Gary Ennis Collins
April 30, 1938
Venice, California, U.S.
|Died||October 13, 2012 (aged 74)|
Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
|Education||Santa Monica College|
Gary Ennis Collins (April 30, 1938 – October 13, 2012) was an American actor and television host. Throughout his career, he won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1984 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985.
Collins was born in Venice, California. He was raised there by a single mother, who was a waitress and factory worker. Gary attended Venice High School and graduated with the class of 1955. After attending Santa Monica College, he went into the United States Army.
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.
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. 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, Hawaii Five-O, The Six Million Dollar Man, ALF, The Love Boat, The Bionic Woman, Charlie's Angels, Roots, Gimme A Break!, Friends, "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). 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). He is the only actor to have appeared in more than two episodes of Thriller during its three-year run.
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. 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.
Collins was first married to Susan Peterson, with whom he had two children: Guy William and Melissa Collins. They divorced.
In 1967, Collins married Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America (1959). They had one child, a daughter, Mary Clancy Collins. They separated in 2010, but reconciled soon after. He moved to her home state of Mississippi to be with her in 2012 while she battled breast cancer.
Collins died around 1:00 am on October 13, 2012, at Biloxi Regional Medical Center in Biloxi, Mississippi of natural causes.
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. He was 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.
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.
|1962||The Pigeon That Took Rome||Major Wolff|
|1962||King Kong vs. Godzilla||Submariner||Uncredited|
|1962||The Longest Day||Officer On Bridge||Uncredited|
|1969||Angel in My Pocket||Art Shields|
|1970||Quarantined||Dr. Larry Freeman||TV movie|
|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||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|
|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|