TV host and actor Gary Collins dead at 74

Gary Collins (an actor who was the longtime host of the syndicated TV show “Hour Magazine” and a former master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant) died early Saturday in Biloxi, Miss. He was 74.
Collins died of natural causes soon after arriving at Biloxi Regional Medical Center, Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove told the Associated Press.
In 2011 Collins moved to Mississippi, the home state of his wife, Mary Ann Mobley, an actress and Miss America 1959. He had been arrested and fined last year for leaving a Biloxi restaurant without paying his dinner tab. In 2007 and 2009 he was convicted in separate DUI cases in California.
From 1980 to 1988, Collins served as host of the TV talk show “Hour Magazine” – a gentler version of the genre that avoided some of the controversial topics tackled by Phil Donahue, Geraldo Rivera and other tabloid programs.

TV host and actor Gary Collins dead at 74
Gary Collins.

Gary Collins (a familiar TV figure throughout the ‘80s as both an actor and show host) died of natural causes on Saturday. He was 74.
According to a website, Harrison County Deputy Coroner Brian Switzer said, Collins died just before 1 am on Saturday in Biloxi, Mississippi, a magazine has reported.
The talk show host lived in Biloxi and died in the hospital, a leading daily has reported.
In addition to leading roles in three short-lived TV series, including “The Wackiest Ship in the Army,” he made a number of guest appearances on shows like “Perry Mason,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Love Boat” and “Charlie’s Angels.”
He was best known as the host of the syndicated “Hour Magazine” – for which he was awarded an Emmy in 1983 – as well as “The Home Show.”
He also hosted the Miss America Pageant from 1982-1990 – and married a former Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley, though the couple separated last year.
The couple wed in 1967, and have one daughter together, Mary Clancy.

In a performing career that spanned more than four decades, Mr. Collins made guest appearances on dozens of television shows, including “The Virginian,” “Love, American Style,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “JAG.”
In 1974, he starred in a short-lived TV version of “Born Free.”
Mr. Collins became a familiar face in American living rooms in the 1980′s as the congenial host of the syndicated afternoon talk show “Hour Magazine,” for which he won an Emmy, and, later, as the Miss America M.C.
Born in Venice, Calif., in 1938, Mr. Collins became interested in acting while in the Army, where he performed on the Armed Forces Network.
He had his first break in 1965 with a supporting role on the NBC series “The Wackiest Ship in the Army.”
In 1967, he married Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America of 1959. The couple separated last year. Information on survivors was not immediately available.
In recent years, Mr. Collins had legal troubles (including two convictions for drunken driving and an arrest after being accused of leaving a restaurant without paying the bill).
With a cheerful smile and good looks, he was known for his warm, welcoming style.

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