Gary Collins Dies -- TV Actor Was Longtime Miss America Pageant Emcee and a 'Gentler' Talk Show Host LA Times
Actor and television host Gary Collins, known for a long run as host of the syndicated show “Hour Magazine” in the 1980s and for hosting the Miss America Pageant from 1982-1990, has died, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Collins, 74, died early Saturday at a hospital in Biloxi, Miss., of natural causes, according to the report.
Collins had moved in 2011 to Mississippi, the home state of his wife, actress Mary Ann Mobley, who was Miss America 1959.
The story calls "Hour Magazine," the talk show Collins hosted from 1980 to 1988, "a gentler version of the genre that avoided some of the controversial topics tackled by Phil Donahue, Geraldo Rivera and other tabloid programs."
Collins had a long string of acting credits on television, including stints as Lt. Richard P. “Rip” Ripley on “The Wackiest Ship in the Army” and Dave Tarrant on “Iron Horse,” both in the 1960s. He played Dr. Michael Rhodes on “The Sixth Sense” and George Adamson on “Born Free” in the 1970s.
He made frequent guest appearances on on TV series throughout his career, going back to “Kraft Suspense Theatre,” “Perry Mason,” “The Virginian” and “Ironside.” He later became a regular guest on shows such as “Love, American Style,” “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat.” Most recently he appeared on “Dirty Sexy Money” in 2009.
Collins had a series of scrapes with the law in his later years, including DUI convictions in 2008 and 2009 and a fine for leaving the scene of an accident in 2010. He won an Emmy for outstanding talk show host for "Hour Magazine" in 1984.