merry Countess (1912), and (sharing a duet with Al Jolson) The Whirl of Society (1912), among others. Her revue appearances included the Ziegfeld Follies (1913), and The Passing Show (1914). She also starred in The Happy Day in London and Alone at Last on Broadway in 1916.

Collins played the title role of Teresa, the gypsy bandit maid, in the hit musical The Maid of the Mountains (1917) to great acclaim, and as a result became known by the nickname of "Maid of the Mountains". In that show, she introduced the songs "Love Will Find a Way" and "A Paradise For Two." Collins played throughout the long run of this show and in many revivals over the years.

Collins later appeared in Our Peg (1919), A Southern Maid (1920), Sybil (1921), The Last Waltz (1922), Catherine (1923), Our Nell (1924) and Frasquita (1925). She spent the remainder of her career in revues, variety and non-musical roles, as well as in films. In her film career, she starred as Bessie, the vengeful model, in The Light That Failed, (1916, based on Rudyard Kipling's poem), and she appeared in The Imposter (1915), A Woman's Honor (1916), and The Sword of Damocles (1920),[4] among others. Her only musical film was Facing the Music (1933).

Jose Collins was married three times: firstly, in 1911, to Leslie Chatfield;[2] secondly in 1920 Lord Robert Edward Innes-Ker (brother of Henry John Innes-Ker, 8th Duke of Roxburghe); and thirdly to Dr Gerald Kirkland. Collins had no children by any of her marriages; her second marriage ended in divorce in 1935.

She is commemorated by a blue plaque at Loughton. When erected, the plaque was on the actual house in which she lived towards the end of her life. This was demolished, and replaced by a block of flats called Collins Court.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: DEC 1958 5a 81 EPPING – Charlotte J. Kirkland aged 65
  2. ^ a b GRO Register of Marriages: MAR 1911 8d 286 MANCHESTER – Leslie Chatfield = Charlotte J. Collins
  3. ^ a b Descendants of Sir James Innes, 3rd Baronet (died ca. 1700)
  4. ^ The Sword of Damocles (1920). IMDb


  • Collins, José. The Maid of the Mountains: Her Story. The reminiscences of José Collins. With 60 Illustrations. (1932, Hutchinson)
  • Gammond, Peter. Oxford Companion to Popular Music (1993, Oxford University Press) ISBN 0-19-280004-3
  • Larkin, Colin Ed. Guinness Who's Who of Stage Musicals ISBN 0-85112-756-8

External links[edit]