Saturday, 13 October 2012

Gary Collins Passes On

Actor and television host Gary Collins died 13 October 2012 at the age of 74.

Gary Collins was born in Venice, California on 30 April 1938. He attended Santa Monica City College, then served in the United States Army in Europe. While in the military he performed on the Armed Forces Network. He made his film debut in 1962 in The Pigeon That Took Rome. In the Sixties he appeared in such films as King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), Stranded (1965), Angel in My Pocket (1969), and Airport (1970) .  While he first appeared in films, it would be television that would dominate his career. He made his television debut in an episode of Kraft Suspense Theatre. In the Sixties he would be a regular on both The Wackiest Ship in the Army and Iron Horse. He appeared on such shows as Perry Mason, The Name of the Game, Bracken's World, and The Governor and J. J.

In the Seventies Gary Collins starred in the shows The Sixth Sense and Born Free. Beginning in 1980 he hosted Hour Magazine for eight years. He appeared in such shows as The F.B.I., Hawaii Five-O, Dan August, Marcus Welby M.D., Love American Style, The Six Million Dollar Man, Barnaby Jones, Tales of the Unexpected, and Charlie's Angels.  He appeared in the films Streets of Hong Kong (1979), Killer Fish (1979), Hangar 18 (1980). In the Eighties he hosted the Miss America pageant from 1982 to 1990. He also hosted The Home Show from 1989 to 1994. He appeared on such shows as Fantasy Island, Hotel, and The New Hollywood Squares.

From the Nineties into the Naughts he appeared on such shows as Friends, Dharma & Greg, and Dead Like Me. He was the host of Now Playing with Gary Collins.

As an actor Gary Collins was not overly versatile, although he did play his roles quite well. While he was not a versatile actor, however, he had real talent as a television host. Gary Collins was always warm and welcoming and very relaxed as a host. He seemed particularly skilled at putting people at ease and getting them to talk about themselves. It is little wonder he was nominated for the Emmy award six times and that he won the award for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 1983.

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