Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gary Collins (1948-2012)

In the 60's & 70's, he was a dependable character actor and a frequent presence on primetime television. He reinvented himself in the 80's as an MC, winning a new generation of fans. Today, Hollywood mourns the passing of actor-talk show host Gary Collins at 74.

Collins first appeared in the 1965 service comedy-drama, The Wackiest Ship in the Army, which enjoyed a brief revival on cable in the 80's, perhaps to cash in on Collins' gigs as host of the talk show Hour Magazine, and the Miss America Pageant, inheriting the latter gig from Bert Parks. Wackiest Ship lasted just one season, and then Collins resurfaced, co-starring with Dale Robertson in Iron Horse. He finally headlined his own series with the 1972 supernatural drama, The Sixth Sense.

Collins' only other primetime headlining gig was the adaptation of Born Free, which lasted just one season as well. In 1980 came Hour Magazine, a weekday talk show that resurrected Collins' career. After he stepped down as host of the Miss America pageant, Collins gradually stepped away from the spotlight, taking fewer roles.

Ejrigby uploaded the open & close to Sixth Sense:

Rest in peace, Gary.


magicdog said...

I remember Collins thanks to Hour Magazine!

There was also a meta reference to Collins used in an episode of The Monkees! There was an episode in which the guys are trying to prevent Davy from seeing a girl he needed to stay away from. They put him in front of the TV; as Davy is watching, we see a clip from Iron Horse, which at the time followed The Monkees in primetime.

RIP Gary.

magicdog said...


ME-TV is offering up a tribute to Collins with a series of episodes of "Night Gallery" in which he appeared.

hobbyfan said...

1. Iron Horse was on ABC, Monkees on NBC, produced by the same studio (Screen Gems). Coincidence? Yep.

2. The "Night Gallery" tribute may actually be the "Sixth Sense" eps that were later repackaged as part of the "Gallery" syndicated run, as previously shown on SyFy (back when it was Sci-Fi) and Retro. Too bad no one's got "Wackiest Ship in the Army" or "Born Free" to put up in tribute.....

magicdog said...

I find it amusing TPTB would use Sg vid from a competing network. I guess Network heads were more open back then, since it was a Screen Gems show.

Seemed to me Raybert was making fun of the competition.