Versatile TV personality Gary Collins — who worked in almost all facets of television as an actor, talk-show host, Miss America Pageant host and game-show emcee — died Saturday morning in Biloxi, Miss. — reportedly of natural causes. He was 74.
The news is being reported here, on the TMZ.com Web site, and on other news Web sites.
Collins’ was one of TV’s most familiar faces for a generation of viewers. In a heyday that stretched principally from the 1960s through the 1980s, Collins was among TV’s most ubiquitous personalities — turning up in dozens of guest-starring roles on network TV shows, hosting the syndicated “Hour Magazine” show, and hosting the Miss America Pageant from 1985 to 1989.
Collins was a California native — from Venice — but in his final years, he lived in Biloxi.
He starred in at least three TV series — “Born Free” (adapted from the famed movie), “The Wackiest Ship in the Army” (yes, “army” — not “navy”), and “The Sixth Sense” (a show that came long before the famed movie of the same name).
He married a former Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley, in 1967, but they were separated last year. He also leaves a grown daughter.